Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 59-74

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Generic framework for meso-scale assessment of climate change hazards in coastal environments

  • Lars Rosendahl AppelquistAffiliated withUNEP Risoe Centre, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark Email author 


This paper presents a generic framework for assessing inherent climate change hazards in coastal environments through a combined coastal classification and hazard evaluation system. The framework is developed to be used at scales relevant for regional and national planning and aims to cover all coastal environments worldwide through a specially designed coastal classification system containing 113 generic coastal types. The framework provides information on the degree to which key climate change hazards are inherent in a particular coastal environment, and covers the hazards of ecosystem disruption, gradual inundation, salt water intrusion, erosion and flooding. The system includes a total of 565 individual hazard evaluations, each graduated into four different hazard levels based on a scientific literature review. The framework uses a simple assessment methodology with limited data and computing requirements, allowing for application in developing country settings. It is presented as a graphical tool—the Coastal Hazard Wheel—to ease its application for planning purposes.


Coastal management Coastal classification Climate change Hazard assessment