I-C-SEA Change: A participatory tool for rapid assessment of vulnerability of tropical coastal communities to climate change impacts
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We present a synoptic, participatory vulnerability assessment tool to help identify the likely impacts of climate change and human activity in coastal areas and begin discussions among stakeholders on the coping and adaptation measures necessary to minimize these impacts. Vulnerability assessment tools are most needed in the tropical Indo-Pacific, where burgeoning populations and inequitable economic growth place even greater burdens on natural resources and support ecosystems. The Integrated Coastal Sensitivity, Exposure, and Adaptive Capacity for Climate Change (I-C-SEA Change) tool is built around a series of scoring rubrics to guide non-specialists in assigning scores to the sensitivity and adaptive capacity components of vulnerability, particularly for coral reef, seagrass, and mangrove habitats, along with fisheries and coastal integrity. These scores are then weighed against threat or exposure to climate-related impacts such as marine flooding and erosion. The tool provides opportunities for learning by engaging more stakeholders in participatory planning and group decision-making. It also allows for information to be collated and processed during a “town-hall” meeting, facilitating further discussion, data validation, and even interactive scenario building.
KeywordsClimate change impacts Vulnerability Coastal habitats Tropical ecosystems
The authors would like to thank Conservation International, Philippines through the US Agency for International Development’s Coral Triangle Support Program, the Philippine Commission on Higher Education, and the Philippine Department of Science and Technology Resilient Seas program for supporting the VA tool development, refinement, and publication of the guidebook.
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