, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 718–736 | Cite as

I-C-SEA Change: A participatory tool for rapid assessment of vulnerability of tropical coastal communities to climate change impacts

  • Wilfredo Y. Licuanan
  • Maricar S. Samson
  • Samuel S. Mamauag
  • Laura T. David
  • Roselle Borja-del Rosario
  • Miledel Christine C. Quibilan
  • Fernando P. Siringan
  • Ma. Yvainne Y. Sta. Maria
  • Norievill B. España
  • Cesar L. Villanoy
  • Rollan C. Geronimo
  • Olivia C. Cabrera
  • Renmar Jun S. Martinez
  • Porfirio M. Aliño


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.


Climate 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.

Supplementary material

13280_2015_652_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (208 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 209 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilfredo Y. Licuanan
    • 1
  • Maricar S. Samson
    • 2
  • Samuel S. Mamauag
    • 3
  • Laura T. David
    • 4
  • Roselle Borja-del Rosario
    • 4
  • Miledel Christine C. Quibilan
    • 4
  • Fernando P. Siringan
    • 4
  • Ma. Yvainne Y. Sta. Maria
    • 4
  • Norievill B. España
    • 6
  • Cesar L. Villanoy
    • 4
  • Rollan C. Geronimo
    • 5
  • Olivia C. Cabrera
    • 4
  • Renmar Jun S. Martinez
    • 4
  • Porfirio M. Aliño
    • 4
  1. 1.Br. Alfred Shields FSC Ocean Research CenterDe La Salle UniversityManilaPhilippines
  2. 2.Integrated School Research and Development OfficeDe La Salle UniversityBiñanPhilippines
  3. 3.Marine Environment and Resources Foundation, The Marine Science InstituteUniversity of the Philippines DilimanQuezon CityPhilippines
  4. 4.The Marine Science InstituteUniversity of the Philippines DilimanQuezon CityPhilippines
  5. 5.Department of GeographyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  6. 6.Coastal and Marine Division, Biodiversity Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural ResourcesNinoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife CenterQuezon CityPhilippines

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