Adapting to a Changing Climate: An Operational Space for Local Adaptation Committee in Santos Coastal Area

  • Débora M. de FreitasEmail author
  • Danielle Almeida de Carvalho
  • Eduardo Kimoto Hosokawa


Coastal living countries are the frontline of climate change impacts presenting vulnerability to natural disasters and other climate hazards. Specially, in developing countries, there is greater vulnerability and environmental risks, related to populous irregular settlements common in coastal areas. The impacts of climate change will materialize over the next century, however by taking action now it is possible to adapted and avoid risks. At the local scale, the impacts are more significant so local government policies play an important role in preventing and managing risks. This chapter summarizes recent research findings in planning and management about climate change adaptation on coastal areas and presents a study case in the coastal city of Santos, Brazil. Based on decision makers and local community perceptions, this chapter analyses the creation of a local policy and points out the importance of a governance structure to manage climate change related decisions. Finding an adequate operational space for adapting to a changing climate in coastal complex regions such as Santos requires local and regional strategies. In this sense, local committees can act as enablers to ensure institutional support for climate adaptation as a priority issue in the political and planning agendas.


Policy Governance Decision-making Climate adaptation Local government Planning 


  1. Adger, W. N., & Jordan, A. (2009). Sustainability: Exploring the processes and outcomes of governance. In: Governing sustainability (pp. 3–31). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Adger, W. N., Arnella, N. W., & Tompkins, E. L. (2005). Successful adaptation to climate change across scales. Global Environmental Change, 15, 77–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allison, E. H., & Bassett, H. R. (2015). Climate change in the oceans: Human impacts and responses. Science, 350, 778–782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balica, S. F., Wright, N. G., & van der Meulen, F. (2012). A flood vulnerability index for coastal cities and its use in assessing climate change impacts. Natural Hazards, 64, 73–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baztan, J., Chouinard, O., Jorgenses, B., et al. (2015). Coastal zones: Solutions for the 21st century (1st ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  6. Beatley, T. (2009). Planning for coastal resilience: Best practices for calamitous times. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  7. Beavers, R. L., Babson, A. L., & Schupp, C. A. (2016). Coastal adaptation strategies handbook (NPS 999/134090). Washington, DC: National Park Service.Google Scholar
  8. Carter, J. G. (2011). Climate change adaptation in European cities. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 3, 193–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Castro, S. M., & Almeida, J. R. (2012). Dragagem e conflitos ambientais em portos clássicos e modernos: Uma revisão. Society & Nature, 24(3), 519–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Centre of Expertise for Waters – CREW. (2012). Coastal flooding in Scotland: A guidance document for coastal practitioners. Accessed 14 Feb 2017.
  11. Commonwealth of Australia. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. (2009). Climate change risks to Australia’s coast – A first pass national assessment. Accessed 26 Oct 2017.
  12. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – DEFRA. (2010). Adapting to climate change: A guide for local councils. United Kingdom Government. Accessed 15 May 2017.
  13. Department of the Environment and Water Resources. (2007). Climate change adaptation actions for local government. Australian Greenhouse Office. Australian Government. Accessed 27 Aug 2017.
  14. Dutra, L. X. C., Ellis, N., Boschetti, F., et al. (2011). The use of the Healthy Waterways management strategy evaluation framework for active learning and decision- making: A first assessment. In CSIRO. Australia: Dutton Park.Google Scholar
  15. Fidelman, P. I. J., Leitch, A. M., & Nelson, D. R. (2013). Unpacking multilevel adaptation to climate change in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Global Environmental Change, 23, 800–812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fletcher, C. S., Taylor, B. M., Rambaldi, A. N., et al. (2013). Costs and coasts: An empirical assessment of physical and institutional climate adaptation pathways. Gold Coast: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility Accessed 14 Aug 2017.Google Scholar
  17. Fünfgeld, H. (2015). Facilitating local climate change adaptation through transnational municipal networks. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 12, 67–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Füssel, H. M. (2007). Adaptation planning for climate change: Concepts, assessment approaches and key lessons. Sustainability Science, 2, 265–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Haigh, I. D., Matthew, P., Wadey, M. P., et al. (2015). A user-friendly database of coastal flooding in the United Kingdom from 1915–2014. Nature, 2, 150021.Google Scholar
  20. Hopkins, C. R., Bailey, D. M., & Potts, T. (2016). Perceptions of practitioners: Managing marine.Google Scholar
  21. Hunter, P., Burkitt, Z., & Trangmar, B. (2010). Local government adapting to climate change: Managing infrastructure, protecting resources, and supporting communities. In R. A. C. Nottage, D. S. Wratt, J. F. Bornman, & K. Jones (Eds.), Climate change adaptation in New Zealand: Future scenarios and some sectoral perspectives (pp. 122–133). Wellington: New Zealand Climate Change Centre.Google Scholar
  22. Inouye, C. E. N., Sousa, W. C., Jr., De Freitas, D. M., & Simões, E. (2015). Modelling the spatial dynamics of urban growth and land use changes in the North Coast of São Paulo, Brazil. Ocean and Coastal Management, 108, 147–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Iwama, A. Y., Batistella, M., Ferreira, L. C., et al. (2016). Risk, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change: An interdisciplinary approach. Ambiente Soc, 19(2), 93–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jordan, A. (2008). The governance of sustainable development: Taking stock and looking forwards. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 26, 17–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kenchington, R., Stocker, L., & Wood, D. (Eds.). (2012). Sustainable coastal management and climate adaptation – Global lessons from regional approaches in Australia. Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Klein, R. J. T., Nicholls, R. J., & Mimura, N. (1999). Coastal adaptation to climate change: Can the IPCC technical guidelines be applied? Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 4, 239–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Laukkonen, J., Blanco, P. K., Lenhart, J., et al. (2009). Combining climate change adaptation and mitigation measures at the local level. Habitat International, 33, 287–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lebel, L., Anderies, J. M., Campbell, B., et al. (2006). Governance and the capacity to manage resilience in regional social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society, 11(1), 19.Google Scholar
  29. Lieske, D. J., Wadeb, T., & Ronessa, L. A. (2014). Climate change awareness and strategies for communicating the risk of coastal flooding: A Canadian maritime case example. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 140, 83–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Macintosh, A., Foerster, A., & McDonald, J. (2013). Limp, leap or learn? Developing legal frameworks for climate change adaptation planning in Australia (p. 262). Gold Coast: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility Accessed 23 June 2017.Google Scholar
  31. Magini, C., Harari, J., & Abessa, D. M. S. (2007). Circulação Recente de Sedimentos Costeiros Nas Praias de Santos Durante Eventos de Tempestade: Dados Para a Gestão de Impactos Físicos Costeiros. Geociências – UNESP, 26, 349–355.Google Scholar
  32. Moser, S. C., & Ekstrom, J. A. (2010). A framework to diagnose barriers to climate change adaptation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 22026–22031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Norman, B., Steffen, W., Webb, R., et al. (2013). South East Coastal Adaptation (SECA): Coastal urban climate futures in SE Australia from Wollongong to Lakes Entrance. National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. 130 pp. Accessed 17 Mar 2017.
  34. Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development – OECD. (2002). Governance for sustainable development: Five OECD case studies. OECD, Paris. Introduction: 9–35. Accessed 5 July 2017.
  35. Pidgeon, N. F., & Butler, C. (2009). Risk analysis and climate change. Environmental Politics, 18, 670–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pidgeon, N., & Fischhof, B. (2011). The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks. Nature Climate Change, 1, 35–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Plano Nacional de Adaptação à Mudança do Clima – PNA: Estratégias setoriais e climáticas – Vol. II. (2016). Portaria MMA n°150 de 10 de maio de 2016. Accessed 15 June 2016.
  38. Rosenzweig, C., Solecki, W. D., Blake, R., et al. (2011). Developing coastal adaptation to climate change in the New York City infrastructure-shed: process, approach, tools, and strategies. Climatic Change, 106, 93–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sakai, R. O., Cartacho, D. L., Arasaki, E., et al. (2013). Extreme events assessment methodology coupling debris flow, flooding and tidal levels in the coastal floodplain of the San Paulo North Coast (Brazil). International Journal of Geosciences, 4(5B), 30–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sheaves, M., Sporne, I., Dichmont, C. M., et al. (2016). Principles for operationalizing climate change adaptation strategies to support the resilience of estuarine and coastal ecosystems: An Australian perspective. Marine Policy, 68, 229–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Simões, E., de Sousa Junior, W. C., De Freitas, D. M., et al. (2017). Barriers and opportunities for adapting to climate change on the North Coast of São Paulo, Brazil. Regional Environmental Change, 17(6), 1739–1750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Steffen, W., Hunter, J., & Hughes, L. (2014). Counting the costs: Climate change and coastal flooding. Climate Council of Australia. Accessed 13 May 2017.
  43. Stocker, L., Kennedy, D., Kenchington, R., & Merrick, K. (2012). Sustainable coastal management? Sustainable coastal management and climate adaptation, global lessons from regional approaches in Australia (pp. 29–50p). Australia: CSIRO Publishing.Google Scholar
  44. Teixeira, L. R. (2013). Megaprojetos no litoral norte paulista: o papel dos grandes empreendimentos de infraestrutura na transformacão regional. Tese Doutorado em Ambiente e Sociedade, University of Campinas.Google Scholar
  45. United Nations. (1992). Assessment of the environmental impact of port development – A guide book for EIA of port development. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Chapter II: Environmental impacts for port development: 6–19. Accessed 26 Nov 2016.
  46. Young, O. R. (2002). Institutional interplay: The environmental consequences of cross-scale interactions. In E. Ostrom, T. Dietz, N. Dolsak, P. C. Stern, S. Stonich, & E. U. Weber (Eds.), The drama of the commons (pp. 263–292). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  47. Zanetti, V. B., de Sousa Junior, W. C., & De Freitas, D. M. (2016). A climate change vulnerability index and case study in a Brazilian coastal city. Sustainability, 8, 811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Débora M. de Freitas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Danielle Almeida de Carvalho
    • 1
  • Eduardo Kimoto Hosokawa
    • 2
  1. 1.São Paulo State University (UNESP), Institute of Biosciences, Coastal CampusSão VicenteBrazil
  2. 2.Municipal Government of Santos, Secretariat of Urban DevelopmentSantosBrazil

Personalised recommendations