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Strategic adaptation pathway planning to manage sea-level rise and changing coastal flood risk


Ramm, TD and Watson, CS and White, CJ, Strategic adaptation pathway planning to manage sea-level rise and changing coastal flood risk, Environmental Science and Policy, 87 pp. 92-101. ISSN 1462-9011 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2018.06.001


Communities around the world are already committed to future sea-level rise. Long-term adaptation planning to manage associated coastal flood impacts is, however, challenged by uncertainty and contested stakeholder priorities. This study provides a proof of concept for a combined robust decision making (RDM) and dynamic adaptive policy pathways (DAPP) approach in coastal flood risk management. The concept uses model-based support and largely open source tools to help local government plan coastal adaptation pathways. Key steps in the method are illustrated using a hypothetical case study in Australia. The study shows how scenario discovery can provide multi-dimensional descriptions of adaptation tipping points which may inform the development of technical signpost indicators. Transient scenarios uncovered limitations in seemingly robust adaptation policies, where historical path dependencies may constrain the rate of adaptation and the extent to which future coastal flood impacts can be successfully managed. Lived values have the potential to offer insights about non-material social trade-offs that residents may need to accept for the benefit of reduced flood risk, and could form a basis for defining socially-oriented signpost indicators. However, the nuances and subjectivity of lived values means that ongoing engagement with residents is essential as part of a combined RDM and DAPP approach to preserve the communities’ way of life. The learnings from this hypothetical case study suggest that testing in a real world participatory setting could be valuable in further developing a combined RDM and DAPP approach to plan adaptation pathways and manage future coastal flood risk.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adaptation pathway, adaptation tipping point, climate change, coastal flooding, sea level rise, risk, uncertainty, vulnerability
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Natural hazards
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Natural hazards
Objective Field:Natural hazards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ramm, TD (Mr Tim Ramm)
UTAS Author:Watson, CS (Dr Christopher Watson)
UTAS Author:White, CJ (Dr Chris White)
ID Code:126394
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:32
Deposited By:Engineering
Deposited On:2018-06-07
Last Modified:2022-08-29

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