Vulnerability of Coastal Communities

Tim R. McClanahan and Joshua E. Cinner

in Adapting to a Changing Environment

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199754489
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918843 | DOI:
Vulnerability of Coastal Communities

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  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology


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This chapter examines key components of social vulnerability to changes in the flow of goods and services from marine systems. This chapter builds on existing national-scale studies of vulnerability to climate change by drilling down to explore both local and national scale indicators of vulnerability to key impacts of climate change. The chapter compares indicators of sensitivity and adaptive capacity across the region to reveal that the considerable spatial variability in how Indian Ocean societies will be affected by, and take advantage of opportunities provided by climate change. Importantly, national-scale measures of vulnerability may not necessarily reflect the local-scale situations in coastal societies. Also, there is considerable intra-country variation in key components of vulnerability. Strategies to reduce vulnerability will have to understand which components of adaptive capacity can be increased and which aspects of sensitivity can be reduced based on existing strengths and weaknesses in these areas.

Keywords: adaptive capacity; local-scale; sensitivity; vulnerability

Chapter.  5813 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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