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Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change in Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Integrating Local and External Knowledge

  • Jessica Mercer


    (33 Gravel Close, Downton, Salisbury, SP5 3JQ Wiltshire, UK)

  • Ilan Kelman


    (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), P.O. Box 1129, Blindern, N-0138 Oslo, Norway)

  • Björn Alfthan


    (UNEP/GRID-Arendal, Postboks 183, N-4802 Arendal, Norway)

  • Tiina Kurvits


    (UNEP/GRID-Arendal, 360 Albert Street, Suite 1710, Ottawa, ON K1R 7X7, Canada)

Registered author(s):

    Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are vulnerable to climate change impacts including sea level rise, invasive species, ocean acidification, changes in rainfall patterns, increased temperatures, and changing hazard regimes including hurricanes, floods and drought. Given high dependencies in Caribbean SIDS on natural resources for livelihoods, a focus on ecosystems and their interaction with people is essential for climate change adaptation. Increasingly, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approaches are being highlighted as an approach to address climate change impacts. Specifically, EbA encourages the use of local and external knowledge about ecosystems to identify climate change adaptation approaches. This paper critically reviews EbA in Caribbean SIDS, focusing on the need to integrate local and external knowledge. An analysis of current EbA in the Caribbean is undertaken alongside a review of methodologies used to integrate local and external expertise for EbA. Finally key gaps, lessons learnt and suggested ways forward for EbA in Caribbean SIDS and potentially further afield are identified.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1908-1932

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2012:i:8:p:1908-1932:d:19606
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    1. Guanghua Wan & Amelia U. Santos-Paulino, 2008. "Introduction," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(10), pages 1273-1276, October.
    2. Michele Daly & Namouta Poutasi & Filomena Nelson & Jude Kohlhase, 2010. "Reducing the climate vulnerability of coastal communities in Samoa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 265-281.
    3. D. King & A. Skipper & W. Tawhai, 2008. "Māori environmental knowledge of local weather and climate change in Aotearoa – New Zealand," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 90(4), pages 411-412, October.
    4. Raffaele Vignola & Bruno Locatelli & Celia Martinez & Pablo Imbach, 2009. "Ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change: what role for policy-makers, society and scientists?," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 14(8), pages 691-696, December.
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