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Climate change impacts on rural poverty in low-elevation coastal zones

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  • Barbier,Edward B.

Abstract

This paper identifies the low-elevation coastal zone populations and developing regions most vulnerable to sea-level rise and other coastal hazards, such as storm surges, coastal erosion, and salt-water intrusion. The focus is on the rural poor in the low-elevation coastal zone, as their economic livelihoods are especially endangered directly by coastal hazards and indirectly through the impacts of climate change on key coastal and near-shore ecosystems. Using geo-spatially referenced malnutrition and infant mortality data for 2000 as a proxy for poverty, this study finds that just 15 developing countries contain over 90 percent of the world?s low-elevation coastal zone rural poor. Low-income countries as a group have the highest incidence of poverty, which declines somewhat for lower-middle-income countries, and then is much lower for upper-middle-income economies. South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa account for most of the world?s low-elevation coastal zone rural poor, and have a high incidence of poverty among their rural low-elevation coastal zone populations. Although fostering growth, especially in coastal areas, may reduce rural poverty in the low-elevation coastal zone, additional policy actions will be required to protect vulnerable communities from disasters, to conserve and restore key coastal and near-shore ecosystems, and to promote key infrastructure investments and coastal community response capability.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbier,Edward B., 2015. "Climate change impacts on rural poverty in low-elevation coastal zones," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7475, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7475
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kirsten Halsnæs & Morten Andreas Dahl Larsen & Per Skougaard Kaspersen, 2018. "Climate change risks for severe storms in developing countries in the context of poverty and inequality in Cambodia," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 94(1), pages 261-278, October.

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    Keywords

    Population Policies; Regional Economic Development; Wetlands; Coastal and Marine Environment; Rural Poverty Reduction;

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