Reconciling development and conservation under coastal squeeze from rising sea level

Mills, Morena, Leon, Javier X., Saunders, Megan I., Bell, Justine, Liu, Yan, O'Mara, Julian, Lovelock, Catherine E., Mumby, Peter J., Phinn, Stuart, Possingham, Hugh P., Tulloch, Vivitskaia J.D., Mutafoglu, Konar, Morrison, Tiffany, Callaghan, David P., Baldock, Tom, Klein, Carissa J., and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2016) Reconciling development and conservation under coastal squeeze from rising sea level. Conservation Letters, 9 (5). pp. 361-368.

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Among the biggest global challenges for policymakers is the development of land use policies robust to climate change impacts. While diverse fields can inform adaptation, integrated social-ecological assessment of the multiple adaptation options are rare and cannot be easily applied. Here, we build on past studies by undertaking an integrated fine scale and strategic allocation of sea level rise (SLR) adaptation options that can direct policy making. We use models of probabilistic SLR inundation, urban growth, and sub- and intertidal ecosystem migration, to investigate the impacts of different SLR adaptation strategies, and how these can be allocated to best achieve both development and conservation goals. Coastal adaptation will involve trade-offs among development and conservation objectives and these will vary based on the extent to which sea levels rise. There will be trade-offs between conservation objectives regardless of the adaptation options chosen, however, retreat does provide opportunities for enabling the expansion of coastal ecosystems inland. Local governments can save billions of dollars and minimize political conflict between conservation and development goals through integrated strategic spatial planning. Our planning approach both informs policy and is transferable to other coastal regions faced with a rising sea.

Item ID: 48447
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: climate change; planning; priority setting; adaptation; retreat; managed realignment; defend
Additional Information:

2015 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License [], which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC SuperScience grant FS100100024, ARC SuperScience grant FS110200005
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 00:15
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4408 Political science > 440805 Environmental politics @ 80%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 10%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440703 Economic development policy @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 40%
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