Climate change and marine fisheries: least developed countries top global index of vulnerability

Blasiak, Robert, Spijkers, Jessica, Tokunaga, Kanae, Pittman, Jeremy, Yagi, Nobuyuki, and Österblom, Henrik (2017) Climate change and marine fisheries: least developed countries top global index of vulnerability. PLoS ONE, 12 (6). e0179632.

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Abstract

Future impacts of climate change on marine fisheries have the potential to negatively influence a wide range of socio-economic factors, including food security, livelihoods and public health, and even to reshape development trajectories and spark transboundary conflict. Yet there is considerable variability in the vulnerability of countries around the world to these effects. We calculate a vulnerability index of 147 countries by drawing on the most recent data related to the impacts of climate change on marine fisheries. Building on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change framework for vulnerability, we first construct aggregate indices for exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity using 12 primary variables. Seven out of the ten most vulnerable countries on the resulting index are Small Island Developing States, and the top quartile of the index includes countries located in Africa (17), Asia (7), North America and the Caribbean (4) and Oceania (8). More than 87% of least developed countries are found within the top half of the vulnerability index, while the bottom half includes all but one of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member states. This is primarily due to the tremendous variation in countries’ adaptive capacity, as no such trends are evident from the exposure or sensitivity indices. A negative correlation exists between vulnerability and per capita carbon emissions, and the clustering of states at different levels of development across the vulnerability index suggests growing barriers to meeting global commitments to reducing inequality, promoting human well-being and ensuring sustainable cities and communities. The index provides a useful tool for prioritizing the allocation of climate finance, as well as activities aimed at capacity building and the transfer of marine technology.

Item ID: 53921
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

© 2017 Blasiak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Nippon Foundation (NF), University of British Columbia, Liber Ero Fellowship, Baltic Ecosystem Adaptive Management Program, Guidance for Resilience in the Anthropocene, Swedish Internation al Development Agency (SIDA), Mistra
Projects and Grants: JSPS KAKENHI Grant 16K18743, JSPS KAKENHI Grant 24121010
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 04:00
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 30%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 40%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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