There is unequivocal scientific consensus that the changes brought by climate change are already occurring and will intensify in the future, likely resulting in significant alteration of coastal ecosystems, coastal hazards, and lifestyle changes for fishers, coastal resource users, waterfront property owners and coastal communities. These have far-reaching impacts for coastal resource managers on a wide range of challenges. Dramatic efforts are needed to guide increasingly proactive and adaptive actions to benefit human and natural ecosystems alike for present and future generations.
Putting a coastal climate “lens” onto coastal management activities is a key aspect of mainstreaming climate change adaptation. While addressing coastal hazards has been a long term commitment within many of CRC’s coastal management programs, the foundation of the current work is, “Adapting to Coastal Climate Change: A Guidebook for Development Planners,” which was developed under the SUCCESS Program through the leadership of the Global Climate Change Team and the Water and Coastal Team of the USAID Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade.
In the current phase of SUCCESS, coastal climate change adaptation tools and methodologies—drawing from much that is included in the Guide—will be formalized into training modules and delivered in multiple regions (primarily SUCCESS regions) to coastal practitioners, governments, and donor agencies (including USAID Missions). This builds upon training that URI conducted under the first five years of SUCCESS to introduce many of the strategies and measures included in the Guide to those who are designing programs, with the goal of helping them add a “climate” lens to both the designs and their implementation.
The SUCCESS climate change adaptation team continues to refine the Guide and related materials based on its experience using it in training and based on input from those who are applying the tools on-the-ground. The team is also completing a regional demonstration effort in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), where the State Department and USAID have partnered to demonstrate the applicability of the tools and methods presented in the Guide.