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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Research project: Achieving Triple Wins: Identifying Climate Smart Investment Strategies for the Coastal Zone

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This demand-led project aims to support policy makers in making hard choices about resource allocation to achieve climate compatible development. The project involves an assessment of the co-benefits of adaptation and mitigation activities in the coastal zone. It focuses on case studies in four areas off Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Climate change is affecting developing countries, and in most literal states it is affecting the structure and function of coastal areas. In this context national policy makers have to make choices about which development, adaptation and mitigation activities to prioritise and pursue to ensure that impacts and losses are minimised. Despite a need for clarity on the most and least desirable development strategies in the coastal zone, much of the literature on adaptation and mitigation in developing countries has ignored the opportunities and challenges of delivery in coastal areas. Activities that constitute adaptation in the coastal zone broadly include: protection (e.g. building sea walls, hazard shelters), accommodation (e.g. replanting mangroves, early warning systems, land use planning, hazard mapping, vulnerability and capacity assessments) and retreat (i.e. no active management). On the mitigation side, areas for possible emissions reduction can be found in: energy supply, transport, industry, buildings, agriculture, forestry and waste management. Despite the array of actions available to decision makers, there is currently no mobilised population, or readily accessible information to guide them in prioritising action, or in identifying areas with clear co-benefits between adaptation and mitigation.

This project will present the potential co-benefits (and possible damages) from actions that deliver adaptation and mitigation through detailed case studies, supported by a set of policy briefs for national coastal managers, in order to establish an outline proposal for funds to develop an investment planning toolkit. Our focus is on tropical coastal areas in developing countries, particularly those at risk from sea level rise and changes in tropical cyclone intensity.

The project involves partnerships with WWF Latin America and the Caribbean, University of Ghana, LTS International and the Government of Vietnam.

This project is funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)

Related research groups

Global Environmental Change and Earth Observation
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