Environmental Studies

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Risk-based management approaches to climate adaptation depend on the assessment of potential threats, and their causes, vulnerabilities, and impacts. The refinement of these approaches relies heavily on detailed local knowledge of places and priorities, such as infrastructure, governance structures, and socio-economic conditions, as well as scientific understanding of climate projections and trends. Developing processes that integrate local and scientific knowledge will enhance the value of risk-based management approaches, facilitate group learning and planning processes, and support the capacity of communities to prepare for change. This study uses the Vulnerability, Consequences, and Adaptation Planning Scenarios (VCAPS) process, a form of analytic-deliberative dialogue, and the conceptual frameworks of hazard management and climate vulnerability, to integrate scientific and local knowledge. We worked with local government staff in an urbanized barrier island community (Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina) to consider climate risks, impacts, and adaptation challenges associated with sea level rise and wastewater and stormwater management. The findings discuss how the process increases understanding of town officials’ views of risks and climate change impacts to barrier islands, the management actions being considered to address of the multiple impacts of concern, and the local tradeoffs and challenges in adaptation planning. We also comment on group learning and specific adaptation tasks, strategies, and needs identified.

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Climate Risk Management



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Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.