Special Issue "The Role of Coastal Residents in Adapting to Climate Change: Social, Political, Cultural and Economic Dimensions"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Air, Climate Change and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Carmen Elrick-Barr
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD, 4558, Australia
Interests: human-environment interactions; environmental governance; social values; coasts; climate change adaptation, monitoring and evaluation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal zones are at the forefront of climate impacts while also being the locus of human activity and development. While much research attention has been placed on the role and capacity of governance authorities in responding to climate challenges on the coast, coastal residents who are key actors in the adaptation process are less frequently addressed. Coastal residents, however, play an integral role in adaptation which shapes, and is shaped by, institutional, political, economic, social, and environmental conditions. This Special Issue focuses on the ways local coastal residents engage in climate change adaptation. We are interested in papers that address:

  • The role of coastal residents in planning and implementing topical adaptation responses, such as managed retreat;
  • The collaborative governance approaches residents engage in to drive or shape local, regional or national adaptation;
  • The interrelations between hazard management, climate change adaptation, and sustainability-related household responses;

as well as papers that contribute new understanding toward:

  • The nature of household adaptive capacity in coastal communities;
  • The factors affecting household level adaptation decision-making;
  • The processes that facilitate and inhibit adaptation by residents of coastal communities.

Coastal adaptation assessments often treat householders as a unit requiring management—focusing on the policy tools and approaches that can be applied ‘on’ communities to reduce their exposure to climate risks. Coastal residents are, however, autonomous agents capable of change, and this Special Issue particularly invites papers that explore the processes through which coastal residents manage their exposure to climate risks, for example, via direct personal action, collective action, collaborative governance models, and/or other mechanisms to leverage the resources (e.g., political, human, or financial) necessary for adaptation in coastal areas.

Dr. Carmen Elrick-Barr
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • household
  • community
  • coastal management
  • adaptation
  • resilience
  • governance
  • adaptive capacity
  • co-management
  • transformation
  • responsibilization

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Eroding Land and Erasing Place: A Qualitative Study of Place Attachment, Risk Perception, and Coastal Land Loss in Southern Louisiana
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6269; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13116269 - 01 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Southern Louisiana and its coastal bayous are sites of both frequent flooding and rapid coastal land loss, exacerbated by the increasing effects of climate change. Though much work has examined flood risk perceptions in coastal areas, few studies have considered the qualitative and [...] Read more.
Southern Louisiana and its coastal bayous are sites of both frequent flooding and rapid coastal land loss, exacerbated by the increasing effects of climate change. Though much work has examined flood risk perceptions in coastal areas, few studies have considered the qualitative and contextual dimensions of perceptions of coastal land loss and its associated impacts, and how these perceptions relate to local culture, place, and intentions to mitigate personal exposure to risk. We conducted six focus groups in areas with distinct exposure to coastal land loss. Participants expressed strong attachment to community, culture, and place. Personal ties to land loss through family or social connections, experiences with fishing and water-based activities, and indirect impacts on Louisiana’s seafood industry and cuisine provided a lens for understanding the immediate impacts of coastal land loss. Participants felt that exposure to the risks of land loss was inevitable and that mitigation was beyond individual efforts, a feeling that manifested both as pessimism and as a resilient focus on collective action. Considering state history with political corruption, participants generally distrusted state-level mitigation initiatives. These findings shed light on the qualitative dimensions of coastal land loss perceptions in southern Louisiana and their relation to place attachment, mitigation intentions, and sources of risk information. While participants with personal ties to risk report feelings of exposure and inevitability, they are also embedded in communities with strong ties to place. This nuance only complicates the meanings that individuals associate with land loss and the actions that they are motivated to take; impacts of coastal land loss on the landscape and distinct place characteristics of southern Louisiana may lead to significant disruption to identity and well-being, but also provide a pathway for risk awareness and potential motivation of collective mitigation actions. Full article
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Review

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Review
Understanding Preferences for Coastal Climate Change Adaptation: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8594; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158594 - 01 Aug 2021
Viewed by 702
Abstract
Lack of public support for coastal adaptation can present significant barriers for implementation. In response, policy makers and academics are seeking strategies to build public support for coastal adaptation, which requires a deeper understanding of peoples’ preferences for coastal adaptation and what motives [...] Read more.
Lack of public support for coastal adaptation can present significant barriers for implementation. In response, policy makers and academics are seeking strategies to build public support for coastal adaptation, which requires a deeper understanding of peoples’ preferences for coastal adaptation and what motives those preferences. Here, we conduct a systematic literature review to understand preferences for coastal adaptation options and the factors influencing these preferences. Ninety peer-reviewed publications meet the inclusion criteria. The findings revealed that hard protection options were often the most frequently preferred, likely due to a desire to maintain current shoreline, for the protection of recreational spaces and private property, and a perceived effectiveness of hard protection options. Soft protection, including nature-based approaches, accommodation, and no action were the next most preferred options. Finally, retreat options were the least preferred, often due to strong place attachment. We identify twenty-eight factors that could influence preferences, with risk perception, place attachment, and financial considerations occurring most frequently in the literature. In the conclusion, we outline the most significant research gaps identified from our analysis and discuss the implication for adaptation research and practice. Full article
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