Marine Science Faculty Publications

A Globally Deployable Strategy for Co-Development of Adaptation Preferences to Sea-Level Rise: the Public Participation Case of Santos, Brazil

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Adaptation preferences, Brazil, Climate change, METROPOLE Project/Belmont Forum, Participatory approach, Santos, Sea-level rise

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Sea-level rise (SLR) poses a range of threats to natural and built environments in coastal zones around the world. Assessment of the risks due to exposure and sensitivity of coastal communities to coastal flooding is essential for informed decision-making. Strategies for public understanding and awareness of the tangible effects of climate change are fundamental in developing policy options. A multidisciplinary, multinational team of natural and social scientists from the USA, the UK, and Brazil developed the METROPOLE Project to evaluate how local governments may decide between adaptation options associated with SLR projections. METROPOLE developed a participatory approach in which public actors engage fully in defining the research problem and evaluating outcomes. Using a case study of the city of Santos, in Brazil, METROPOLE developed a method for evaluating risks jointly with the community, comparing ‘no-action’ to ‘adaptation’ scenarios. At the core of the analysis are estimates of economic costs of the impact of floods on urban real estate under SLR projections through 2050 and 2100. Results helped identify broad preferences and orientations in adaptation planning, which the community, including the Santos municipal government, co-developed in a joint effort with natural and social scientists.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Natural Hazards, v. 88, issue 1, p. 39-53