This paper reports on a dynamic modelling framework for ecosystem-based adaptation planning in a SIDS island context that is focussed on the assessment of coral reef health and resilience under different climate change scenarios, and the consequential economic and human well-being impacts. Port Resolution, Tanna Island was used as a case study to develop, test and model the fringing coral reef, local community and resultant socio-ecological system.
Wave climate variability is important for assessing coastal hazards and inform coastal planners of coastal adaptations needed. We wrote a paper on wave climate variability (link) in the South West of Vanuatu to improve coastal hazard assessments in this region where monitoring data are often absent.
Anticipated sea level rise in coastal regions is expected to worsen the impact of coastal hazards such as erosion, inundation and flooding from storm surges. Accordingly, the resulting impacts on coastal settlements and infrastructure will be widespread. These impacts are particularly critical in small islands as the settlements and infrastructure are mainly located along coastlines with almost no, or very limited relocation options.
Currently, the standard approach to defending buildings and other structures from the rising sea level impacts is through construction of a concrete or rock seawall, or some similar kind of so-called “capital works”. However, these interventions destroy or degrade natural ecosystems. One solution that avoids this problem is to use ecosystems to help reduce the risks from increasing coastal inundation and erosion.