COREDAR: COmmunicating Risk of sea level rise and Engaging stakeholDers in framing community based Adaptation stRategies

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Saleem Khan Amsad Ibrahim Khan1, Robert S Chen1, Alexander M de Sherbinin1, Ramachandran Andimuthu2, Palanivelu Kandasamy2 and Team COREDAR, (1)Columbia University, Centre for International Earth Science Information Network, Pallisades, NY, United States, (2)Anna University, Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Research, Chennai, India
Accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) is a major long term outcome of climate change leading to increased inundation of low-lying areas. Particularly, global cities that are located on or near the coasts are often situated in low lying areas and these locations put global cities at greater risk to SLR. Localized flooding will profoundly impact vulnerable communities located in high-risk urban areas. Building community resilience and adapting to SLR is increasingly a high priority for cities. On the other hand, Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change addresses the importance of climate change communication and engaging stakeholders in decision making process. Importantly, Community Based Adaptation (CBA) experiences emphasize that it is important to understand a community’s unique perceptions of their adaptive capacities to identify useful solutions and that scientific and technical information on anticipated coastal climate impacts needs to be translated into a suitable language and format that allows people to be able to participate in adaptation planning.

To address this challenge, this study has put forth three research questions from the lens of urban community engagement in SLR adaptation, (1) What, if any, community engagement in addressing SLR occurring in urban areas; (2) What information do communities need and how does it need to be communicated, in order to be better prepared and have a greater sense of agency? and (3) How can government agencies from city to federal levels facilitate community engagement and action?. To answer these questions this study has evolved a framework “COREDAR” (COmmunicating Risk of sea level rise and Engaging stakeholDers in framing community based Adaptation StRategies) to communicate and transfer complex climate data and information such as projected SLR under different scenarios of IPCC AR5, predicted impact of SLR, prioritizing vulnerability, etc. to concerned stakeholders and local communities, and to engage them in framing actionable urban CBA adaptation strategies to rising sea-level. Thus, this study seeks to provide insights on communicating risk of climate change (SLR) and to develop a robust picture of urban CBA through effective decision making that are grounded in pressing community priorities in a case study approach.