The South America region is particularly vulnerable to climate change and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, which threatens its economic and sustainable development, according to a study.
The region is making climate adaptation its priority mainly because 6 per cent of its population is living at low-lying coasts and exposed to sea-level rise and ENSO events.
The study reviewed South America’s recent and present coastal adaptation practices which focuses on socioeconomic and vulnerabilities, links between adaptation and sustainable development, adaptation constraints.
The two case studies of coastal adaptation in Venezuela and Uruguay show that non-structural adaptations, such as community-based ones can improve residents perception of risk and thus overcoming the sense of urgency to climate threats.
The study finds that the link between public policies and climate adaptation is weak. Although many Latin American countries have formulated climate change adaptation policies, the problem lies in poor implementation and compliance of these policies, the study says.
The reason for the poor implementation of climate actions stems from the government’s view of climate change as an environmental problem rather than a development one.
According to the study that there is insufficient support to coastal adaptation despite observations of the growing risk of sea-level rise and threats from El Niño events in short to medium term.
The study recommends that a critical regional strategy should be to prioritise adaptation to current climate threats that is El Niño events and Sea-level rise that should go with mitigation, sustainable and efficient use of natural resources.
To read the entire study, click on the link below:
Alicia Villamizar, Maria E. Gutiérrez, Gustavo J. Nagy, Ruben M. Caffera & Walter Leal Filho (2016): Climate adaptation in South America with emphasis in coastal areas: the state-of-the-art and case studies from Venezuela and Uruguay, Climate and Development, DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2016.1146120