Spatial planning in coastal regions: facing the impact of climate change

Isaac Boateng

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This report highlights the core issues of coastal adaptation to climate change and discusses the impacts of climate change on spatial planning in coastal regions. It outlines the objectives of the working group 8.4 and its achievements over the past four years. It also draws members’ attention to FIG’s contributions to the global debate on the issue of climate change and associated sea level rise over the same period. The report focuses on the present and future impacts of climate change on coastal regions and identifies participatory coastal adaptation strategy, which is planned and implemented in advance as a sustainable way of dealing with the problem.

The report brings together technical knowledge and problem solving strategies to aid coastal managers, planners, land professionals, practitioners and academics who are confronted with the problem of coastal adaptation to climate change. It acknowledged the pressure climate change places upon coastal zones and the urgent need for sustainable adaptation strategies to deal with the effects. It identifies the sharing of best practice among practitioners as one of the key strategies for the development of sustainable coastal adaptation. Based on this, the report addresses technical problems on the topic through the use of 15 sets of technical and analytical case studies as examples
of best practice.

The report covers a wide range of related themes. Each theme has a brief outline of the core issues and then uses the case studies to either analysis or provides solution to the problem. The case studies which covers 12 different countries (Figure 2) around the world focuses on a specific coastal problems and tries to highlight the methodologies applied to deal with the problems, the change processes (results) and the lessons learned.

The report provides an insight on the task of addressing the ‘land’ challenge posed by rising sea levels and the complex issues in the coastal zone. It presents holistic coastal adaptation framework (Figure 32) which outlines a step by step processes towards the development of sustainable coastal adaptation project which is based on participation and reliable data on the climate change variables.

The report concludes that, the impacts of climate change are already affecting many coastal regions and SIDS. The impacts are likely to intensify over the next century. There is the need therefore to plan for adaptation now so as to reduce some of the negative future effects of climate change in the coastal zone. It was identified that comparatively, developed countries have technical, institutional and financial capacity for coastal adaptation than developing countries. However, developing countries has less development on vulnerable coastal lands. The report recommended the application of land use planning to avoid the potentially costly and unsustainable “development – risk – protection” cycle by attempting to apply retreat and accommodation adaptation policies to manage the extent to which their populations and economic activities overlap into the most hazardous areas. It also recommended to the FIG to advocate for sustainable coastal land-use planning and adaption in developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
Number of pages60
ISBN (Print)9788790907907
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameFIG publication
ISSN (Print)1018-6530


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