Symposium on Climate Change and Coastal Zone Management

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018 to Thursday, June 21, 2018

Location: Canada

Registration deadline: Apr 30, 2018
Climate change is known to impact coastal areas in a variety of ways. According to the 5th Assessment Report produced by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), coastal zones are highly vulnerable to climate change and climate-driven impacts may be further exacerbated by other human-induced pressures.

Apart from sea level rise which poses a threat to both human well being and property, extreme events such as cyclones and storm surges lead not only to significant damages to property and infrastructure, but to salt water intrusion, the salinisation of groundwater, and intensification of soil erosion, among many other problems. There are also many negative impacts to the natural environment and biodiversity, which include damages to important wetlands and habitats that safeguard the overall ecological balance, and consequently the provision of ecosystem services and goods on which the livelihoods of millions of people depend.

In particular, the fact that climate change impacts coastal areas in so many different ways means that along with climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, innovative approaches towards coastal zone management are needed. They can assist in reducing the vulnerability and in increasing the resilience of coastal areas. The recent months, characterised by severe hurricanes and tropical storms in North America, the Caribbean and in South Asia show the pressing need to combined coastal zone management and climate change adaptation measures and initiatives.

The above state of affairs illustrates the need for a specialist event where we can not only better understand how climate change affects coastal areas and communities, but also to identification and discuss processes, methods and tools which may help in coastal zone management. There is also a perceived need to showcase successful examples of how to cope with the social, economic and political problems posed by climate change in coastal regions.

It is against this background that this event is being organized by the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, the Research and Transfer Centre “Applications of Life Sciences” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), and the International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP), Samoa. The Symposium will be a truly interdisciplinary event, mobilizing scholars, social movements, practitioners and members of governmental agencies, undertaking research and/or executing climate change projects in coastal areas and working with coastal communities.

The Symposium  will focus on “making coastal areas more resilient to climate change”,  meaning that it will serve the purpose of showcasing experiences from research, field projects and best practice to foster climate change adaptation and coastal zone management in such vulnerable areas and communities, which may be useful or implemented elsewhere.