Evaluating the Effectiveness of Climate Change Adaptations in the World's Largest Mangrove Ecosystem

Pramod K. Singh, Konstantinos Papageorgiou, Harpalsinh Chudasama, Elpiniki I. Papageorgiou
2019 Sustainability  
The Sundarbans is the world's largest coastal river delta and the largest uninterrupted mangrove ecosystem. A complex socio-ecological setting, coupled with disproportionately high climate-change exposure and severe ecological and social vulnerabilities, has turned it into a climate hotspot requiring well-designed adaptation interventions. We have used the fuzzy cognitive maps (FCM)-based approach to elicit and integrate stakeholders' perceptions regarding current climate forcing, consequent
more » ... cing, consequent impacts, and efficacy of the existing adaptation measures. We have also undertaken climate modelling to ascertain long-term future trends of climate forcing. FCM-based simulations reveal that while existing adaptation practices provide resilience to an extent, they are grossly inadequate in the context of providing future resilience. Even well-planned adaptations may not be entirely transformative in such a fragile ecosystem. It was through FCM-based simulations that we realised that a coastal river delta in a developing nation merits special attention for climate-resilient adaptation planning and execution. Measures that are likely to enhance adaptive capabilities of the local communities include those involving gender-responsive and adaptive governance, human resource capacity building, commitments of global communities for adaptation financing, education and awareness programmes, and embedding indigenous and local knowledge into decision making.
doi:10.3390/su11236655 fatcat:zcy427rehbaszeihfwvzlazhl4