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Title: Assessing the vulnerability of small island developing states to sea-level rise
Authors: Formosa, Saviour
Briguglio, Lino
Moncada, Stefano
Keywords: Spatial analysis (Statistics)
Sea level -- Aerial views
Issue Date: 2017-11-11
Publisher: University of Malta. Islands and Small States Institute
Citation: Formosa, S., Briguglio, L., & Moncada, S. (2017). Assessing the vulnerability of small island developing states to sea-level rise. Occasional Papers on Islands and Small States, 1, 1-33.
Abstract: This paper attempts to estimate the areas that would be inundated as a result of a given degree of sea-level rise (SLR) on thirty-nine Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which are members of the Alliance for Small Island States (AOSIS). For the estimation of the effects of sea-level rise on SIDS we employ a spatial analysis methodology based on 0.5m, 1m, and 2m SLR that would impact on a 1km, 5km and 7km coastal buffer zone. We then use these findings to find which of the 39 SIDS are the most vulnerable to sea-level rise. Our findings indicate that in the 7 SIDS which are found to be most vulnerable to SLR, about three quarter of a million people would be directly affected with a sea-level rise of 1 meter, according to 2015 population data. This amounts to 1.6% of the population living within the 1 km coastal buffer zone. Although information for slopes could not be computed in the analysis due to data limitations, our findings have a number of socio-economic implications, particularly when the coastal area is populated by permanent residents. However, even where no permanent residency occurs on the coast there may still be economic loss due to, among other things, the effect on the beaches and in some instance, water intrusion in economic structures such as those associated with tourism and fisheries. The analysis produced in this paper could also be useful in guiding the donor community as to what hot spots should be prioritized for climate change finance.
ISSN: 10246282
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