A commentary on national adaptation drivers: the case of small island developing states

Abstract

This paper comments on the applicability of the global indicators of climate change adaptation policy drivers contained in Berrang-Ford et al. (2014) (Climatic Change, 124(1–2), 441–450. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1078-3) for small island developing states (SIDS). SIDS are a globally recognised ‘special’ case in terms of environment and sustainable development issues as they are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. While acknowledging that the choice of final indicators in the Berrang-Ford et al. (2014) assessment was primarily the function of the results of bivariate analyses with their Adaptation Initiatives Index and that there is no certainty of statistically significant relationships with any measure of adaptation initiatives, this paper proposes the inclusion of a number of predictor variables for a future SIDS-specific quantitative analysis. By doing this, this commentary helps to contribute a more nuanced understanding of potential national adaptation policy drivers in SIDS.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    There is no agreement on the total number of SIDS. The United Nations (UN) does not have an official list of SIDS as it has never established such criteria (UNCTAD 2019). The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) identifies 58 SIDS, but the list is an informal one. Of these 58 countries, 38 are UN Member States and the remaining 20 are not. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) identifies 28 SIDS for analytical purposes (see UNCTAD 2019).

  2. 2.

    The Cook Islands are one of 20 non-UN Member States/Associate Members of the Regional Commissions that are considered a SIDS—SIDS status transcends UN membership and is, thereby, not limited accordingly (see UN-OHRLLS 2015).

References

  1. Adger WN (2006) Vulnerability. Glob Environ Chang 16:268–281. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2006.02.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Adger WN, Agrawala S, Mirza MMQ et al (2007) Climate change 2007: assessment of adaptation practices, options, constraints and capacity. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP et al (eds) Fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 717–743

    Google Scholar 

  3. Angeon V, Bates S (2015) The vulnerability and resilience of SIDS: towards disruptive thinking and new methodological assessment. Paper presented at the forum on the future of the Caribbean. University of the West Indies, Port-of-Spain, May 5–7, 2015

  4. Baptiste AK, Kinlocke R (2016) We are not all the same!: comparative climate change vulnerabilities among fishers in Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica. Geoforum 73:47–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.05.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Berkhin P (2006) A survey of clustering data mining techniques. In: Kogan J, Nicholas C, Teboulle M (eds) Grouping multidimensional data: recent advances in clustering. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 25–71

    Google Scholar 

  6. Berrang-Ford L, Ford JD, Lesnikowski A et al (2014) What drives national adaptation? A global assessment. Clim Chang 124:441–450. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1078-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Betzold C, Mohamed I (2017) Seawalls as a response to coastal erosion and flooding: a case study from Grande Comore, Comoros (West Indian Ocean). Reg Environ Chang 17:1077–1087. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-016-1044-x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Blasiak R, Spijkers J, Tokunaga K et al (2017) Climate change and marine fisheries: least developed countries top global index of vulnerability. PLoS One 12. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179632

  9. Botchway FN (2000) Good governance: the old, the new, the principle, and the elements. Fla J Int’l L 13:159–210 https://bit.ly/2kq8xNc

    Google Scholar 

  10. Briguglio L (1995) Small island developing states and their economic vulnerabilities. World Dev 23:1615–1632. https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750X(95)00065-K

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Briguglio L (ed) (2018) Handbook of small states: economic, social and environmental issues. Routledge, London

    Google Scholar 

  12. Briguglio L, Cordina G, Vella S et al (2010) Profiling vulnerability and resilience: a manual for small states. Commonwealth Secretariat, London

    Google Scholar 

  13. Bush MJ (2018) Climate change adaptation in small island developing states. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester

    Google Scholar 

  14. Casey S (2005) Establishing standards for social infrastructure. https://bit.ly/2LVQ1Jt. Cited June 3, 2018

  15. Chandra A, Gaganis P (2016) Deconstructing vulnerability and adaptation in a coastal river basin ecosystem: a participatory analysis of flood risk in Nadi, Fiji Islands. Clim Dev 8:256–269. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2015.1016884

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. CIESIN (2012) National aggregates of geospatial data collection: population, landscape, and climate estimates, version 3 (PLACE III). https://bit.ly/2INwiO9. Cited November 15, 2015

  17. Dulal HB, Shah KU, Ahmad N (2009) Social equity considerations in the implementation of Caribbean climate change adaptation policies. SSSP 1:363–383. https://doi.org/10.3390/su1030363

    Google Scholar 

  18. Duvat VKE (2011) Coastal quality policies, ICZM implementation and adaptation to change: lessons learnt from the case study of Oléron Island, France. Paper presented at the Littoral 2010 – adapting to global change at the coast: leadership, innovation, and investment. EDP Sciences, London

  19. Duvat VKE, Magnan AK (2017) Hurricanes: rescue natural defences. Nature 550:43. https://doi.org/10.1038/550043b

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Füssel H-M, Klein RJT (2006) Climate change vulnerability assessments: an evolution of conceptual thinking. Clim Chang 75:301–329. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-006-0329-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. GDRC (n.d.) Problems in the small islands environment. https://bit.ly/2INt4dx. Cited November 17, 2014

  22. Ghina F (2003) Sustainable development in small island developing states. Environ Dev Sustainability 5:139–165. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025300804112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Halpern BS, Longo C, Hardy D et al (2012) An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean. Nature 488:615–620. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11397

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Huther J, Shah A (1998) Applying a simple measure of good governance to the debate on fiscal decentralization. https://bit.ly/2JbNjRl. Cited July 27, 2017

  25. IPCC (2014) Annex II: glossary. In: Barros VR, Field CB, Dokken DJ et al (eds) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability part B: regional aspects contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1757–1776

    Google Scholar 

  26. Joseph DD (2017) Social work models for climate adaptation: the case of small islands in the Caribbean. Reg Environ Chang 17:1117–1126. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-017-1114-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Joshi P (2017) When to use linear regression, clustering, or decision trees. https://bit.ly/2IWBnTC. Cited February 25, 2019

  28. Kelman I (2016) Governance of climate change adaptation on small island developing states (SIDS). Climate adaptation governance in cities and regions: theoretical fundamentals and practical evidence. Wiley Blackwell, pp. 355–369

  29. Kelman I (2018) Islandness within climate change narratives of small island developing states (SIDS). Isl Stud J:1–17. https://doi.org/10.24043/isj.52

  30. Kelman I, West JJ (2009) Climate change and small island developing states: a critical review ecological and environmental anthropology. Ecological and Environmental Anthropology 5:1–16 https://bit.ly/2Vh0iDS

    Google Scholar 

  31. Kotzee I, Reyers B (2016) Piloting a social-ecological index for measuring flood resilience: a composite index approach. Ecol Indic 60:45–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.06.018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Kreft S, Eckstein D (2013) Global Climate Risk Index 2014. https://bit.ly/2LjtVEq. Cited August 21, 2014

  33. Lesnikowski AC, Ford JD, Berrang-Ford L et al (2013) How are we adapting to climate change? A global assessment. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change:1–17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-013-9491-x

  34. Liu B, Xia Y, Yu PS (2005) Clustering via decision tree construction. In: Chu W, Young Lin T (eds) Foundations and advances in data mining. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp 97–124

    Google Scholar 

  35. Manning CD, Schütze H (1999) Foundations of statistical natural language processing. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Google Scholar 

  36. Mayer T (2009) Market potential and development. https://bit.ly/2sesoTl. Cited September 30, 2014

  37. McGranahan G, Balk D, Anderson B (2007) The rising tide: assessing the risks of climate change and human settlements in low elevation coastal zones. Environ Urban 19:17–37. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247807076960

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Monnereau I, Mahon R, McConney P et al (2017) The impact of methodological choices on the outcome of national-level climate change vulnerability assessments: an example from the global fisheries sector. Fish Fish 18:717–731. https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12199

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Nott J (2006) Extreme events: a physical reconstruction and risk assessment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  40. Nunn PD (2009) Responding to the challenges of climate change in the Pacific Islands: management and technological imperatives. Clim Res 40:211–231. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00806

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Nurse L, Moore R (2005) Adaptation to global climate change: an urgent requirement for small island developing states. Rev Eur Community Int Environ Law 14:100–107. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9388.2005.00430.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Nurse LA, McLean RF, Agard J et al (2014) Small islands. In: Barros VR, Field CB, Dokken DJ et al (eds) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability part B: regional aspects contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1613–1654

    Google Scholar 

  43. Rey-Valette H, Robert S, Rulleau B (2019) Resistance to relocation in flood-vulnerable coastal areas: a proposed composite index. Clim Policy 19:206–218. https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2018.1482823

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Rhodes RAW (1997) Understanding governance: policy networks, governance, reflexivity and accountability. Open University Press, Buckingham

    Google Scholar 

  45. Robinson S-a (2017a) Climate change adaptation trends in small island developing states. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 22:669–691. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-015-9693-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Robinson S-a (2017b) Mainstreaming climate change adaptation in small island developing states. Clim Dev:1–23. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2017.1410086

  47. Robinson S-a (2018a) Adapting to climate change at the national level in Caribbean small island developing states. Isl Stud J 13:79–100. https://doi.org/10.24043/isj.59

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Robinson S-a (2018b) Climate change adaptation in small island developing states: insights and lessons from a meta-paradigmatic study. Environ Sci Pol 85:172–181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2018.03.030

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Robinson S-a, Dornan M (2017) International financing for climate change adaptation in small island developing states. Reg Environ Chang 17:1103–1115. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-016-1085-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Robinson S-a, Gilfillan D (2017) Regional organisations and climate change adaptation in small island developing states. Reg Environ Chang 17:989–1004. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-016-0991-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Schmutter K, Nash M, Dovey L (2017) Ocean acidification: assessing the vulnerability of socioeconomic systems in small island developing states. Reg Environ Chang 17:973–987. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-016-0949-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Scott-Parker B, Nunn PD, Mulgrew K et al (2017) Pacific Islanders’ understanding of climate change: where do they source information and to what extent do they trust it? Reg Environ Chang 17:1005–1015. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-016-1001-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Seber GAF, Lee AJ (2003) Linear regression analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken

    Google Scholar 

  54. Severin P, Jacobs-Small B (2016) Knowledge, attitude, practices/behaviour (KAP/B) study on climate change: Saint Lucia baseline study 2016. https://bit.ly/2Lx5wHe. Cited April 23, 2017

  55. Shaver L (2007) Defining and measuring access to knowledge: towards an A2K index. https://bit.ly/2IPmtek. Cited November 17, 2014

  56. Smit B, Pilifosova O (2001) Adaptation to climate change in the context of sustainable development and equity. In: Intergovernmental panel on climate change (ed) climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability - contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 877–912

    Google Scholar 

  57. Smit B, Wandel J (2006) Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability. Glob Environ Chang 16:282–292. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2006.03.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Teriman S, Yigitcanlar T, Mayere S (2010) Social infrastructure planning and sustainable community: Example from south east Queensland, Australia. Paper presented at the Business and Social Science Research Conference. World Business Institute Australia, Novotel World Trade Centre, Dubai,

  59. UN-DESA (2018) LDC identification criteria and indicators. https://bitly/2JgoAYI Cited June 3, 2018

  60. UN-OHRLLS (2015) About SIDS: country profiles. https://bit.ly/2LwEUGF. Cited June 18, 2015

  61. UNCTAD (2019) UNCTAD’s unofficial list of SIDS. https://bitly/2E7cC2u Cited February 23, 2019

  62. UNFCCC (2019) National communication submissions from non-annex I parties. https://bit.ly/2Lxb2tF. Cited February 23, 2019

  63. UNGA (1994) Report of the global conference on the sustainable development of small island developing states. https://bit.ly/2VdAVqX. Cited January 2, 2015

  64. United Nations (1992a) Agenda 21. https://bit.ly/1EjqrTs. Cited February 23, 2019

  65. United Nations (1992b) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. https://bit.ly/1BQK8Wg. Cited March 16, 2014

  66. Van Beynen P, Akiwumi FA, Van Beynen K (2018) A sustainability index for small island developing states. Int J Sust Dev World 25:99–116. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504509.2017.1317673

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Warrick O, Aalbersberg W, Dumaru P et al (2017) The ‘Pacific Adaptive Capacity Analysis Framework’: guiding the assessment of adaptive capacity in Pacific Island communities. Reg Environ Chang 17:1039–1051. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-016-1036-x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Waters HR (2000) Measuring equity in access to health care. Soc Sci Med 51:599–612. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00003-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Weis SWM, Agostini VN, Roth LM et al (2016) Assessing vulnerability: an integrated approach for mapping adaptive capacity, sensitivity, and exposure. Clim Chang 136:615–629. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-016-1642-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 16th Annual Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies Conference in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. Conference participants, A/Prof Jamie Pittock at The Australian National University, and anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments. Daniel Ferris proofread the final draft. All views and errors are the author’s own.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Stacy-ann Robinson.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Robinson, Sa. A commentary on national adaptation drivers: the case of small island developing states. Climatic Change 154, 303–313 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02421-w

Download citation