Sustainability Science

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 455–476 | Cite as

Regional Risk Assessment addressing the impacts of climate change in the coastal area of the Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia)

  • Jonathan Rizzi
  • Valentina Gallina
  • Silvia Torresan
  • Andrea Critto
  • Slim Gana
  • Antonio MarcominiEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Climate Change Mitigation, Adaption, and Resilience


Sound, cost efficient management strategies in developed coastal zones can be reinforced by a thorough understanding of risks associated with the combination of anthropogenic and natural drivers of change. A Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) methodology was developed for the assessment of the potential impacts of climate change in the Tunisian coastal zone of the Gulf of Gabes. It is based on the use of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis techniques and Geographic Information Systems and is designed to support the development and prioritization of adaptation strategies. The RRA focuses on sea-level rise and storm surge flooding impacts for human and natural systems, i.e., beaches, wetlands, urban areas, agricultural areas, and terrestrial ecosystems. Results suggest that for both of the studied climate change impacts, i.e., sea-level rise and storm surge flooding, the area potentially exposed is limited to a narrow, low elevation region adjacent to the shoreline. However, the exposed areas showed a high relative risk score, obtained by the integration of exposure and susceptibility factors. Beaches have the lowest relative risk scores, while wetlands and terrestrial ecosystems have the higher relative risk scores. The final outputs of the analysis (i.e., exposure, susceptibility, and risk maps) can support end-users in the establishment of relative priorities for intervention and in the identification of suitable areas for human settlements, infrastructure, and economic activities, thus providing a basis for coastal zoning and land-use planning.


Climate change Multi Criteria Decision Analysis Geographic Information System Regional Risk Assessment Coastal zones 



The activities described in this paper were developed in the frame of the CANTICO project, funded under the CIRCLE-MED programme. Additional funding came from the Italian Ministry of Education, University, and Research, and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea under the GEMINA project. Part of the experimental data included in the database was provided by SAROST S.A. (Tunisia). The authors would like to thank Francesco Rianna and Paolo Riccato for data elaboration and representation in GIS and Alex Zabeo and Filippo Corò for the software development. Finally, the authors are grateful to Virginia Burkett for the linguistic revision of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Rizzi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valentina Gallina
    • 2
  • Silvia Torresan
    • 1
  • Andrea Critto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Slim Gana
    • 3
  • Antonio Marcomini
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC)LecceItaly
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and StatisticsUniversity Cà Foscari VeniceVenezia MestreItaly
  3. 3.SAROST S.A, Marine Engineering and Geosciences DivisionTunisTunisia

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