To provide better insights on the little known issue of quantifying potential climate change-driven environmental risk, this article presents a stepwise approach to quantify coastline recession-driven risk associated with the tourism service provided by the Trincomalee beaches, dunes and pelagic system (Indian Ocean) along the East coast of Sri Lanka in 2110. To achieve this, the authors first estimated the loss value of the tourism service due to sea level rise (SLR) and storm induced erosion in 2110, by using economic valuation techniques followed by a scenario-based approach.
This is followed by the quantification of the environmental risk value by combining the result of the aforementioned loss value with the exceedance probability of coastal erosion derived from a prior study. Results show a medium environmental risk value ranging from 0 to 11,000 US$/Ha of beach area due to complete beach loss by 2110. This indicates that SLR and storm induced erosion in 2110 is not likely to pose a very high environmental risk associated with the tourism service of ecosystems in Trincomalee coasts. The approach presented in this study can be directly applied in other coastal areas of interest to gain a better understanding of the likely costs of climate change driven environmental risk, which is an emerging topic in coastal zone management.