Responding to the local challenges of global climate change in the 21st Century, InterSecTions no. 7/2009:
This publication looks at the social impacts of global climate change and examines how people living in the low elevation coastal zones are adapting to global sea level rise in living spaces increasingly hit by sea-born hazards like storm surges, hurricanes and floods forcing them to find strategies to cope with these environmental threats. It argues that this is a multiple scale challenge affecting local communities in their efforts to mitigate, cope with and adapt to the unprecedented form and pace of change, and asserts that for many coastal populations, migration has become one means of adaptation and survival.
It includes five case studies from Tuvalu, the Mekong delta in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Alaska, and the US Gulf Coast, which do not only serve as vivid mementos that (forced) displacement is already happening, but they also illustrate the versatility of geographical and socioeconomic settings of its occurrence. The analysis is not restricted to the risks directly occurring in the coastal zones; it also includes social, economic and cultural impacts in the inland regions of the countries affected.