Climate Change Adaptation in Small IslandDeveloping States
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More About This Title Climate Change Adaptation in Small IslandDeveloping States


A groundbreaking synthesis of climate change adaptation strategies for small island states, globally

A wide ranging, comprehensive, and multi-disciplinary study, this is the first book that focuses on the challenges posed by climate change impacts on the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). While most of the current literature on the subject deals with specific regions, this book analyses the impacts of climate change across the Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean, and the African and Indian Ocean regions in order to identify and tackle the real issues faced by all the small island States.

As the global effects of climate change become increasingly evident and urgent, it is clear that the impact on small islands is going to be particularly severe. These island countries are especially vulnerable to rising sea levels, hurricanes and cyclones, frequent droughts, and the disruption of agriculture, fisheries and vital ecosystems. On many small islands, the migration of vulnerable communities to higher ground has already begun. Food security is an increasingly pressing issue. Hundreds of thousands of islanders are at risk. Marine ecosystems are threatened by acidification and higher seawater temperatures leading to increased pressure on fisheries—still an important source of food for many island communities.

The small island developing States emit only small amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Yet many SIDS governments are allocating scarce financial and human resources in an effort to further reduce their emissions. This is a mistake.

Rather than focus on mitigation (i.e., the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) Climate Change Adaptation in Small Island Developing States concentrates on adaptation. The author assesses the immediate and future impacts of climate change on small islands, and identifies a range of proven, cost-effective adaptation strategies. The book:

  • Focuses on the challenges of climate change faced by all of the world’s small island developing States;
  • Provides comprehensive coverage of the latest research into the most likely environment impacts;
  • Uses numerous case studies to describe proven, practical, and cost-effective policies, including disaster management strategies—which can be developed and implemented by the SIDS;
  • Takes a unique, multidisciplinary approach, making it of particular interest to specialists in a variety of disciplines, including both earth sciences and life sciences.

This book is a valuable resource for all professionals and students studying climate change and its impacts. It is also essential reading for government officials and the ministries of the 51 small island developing States, as well as the signatories to the 2015 Paris climate agreement. 


Martin J. Bush, PhD has over thirty years of senior project management experience in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean in the fields of renewable energy, natural resources management, watershed management, disaster preparedness, and climate change adaptation.


Preface xi

Abbreviations and Symbols xiii

1 The Changing Climate 1

Introduction 1

Recent Impacts of Climate Change 6

Reports From the Front Line 8

Future Shock 10

Warming the Oceans 12

Multidimensional Threats 14

References 17

2 Small Island Developing States 19

Meet the SIDS 20

Demography 23

Social Development 24

Economic Vulnerability 24

Climate Change Impacts on Small Islands 27

Coastal Zones: A Clear and Present Danger 28

Coastal Zones: Terrestrial and Intertidal Impacts 30

Coastal Marine Ecosystems 32

Low Elevation Coastal Zones 40

Agriculture 48

Fisheries 49

Food Insecurity 52

Undernourishment in the SIDS 54

Poverty and Climate Change 54

Tourism 56

Freshwater Resources 58

Human Health 59

Climate]driven Migration 60

References 61

3 Adapting to a Changing Climate 65

Ecosystem]based Adaptation 66

Adaptation in Coastal and Marine Environments 67

Marine Protected Areas 72

Three Bays Protected Area in Haiti 75

Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture 90

Conservation Agriculture 92

Rice Production 97

Irrigation 100

Adaptation Technologies for Agriculture 100

Water Resources Management 102

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) 103

Agricultural Water Management (AWM) 105

Rainwater Harvesting and Management 106

Wastewater Treatment and Recycling 108

Reclaimed Water for Agricultural Use 110

Fisheries and Aquaculture 112

Disaster Risk Management 115

Adaptation and Mitigation Synergies 116

References 117

4 Adapting Energy Systems 121

Depending on Energy 122

Access to Electricity 123

Renewable Energy 124

Photovoltaic (PV) Electricity 127

Minigrid Systems 129

Distributed PV Systems 132

Wind Power 134

Solar Water Heaters 136

Hydropower 138

Geothermal Energy 139

Solar Thermal Power 139

Energy Efficiency 140

References 142

5 Managing Adaptation 145

The Key Climate Hazards 145

The Regulatory Framework 150

National Adaptation Programs of Action 151

Financing Adaptation 152

The Green Climate Fund 154

The Adaptation Fund 156

Programme Development 158

Geographical Information Systems 162

References 163

6 Country Profiles 165

American Samoa 165

Anguilla 167

Antigua and Barbuda 168

Aruba 170

Contents ix

The Bahamas 171

Bahrain 173

Barbados 174

Belize 175

British Virgin Islands 176

Cabo Verde 178

Comoros 179

Cook Islands 180

Cuba 181

Dominica 182

Dominican Republic 183

Fiji 184

French Polynesia 186

Grenada 187

Guam 188

Guinea]Bissau 189

Guyana 189

Haiti 190

Jamaica 192

Kiribati 193

Maldives 194

Marshall Islands 195

Mauritius 196

Micronesia, Federated States 197

Montserrat 198

Nauru 199

New Caledonia 200

Niue 201

Northern Mariana Islands 202

Palau 202

Papua New Guinea 203

Puerto Rico 204

Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 205

Samoa 206

Sao Tome and Principe 206

Seychelles 207

Singapore 209

Solomon Islands 210

Suriname 211

Timor]Leste 212

Tonga 213

Trinidad and Tobago 214

Tuvalu 214

US Virgin Islands 215

Vanuatu 216

References 216

Index 219