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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Climate Change Adaptations in the World’s Largest Mangrove Ecosystem

Pramod K. Singh (), Konstantinos Papageorgiou (), Harpalsinh Chudasama () and Elpiniki I. Papageorgiou ()
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Pramod K. Singh: Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Anand 388001, India
Konstantinos Papageorgiou: Computer Science Department, University of Thessaly, 35100 Lamia, Greece
Harpalsinh Chudasama: Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Anand 388001, India
Elpiniki I. Papageorgiou: Faculty of Technology, University of Thessaly, 41500 Larisa, Greece

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 23, 1-1

Abstract: The Sundarbans is the world’s largest coastal river delta and the largest uninterrupted mangrove ecosystem. A complex socio-ecological setting, coupled with disproportionately high climate-change exposure and severe ecological and social vulnerabilities, has turned it into a climate hotspot requiring well-designed adaptation interventions. We have used the fuzzy cognitive maps (FCM)-based approach to elicit and integrate stakeholders’ perceptions regarding current climate forcing, consequent impacts, and efficacy of the existing adaptation measures. We have also undertaken climate modelling to ascertain long-term future trends of climate forcing. FCM-based simulations reveal that while existing adaptation practices provide resilience to an extent, they are grossly inadequate in the context of providing future resilience. Even well-planned adaptations may not be entirely transformative in such a fragile ecosystem. It was through FCM-based simulations that we realised that a coastal river delta in a developing nation merits special attention for climate-resilient adaptation planning and execution. Measures that are likely to enhance adaptive capabilities of the local communities include those involving gender-responsive and adaptive governance, human resource capacity building, commitments of global communities for adaptation financing, education and awareness programmes, and embedding indigenous and local knowledge into decision making.

Keywords: climate change adaptation; transformative adaptation; limits to adaptation; adaptation barrier; fuzzy cognitive maps; resilience; sustainability; vulnerability; Sundarbans (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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