Methodological and Technological issues in Technology Transfer

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15.3.1 Information Development and Awareness Raising

Data collection and information development are essential prerequisites for coastal adaptation. The more relevant, accurate and up-to-date the data and information available, the more targeted and effective adaptation can be. Coastal adaptation requires data and information on coastal characteristics and dynamics, patterns of human behaviour, as well as an understanding of the potential consequences of climate change. It is also essential that there is a general awareness amongst the public and coastal planners and managers of these consequences and of the possible need to act. In countries where the central government has neither the means nor the expertise to address problems in every part of the coast, the information is used most effectively when targeted at the most influential people in the community.

Large-scale global and regional databases exist for a great number of climatic and socio-economic variables relevant to coastal zones. These databases may be accessed and downloaded from the Internet. However, coastal adaptation to climate change cannot rely exclusively on these readily available databases. Table 15.1 lists a number of relevant technologies that can serve to increase the understanding of the coastal system (which involves data collection and analysis), to conduct climate-impact assessment in coastal zones and to raise public awareness. Where appropriate, reference is made to publications that either describe the technology in detail or provide examples of its application. Further information on a broad range of technologies for coastal-system description can be found in Morang et al. (1997a), Larson et al. (1997), Morang et al. (1997b) and Gorman et al. (1998). Bush et al. (1999) described the use of geoindicators for rapid coastal risk assessment, while Capobianco (1999) discussed technologies in relation to integrated coastal zone management.

Table 15.1 Examples (i.e., not an exhaustive list) of important technologies to collect data, provide information and increase awareness for coastal adaptation to climate change
Application Technology Additional Information
Coastal-System Description
  • Coastal topography and
  • Mapping and surveying
  • Birkemeier et al. (1985)
  • Bathymetry
  • Videography
  • Debusschere et al. (1991); Holman et al. (1994); Plant and Holman (1997)
  • Airborne laserscanning (lidar)
  • Lillycrop and Estep (1995); Sallenger et al. (1999)
  • Satellite remote sensing
  • Leu et al. (1999)
  • Wind and wave regime
  • Waverider buoys
  • Morang et al. (1997a)
  • Satellite remote sensing
  • Martinez-Diaz-De-Leon et al. (1999)
  • Tidal and surge regime
  • Tide gauges
  • Pugh (1987)
  • Relative sea level
  • Tide gauges
  • Emery and Aubrey (1991); Woodworth (1991); Gr�ger and Plag (1993); NOAA (1998)
  • Historical or geological methods
  • Van de Plassche (1986)
  • Absolute sea level
  • Satellite remote sensing
  • Baker (1993); Miller et al. (1993); Zerbini et al. (1996); Neilan et al. (1997)
  • Tide gauges, satellite altimetry and global positioning systems
  • Redfern and Williams (1996); Clark et al. (1997); Henderson et al. (1999)
  • Natural values
  • Resource surveys
  • Lipton and Wellman (1995); Turner and Adger (1996)
  • Socio-economic aspects
  • Mapping and surveying
  • Legal and institutional arrangements
  • Interviews, questionnaires
  • Socio-cultural factors
  • Interviews, questionnaires
Climate-Impact Assessment
  • Index-based methods
  • Coastal vulnerability index
  • Hughes and Brundrit (1992); Gornitz et al. (1994); Shaw et al (1998)
  • Sustainable capacity index
  • Kay and Hay (1993); Yamada et al. (1995); Nunn et al. (1994a,b)
  • (Semi-) quantitative methods
  • IPCC common methodology
  • IPCC CZMS (1992); Bijlsma et al. (1996)
  • Aerial-videotape assisted vulnerability assessment
  • Leatherman et al. (1995); Nicholls and Leatherman (1995)
  • UNEP impact and adaptation assessment
  • Klein and Nicholls (1998, 1999)
  • Integrated assessment
  • Coupled models
  • Engelen et al. (1993); Ruth and Pieper (1994); West and Dowlatabadi (1999)
Awareness Raising
  • Printed information
  • Brochures, leaflets, newsletters
  • Audio-visual media
  • Newspapers, radio, television, cinema
  • Interactive tools
  • Board-games
  • Internet, worldwide web
  • Computerised simulation models

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