Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer

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15.3.3 Implementation

Once all options for coastal adaptation have been considered and the optimal strategy has been selected and designed, implementation is the next stage. As stated before, an adaptation strategy to sea-level rise can comprise one or more options that fall under the three broad categories protect, retreat and accommodate. Table 15.2 provides an overview of these options and technologies. In addition to the subdivision between protect, retreat and accommodate, there are various other ways to classify or distinguish between adaptation strategies, both in generic terms (e.g., Smit, 1993; Burton, 1997; Klein and Tol, 1997; Smit et al., 1999) and for coastal zones (e.g., Kay et al., 1996; Pope, 1997).

Table 15.2 Examples (i.e., not an exhaustive list) of important technologies to protect against, retreat from or accommodate sea-level rise and other coastal impacts of climate change (see also NRC, 1987; IPCC CZMS, 1990; Bijlsma et al., 1996)
Application Technology Additional Information
o Hard structural options o Dikes, levees, floodwalls o Pilarczyk (1990); Silvester and Hsu (1993)
o Seawalls, revetments, bulkheads
o Groynes
o Detached breakwaters
o Floodgates and tidal barriers o Gilbert and Horner (1984); Penning-Rowsell et al. (1998)
o Saltwater-intrusion barriers o Sorensen et al. (1984)
o Soft structural options o Periodic beach nourishment o Delft Hydraulics and Rijkswaterstaat (1987); Davison et al. (1992); Stauble and Kraus (1993)
o Dune restoration and creation o Vellinga (1986); Hallermeier and Rhodes (1988)
o Wetland restoration and creation o NRC (1992; 1994); Boesch et al. (1994); Tri et al. (1998)
o Indigenous options o Afforestation o McLean et al. (1998); Mimura and Nunn (1998)
o Coconut-leaf walls
o Coconut-fibre stone units
o Wooden walls
o Stone walls
(Managed) Retreat
o Increasing or establishing set-back zones o Limited technology required o NRC (1990); Kay (1990); Caton and Eliot (1993); OTA (1993)
o Relocating threatened buildings o Various technologies o Rogers (1993)
o Phased-out or no development in susceptible areas o Limited technology required o OTA (1993)
o Presumed mobility, rolling easements o Limited technology required o Titus (1991, 1998)
o Managed realignment o Various technologies, depending on location o Burd (1995); English Nature (1997); French (1997; 1999)
o Creating upland buffers o Limited technology required o Kaly and Jones (1998)
o Emergency planning o Early-warning systems o Burkhart (1991); Haque (1995, 1997); Rosenthal and 't Hart (1998)
o Evacuation systems o Parker and Handmer (1997); Rosenthal and 't Hart (1998)
o Hazard insurance o Limited technology required o Davison (1993); OTA (1993); Crichton and Mounsy (1997); Clark (1998)
o Modification of land use and agricultural practice o Various technologies (e.g., aquaculture, saline-resistant crops), depending on location and purpose  
o Modification of building styles and codes o Various technologies o FEMA (1986, 1994, 1997)
o Strict regulation of hazard zones o Limited technology required o May et al. (1996)
o Improved drainage o Increased diameter of pipes o Titus et al. (1987)
o Increased pump capacity o Titus et al. (1987)
o Desalination o Desalination plants o Ribeiro (1996)

To date, the assessment of possible response strategies has focused mainly on protection. Bijlsma et al. (1996) noted the need to identify and evaluate the full range of options listed in Table 15.2. The range of appropriate options will vary amongst and within countries, and different socio-economic sectors may prefer conflicting adaptation options for the same area. This is one of the reasons why adaptation to climate change would best take place within the framework of integrated coastal zone management (Section 15.2.2). Another important issue is that successful adaptation involves more than just technological options. Technological options can only be implemented effectively in an appropriate economic, institutional, legal and socio-cultural context (Klein and Tol, 1997).

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