Technological Options for Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Zones


  • Richard J. T. Klein
  • Robert J. Nicholls
  • Sachooda Ragoonaden
  • Michele Capobianco
  • James Aston
  • Earle N. Buckley


Protect, retreat, accommodate, sea-level rise, coastal zone management.


Many different technologies exist to adapt to natural coastal hazards. These technologies can also play an important part in reducing vulnerability to climate change in coastal zones. Technologies are available to develop information and awareness for adaptation in coastal zones, to plan and design adaptation strategies, to implement them, and to monitor and evaluate their performance. This paper briefly describes these four steps and provides important examples of technologies that can be employed to accomplish them. In addition, it identifies three trends in coastal adaptation and associated technology use: (i) a growing recognition of the benefits of "soft" protection and of the adaptation strategies retreat and accommodate, (ii) an increasing reliance on technologies to develop and manage information, and (iii) an enhanced awareness of the need for coastal adaptation to be appropriate for local natural and socio-economic conditions.