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Löser, N.. Indikatoren als Hilfsmittel zur Messung der Anpassungsfähigkeit an den Klimawandel. In: Schernewski, G., Glaeser, B., Scheibe, R., Sekścińska, A., Thamm, R. (eds.). Coastal Development: The Oder estuary and beyond. Coastline Reports (8), pp. 203-211. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


Indicators as a tool to measure the adaptability to climate change

Climate change is a big issue today – in everyday life, in science as well as in governance. Due to the rising sea level and the increase of storm risks coastal regions belong to the most vulnerable areas in Europe. Water, health, tourism as well as biodiversity and nature conservation are identified as climate-sensitive sectors of coastal regions in Germany. The highest risk factor is water, especially flooding (Zebisch et al. 2005). All sectors require adaptation strategies to diminish the effects of climate change. Therefore, it is necessary that adaptation to the impacts of climate change is part of sustainability strategies of coastal regions. To get an overview if and how concepts of coastal development include adaptation strategies, indicator sets of the international, European, national and regional level have been analysed. The analysis focusses on indicators for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) aiming to measure the conditions of coastal regions, of developments and interventions. The results show that climate change is a topic of ICZM indicator sets but mostly ecological consequences and impacts of climate change are covered. Except for coastal protection almost no types of adaptation measures to climate change are used in ICZM indicator sets at present. In case of the regional problem portfolio of the Oder estuary region developed by Hoffmann (2007) regional experts considered the indicator “awareness against risks / coping capacity” as resonable but not applicable. A high expenditure of time and human resources would be necessary to operate with this indicator. To intensify the awareness against climate change and to enhance the development of adaptation strategies, information and communication between stakeholders, decision makers, scientists and public have to be improved.

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