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Sustainability 2012, 4(8), 1908-1932; doi:10.3390/su4081908
Review

Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change in Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Integrating Local and External Knowledge

1
, 2
, 3,*  and 4
1 33 Gravel Close, Downton, Salisbury, SP5 3JQ Wiltshire, UK 2 Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), P.O. Box 1129, Blindern, N-0138 Oslo, Norway 3 UNEP/GRID-Arendal, Postboks 183, N-4802 Arendal, Norway 4 UNEP/GRID-Arendal, 360 Albert Street, Suite 1710, Ottawa, ON K1R 7X7, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 July 2012 / Revised: 6 August 2012 / Accepted: 10 August 2012 / Published: 22 August 2012
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Abstract

Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are vulnerable to climate change impacts including sea level rise, invasive species, ocean acidification, changes in rainfall patterns, increased temperatures, and changing hazard regimes including hurricanes, floods and drought. Given high dependencies in Caribbean SIDS on natural resources for livelihoods, a focus on ecosystems and their interaction with people is essential for climate change adaptation. Increasingly, ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approaches are being highlighted as an approach to address climate change impacts. Specifically, EbA encourages the use of local and external knowledge about ecosystems to identify climate change adaptation approaches. This paper critically reviews EbA in Caribbean SIDS, focusing on the need to integrate local and external knowledge. An analysis of current EbA in the Caribbean is undertaken alongside a review of methodologies used to integrate local and external expertise for EbA. Finally key gaps, lessons learnt and suggested ways forward for EbA in Caribbean SIDS and potentially further afield are identified.
Keywords: adaptation; Caribbean; climate change; ecosystem; local knowledge; Small Island Developing States adaptation; Caribbean; climate change; ecosystem; local knowledge; Small Island Developing States
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Mercer, J.; Kelman, I.; Alfthan, B.; Kurvits, T. Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change in Caribbean Small Island Developing States: Integrating Local and External Knowledge. Sustainability 2012, 4, 1908-1932.

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