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Special Issue "Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Rafael D’Almeida Martins

Independent consultant and researcher on climate change adaptation, food security and sustainable development, Maputo, Mozambique
E-Mail
Interests: climate change adaptation; impacts, vulnerability and adaptation; food security; disaster risk reduction; local governance; citizen participation; sustainable development

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The idea of ‘sustainability strategies to adapt to climate change’ highlights that, while adaptation to climate change is increasingly required over the next years and decades, we need to know more about the implications and effects of these strategies. Based on our current knowledge, there is no certainty that our adaptive responses to climate change are sustainable, nor how they are likely to contribute to human well-being and environmental integrity. Previous studies have presented climate change as both a threat and an opportunity for sustainable development. It means that some adaptation strategies can undermine long term principles of sustainable development while others can surely contribute to social and environmental sustainability.

In this special issue, we seek to synthetize discussions and analyses of climate change adaptation experiences and strategies that are socially and environmentally sustainable, contributing to sustainable development as well as responding to climate change. It will include individual and collective measures, policy frameworks and local and community strategies.

Dr. Rafael D’Almeida Martins
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • climate change
  • adaptation
  • impacts
  • food security
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • sustainable adaptation
  • community-based adaptation
  • disaster risk reduction
  • resilient pathways

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Potential Impacts of Climate Change Factors on Freshwater Eutrophication: Implications for Research and Countermeasures of Water Management in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 229; doi:10.3390/su8030229
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 14 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water eutrophication has become one of the most serious aquatic environmental problems around the world. More and more research has indicated climate change as a major natural factor that will lead to the acceleration of eutrophication in rivers and lakes. However, understanding the
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Water eutrophication has become one of the most serious aquatic environmental problems around the world. More and more research has indicated climate change as a major natural factor that will lead to the acceleration of eutrophication in rivers and lakes. However, understanding the mechanism of climate change’s effect on water eutrophication is difficult due to the uncertainties caused by its complex, non-linear process. There is considerable uncertainty about the magnitude of future temperature changes, and how these will drive eutrophication in water bodies at regional scales under the effect of human activities. This review collects the existing international and domestic literature from the last 10 years, discussing the most sensitive factors of climate change (i.e., temperature, precipitation, wind, and solar radiation) and analyzing their interaction with water eutrophication. Case studies of serious eutrophication and algal bloom problems in China are discussed to further demonstrate the conclusion. Finally, adaptation countermeasures and related implications are proposed in order to foster the development of sustainability strategies for water management in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle From Anti-Pollution to Climate Change Risk Movement: Reshaping Civic Epistemology
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14574-14596; doi:10.3390/su71114574
Received: 9 June 2015 / Revised: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
PDF Full-text (732 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
From the perspective of reflexive governance, this study probes into the transformative capacity and roles of government and civil society, and aims to determine how the authoritative developmental neo-liberalism state was challenged by civil society in democratization from the end of the 1980s,
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From the perspective of reflexive governance, this study probes into the transformative capacity and roles of government and civil society, and aims to determine how the authoritative developmental neo-liberalism state was challenged by civil society in democratization from the end of the 1980s, when it encountered a crisis of governance legitimacy. By analyzing the anti-petrochemical movement of the recent two decades, this paper recognizes the important historic line, and proposes that without innovative governance, a regime of expert politics with hidden and delayed risk will result in higher degrees of mistrust and confrontational positions by the public. In contrast to the government, local and civil societies are growing through the anti-pollution appeals of simple group protests into systematic and robust civic knowledge and strategic action. By administrative, legislative, judicial, and risk statement paths, such strategic mobilizations break through authoritative expert politics and reshape new civic epistemology. The process of reflexive governance is extremely radical. When two parties cannot commit to dealing with a high degree of mistrust, they will not be able to manage the more dramatic threat of climate change. Fundamentally speaking, a robust civil society will be an important driving power competing with government, in terms of constructing innovative governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Measuring Resilience to Natural Hazards: Towards Sustainable Hazard Mitigation
Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 14153-14185; doi:10.3390/su71014153
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 1 October 2015 / Accepted: 7 October 2015 / Published: 20 October 2015
PDF Full-text (3337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Measuring resilience to natural hazards is a central issue in the hazard mitigation sciences. This paper applied a confirmatory factor methodology to operationalize the biophysical, built-environment, and socioeconomic resilience dimensions for local jurisdictions in large urban metropolitan areas in South Korea. Mapping the
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Measuring resilience to natural hazards is a central issue in the hazard mitigation sciences. This paper applied a confirmatory factor methodology to operationalize the biophysical, built-environment, and socioeconomic resilience dimensions for local jurisdictions in large urban metropolitan areas in South Korea. Mapping the factor scores of the dimensions revealed great spatial variations. The factor covariances showed a trade-off relationship between natural infrastructure and human activities. A hierarchical cluster analysis was used to classify the localities into heterogeneous groups with respect to the identified resilience dimensions. Densely developed and affluent urban areas tend to lack biophysical resilience. Some local governments, sorted into the same groups, turn out to be located in different metropolitan areas. The spatial variation and inequality in the resilience dimensions suggest the necessity of integrated and flexible governance for sustainable hazard mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle A Process for the Implementation of New Renewable Energy Systems in a Building by Considering Environmental and Economic Effect
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12870-12890; doi:10.3390/su70912870
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 20 August 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1068 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The excessive use of fossil fuels has led to global warming and air pollution. To solve these problems, interest in new renewable energy system (NRE system) has increased in recent years. In particular, photovoltaic, solar thermal heating, fuel cell and ground source heating
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The excessive use of fossil fuels has led to global warming and air pollution. To solve these problems, interest in new renewable energy system (NRE system) has increased in recent years. In particular, photovoltaic, solar thermal heating, fuel cell and ground source heating system are actively implemented for achieving the zero energy building. Since the initial investment cost of the NRE system is quite expensive, it is necessary to conduct a feasibility study from the life cycle perspective. Therefore, this study aimed to develop the process for the implementation of NRE system in a building for the optimal design. This study was conducted with four steps: (i) establishing the basic information for the system installation; (ii) selecting key factors affecting system performances; (iii) making possible alternatives of the system installation; and (iv) selecting optimal system by considering environmental and economic effect. The proposed process could enable the final decision-maker to easily and accurately determine the optimal design of the NRE systems from the economic and environmental efficiency in the early design phase. The process could also be applied to any other NRE system and could be extended to any other country in the global environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Extremes in Central Europe: A Case Study in a Rural Area in the Czech Republic
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12758-12786; doi:10.3390/su70912758
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 23 August 2015 / Accepted: 8 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The primary objective of this paper is to analyse households’ adaptation measures to the impacts of repeated extreme weather events, specifically floods, which belong amongst the most serious manifestation of ongoing climate change in Europe. The case study focuses on a rural area
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The primary objective of this paper is to analyse households’ adaptation measures to the impacts of repeated extreme weather events, specifically floods, which belong amongst the most serious manifestation of ongoing climate change in Europe. The case study focuses on a rural area in the north-east part of the Czech Republic, in the catchment basin of the Bečva River. A total of 605 households were addressed within the framework of the questionnaire survey. On the basis of the conducted research, we determined that the total amount of adaptation measures adopted by those dwelling in residential homes within the investigated catchment area was relatively low. In contrast, however, one of the most important adaptation measures—house elevation—was applied by 46.94% of the houses (up to 1 m) and by 21.16% houses (elevated more than 1 m) respectively. We also found that the amount and scope of adaptation measures realized by households were influenced by certain socio-demographic factors of the inhabitants. The most statistically significant factors included households with more residents or families with more children living in the household, as well as those with a higher level of education. Flood experience, the level of damage, and individual flood risk perception also played an important role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Prioritizing Climate Change Adaptations in Canadian Arctic Communities
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9268-9292; doi:10.3390/su7079268
Received: 23 February 2015 / Revised: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 16 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Arctic regions are experiencing the most rapid climate change globally and adaptation has been identified as a priority across scales. Anticipatory planning to adapt to the impacts of climate change usually follows a number of steps: assess current and future vulnerability, identify potential
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Arctic regions are experiencing the most rapid climate change globally and adaptation has been identified as a priority across scales. Anticipatory planning to adapt to the impacts of climate change usually follows a number of steps: assess current and future vulnerability, identify potential adaptations, prioritize options, implement prioritized options, and monitor and evaluate implementation. While most of these steps are well documented, there has been limited examination of the process of adaptation prioritization in Arctic communities. In this paper, we build upon existing tools and propose a framework for prioritizing adaptation options and guiding decision-making for implementation in Arctic regions. Using four adaptation performance criteria (timescale, equity, sustainability and total costs) to evaluate options through a multi-criteria decision analysis coupled with a network centric approach, our Adaptation Prioritization Framework promotes a participatory approach for adaptation prioritization and planning. We illustrate application of the framework using a hypothetical example from the territory of Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Can Resilience Thinking Inform Resilience Investments? Learning from Resilience Principles for Disaster Risk Reduction
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9048-9066; doi:10.3390/su7079048
Received: 17 February 2015 / Revised: 22 June 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (894 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the human and financial costs of natural disasters rise and state finances continue to deplete, increasing attention is being placed on the role of the private sector to support disaster and climate resilience. However, not only is there a recognised lack of
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As the human and financial costs of natural disasters rise and state finances continue to deplete, increasing attention is being placed on the role of the private sector to support disaster and climate resilience. However, not only is there a recognised lack of private finance to fill this gap, but international institutional and financing bodies tend to prioritise specific reactive response over preparedness and general resilience building. This paper utilises the central tenets of resilience thinking that have emerged from scholarship on social-ecological system resilience as a lens through which to assess investing in disaster risk reduction (DRR) for resilience. It draws on an established framework of resilience principles and examples of resilience investments to explore how resilience principles can actually inform decisions around DRR and resilience investing. It proposes some key lessons for diversifying sources of finance in order to, in turn, enhance “financial resilience”. In doing so, it suggests a series of questions to align investments with resilience building, and to better balance the achievement of the resilience principles with financial requirements such as financial diversification and replicability. It argues for a critical look to be taken at how resilience principles, which focus on longer-term systems perspectives, could complement the focus in DRR on critical and immediate stresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Adaptation Strategies and Resilience to Climate Change of Historic Dwellings
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3695-3713; doi:10.3390/su7043695
Received: 4 February 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Historic city centres have a large amount of dwellings in Europe, which were built to provide a comfortable shelter with the absence of mechanical means. The knowledge of climate responsive design strategies can play a significant role in reducing the energy demand of
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Historic city centres have a large amount of dwellings in Europe, which were built to provide a comfortable shelter with the absence of mechanical means. The knowledge of climate responsive design strategies can play a significant role in reducing the energy demand of extant buildings, paving the way for its sustainable development in the face of the rising threat to its occupants of climate change. The residential architecture, developed, in most cases, in dense urban centres, was built using both available materials and traditional and academic construction technologies. This paper thoroughly investigates the extant urban conglomerate in Cádiz and analyses, in a qualitative and quantitative manner, which bioclimatic design strategies were applied and the city’s adaptation for future climate scenarios. The results indicate that historic housing in Cádiz is creatively adapted to the local natural conditions by means of a combination of climate responsive strategies, and there is significant scope for improvement in the ongoing response to global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Conceptual Framework for Assessing the Sustainability of Forest Fuel Reduction Treatments and Their Adaptation to Climate Change
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3571-3591; doi:10.3390/su7043571
Received: 8 December 2014 / Revised: 10 March 2015 / Accepted: 20 March 2015 / Published: 26 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Applying fuel reduction treatments (FRTs) to forested landscapes can alleviate undesirable changes in wildfire benefits and costs due to climate change. A conceptual framework was developed for determining the preferred FRTs across planning periods, adapting FRTs to future climate change, assessing the
[...] Read more.
Applying fuel reduction treatments (FRTs) to forested landscapes can alleviate undesirable changes in wildfire benefits and costs due to climate change. A conceptual framework was developed for determining the preferred FRTs across planning periods, adapting FRTs to future climate change, assessing the sustainability of adaptive responses to climate change, and evaluating the validity of the two premises motivating this issue of Sustainability. The conceptual framework: (1) accounts for uncertainty about future climate change and its effects on management objectives for FRTs; (2) employs biophysical simulation and mental models to estimate the management objectives for FRTs; (3) uses fuzzy TOPSIS to determine the preferred FRTs for climate futures; (4) employs the minimax regret criterion to identify the preferred FRT for each planning period; (5) determines the best strategy for adapting FRTs to future climate change; and (6) assesses landscape sustainability when using the preferred FRTs. The framework is demonstrated with constructed examples for adapting FRTs to climate change for privately- and publicly-owned forested landscapes. Based on the conceptual framework, current knowledge does not allow determining with certainty whether managers’ adaptations of FRTs to future climate change are sustainable or unsustainable due to type I and II decision errors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)

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