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Article

Climate Change Adaptation on Small Island States: An Assessment of Limits and Constraints

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Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management”, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Ulmenliet 20, D-21033 Hamburg, Germany
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Department of Natural Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6BH, UK
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Cooperative Research and Extension, College of Micronesia-FSM, Yap Campus, Colonia, Yap FM 96943, Micronesia
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Department of Management, Chester Business School, University of Chester, Chester CH1 4BJ, UK
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Instituto de Ecología y Ciencias Ambientales IECA, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo 11200, Uruguay
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School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
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School of Law and Society, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD 4556, Australia
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University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7005, Australia
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Institute of Ocean, Islands and Sustainable Development, Solomon Islands National University (SINU), Ranadi Campus, Honiara P.O. Box R113, Solomon Islands
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Live and Learn Tonga, Level 1, Tungi Colonnade, Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu 966, Tonga
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Climate Change and International Cooperation Division, The Ministry of Economy, Suva 11462, Fiji
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School of Science & Technology, The University of Fiji, Lautoka 4245, Fiji
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School of Energy, Construction & Environment, Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
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Center for Geopolitical and Strategic Studies & Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
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Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
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School of Urban and Regional Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
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Foundations and Prior Learning Unit, Department of Physics, The University of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad 724, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies
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Centre for Food Security Studies, College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa 150129, Ethiopia
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Department of Geography, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Achilleas Samaras and Ali Dastgheib
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(6), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9060602
Received: 10 March 2021 / Revised: 21 April 2021 / Accepted: 11 May 2021 / Published: 31 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Risk and Adaptation in Small Islands)
Small Island States (SIDS) are among the nations most exposed to climate change (CC) and are characterised by a high degree of vulnerability. Their unique nature means there is a need for more studies focused on the limits to CC adaptation on such fragile nations, particularly regarding their problems and constraints. This paper addressed a perceived need for research into the limitations of adaptation on SIDS, focusing on the many unique restrictions. To this end, the study identified and described the adaptation limits they have by using a review of the literature and an analysis of case studies from a sample of five SIDS in the Caribbean and Pacific regions (Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga). This research’s findings showed that an adaptable SIDS is characterised by awareness of various values, appreciation and understanding of a diversity of impacts and vulnerabilities, and acceptance of certain losses through change. The implications of this paper are two-fold. It explains why island nations continue to suffer from the impacts of CC and suggest some of the means via which adequate policies may support SIDS in their efforts to cope with the threats associated with a changing climate. This study concluded that, despite the technological and ecological limits (hard limits) affecting natural systems, adaptation to CC is limited by such complex forces and societal factors (soft limits) that more adequate adaptation strategies could overcome. View Full-Text
Keywords: limits; adaptation; small island developing states; impacts; sustainable development; policy-making limits; adaptation; small island developing states; impacts; sustainable development; policy-making
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leal Filho, W.; Krishnapillai, M.; Sidsaph, H.; Nagy, G.J.; Luetz, J.M.; Dyer, J.; Otoara Ha’apio, M.; Havea, P.H.; Raj, K.; Singh, P.; Rogers, T.; Li, C.; Boodhan, M.K.; Wolf, F.; Yayeh Ayal, D.; Azadi, H. Climate Change Adaptation on Small Island States: An Assessment of Limits and Constraints. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9, 602. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9060602

AMA Style

Leal Filho W, Krishnapillai M, Sidsaph H, Nagy GJ, Luetz JM, Dyer J, Otoara Ha’apio M, Havea PH, Raj K, Singh P, Rogers T, Li C, Boodhan MK, Wolf F, Yayeh Ayal D, Azadi H. Climate Change Adaptation on Small Island States: An Assessment of Limits and Constraints. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2021; 9(6):602. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9060602

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leal Filho, Walter, Murukesan Krishnapillai, Henry Sidsaph, Gustavo J. Nagy, Johannes M. Luetz, Jack Dyer, Michael Otoara Ha’apio, Peni H. Havea, Kushaal Raj, Priyatma Singh, Tom Rogers, Chunlan Li, Monica K. Boodhan, Franziska Wolf, Desalegn Yayeh Ayal, and Hossein Azadi. 2021. "Climate Change Adaptation on Small Island States: An Assessment of Limits and Constraints" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9, no. 6: 602. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9060602

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