Publication - Rethinking the Limits of Climate Change Adaptation

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Rethinking the Limits of Climate Change Adaptation
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Ma. Laurice Jamero, Miguel Esteban, Christopher Chadwick & Motoharu Onuki
Published in
June 2019
This paper considers the potential extent of adaptation to sea level rise by examining the adaptation of communities in low-lying Philippine islands that flood during spring tides.

Sea level rise poses a serious threat to small island developing states. Although communities at risk are already implementing various strategies to address it, a lack of case studies prevents them from understanding the potential extent of adaptation.

This paper tackles this gap by examining the case of low-lying islands in the Philippines that become flooded during spring tides as a result of earthquake-induced land subsidence. Its findings show that, while development problems constrain communities’ adaptive capacity, people’s outlook on their future may ultimately determine the limits of adaptation.