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Adapting to a Changing EnvironmentConfronting the Consequences of Climate Change$
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Tim R. McClanahan and Joshua Cinner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199754489

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754489.001.0001

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Linking Social, Ecological, and Environmental Systems

Linking Social, Ecological, and Environmental Systems

(p.100) 8 Linking Social, Ecological, and Environmental Systems
Adapting to a Changing Environment

Tim R. McClanahan

Joshua E. Cinner

Oxford University Press

Across the western Indian Ocean, coastal communities vary dramatically in social, ecological, and environmental conditions, with profound implications for resource management and climate change adaptation policies. This chapter develops a framework for understanding key local contextual conditions related to how vulnerable coastal societies are to climate change based on an integrated assessment of environmental exposure, ecosystem conditions, and social adaptive capacity. Critically, this information can be used to prioritize pragmatic, local-scale conservation and adaptation actions. The current emphasis on the creation of large fisheries closures to build ecological resilience and minimize climate change impacts is most likely to be successful in regions where high adaptive capacity and low exposure intersect. Other regions will require more focus on moderate resource-use restrictions and enhancing adaptive capacity.

Keywords:   adaptive capacity, climate change, framework, conservation, protected area, vulnerability

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