3.1 The concepts of vulnerability, adaptation and resilience

Authors: Mélinda Noblet et Sebastian Weissenberger

Adaptation to climate change is an important subject that has been discussed in theoretical and practical terms for over 20 years, among others in the IPCC reports. The theoretical approaches to adaptation, as well as vulnerability and resilience, two related concepts, have considerably evolved over that period. Adaptation strategies in coastal zones use techniques that date back centuries, even millennia, but also state-of-the-art techniques made possible by modern technology. It will be important to place the specific techniques in a conceptual framework allowing to plan adaptation by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each adaptation strategy. A comparison of coastal zones around the world reveals under which geographical, climatic, or socio-economic conditions protection, accommodation and retreat, the three main categories of adaptation, will be selected.