Conclusion

The case studies show that climate change and sea level rise are universal problems which affect all coastal countries. Of course, regional specificities modulate the exposure, sensitivity and vulnerability of each region. Different socio-economic, demographic, historic or political contexts lead to different adaptation capacities and strategy choices. It is interesting to observe that adaptation deficits or barriers are often the same in developed and developing countries. A better adaptation capacity and more effective adaptation strategies are therefore not only determined by greater wealth and material or technical capacities, but also by better governance and social capital. Participative approaches to research and action on adaptation has showed to be a very effective method, although it does not always lead to immediate results, but in all cases favours greater resilience and autonomy in dealing with coastal issues and climate change on the part of the communities over the long term.

Mutual learning between communities can favour adaptation capacity by allowing to exchange conclusive experiences, but also failures, and thus gaining a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t, and most importantly why and in which context. The case studies presented here aim at contributing to this exchange of experiences and we will over time add new case studies, when available.