UNESCO/IHE - Drawing the line on coastline recession risk

UNESCO/IHE - Drawing the line on coastline recession risk

Climate change and the growth of coastal communities will significantly increase the socioeconomic risks associated with coastline recession (i.e. long term net landward movement of the coastline). Coastal setback lines are a commonly adopted management/planning tool to mitigate these risks. While it is widely recognized that planning decisions should be risk-informed, setback lines are presently determined using deterministic methods that cannot be related to considerations regarding the tolerability of risks. UNESCO-IHE, in partnership with international and Dutch researchers, have recently developed a risk assessment approach for quantifying the risk posed by coastline recession and show how it can be used to derive economically optimal setback lines. The approach has been demonstrated at Narrabeen Beach, Sydney, Australia, and indicates that the presently adopted deterministic methods of defining setback lines may lead to economically sub-optimal stringent land-use planning decisions.

Locations: Australia, Sri Lanka
Contact: Roshanka Ranasinghe (r.ranasinghe@unesco-ihe.org)

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