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Assessing

Coastal Vulnerability
DEVELOPING A GLOBAL INDEX
FOR MEASURING RISK

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Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk

Contents
List of Figures and Tables ......................................................................................................................................... i
List of Acronyms ...................................................................................................................................................... ii
Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................................................... iv
Foreword ................................................................................................................................................................. v
Major Findings ........................................................................................................................................................ vii
1.

Background ................................................................................................................................................. 1

2.

Study Objectives .......................................................................................................................................... 3

3.

Current Global Coastal Monitoring Activities ................................................................................................ 4

4.

Data and Methods ...................................................................................................................................... 9
4.1
Data ................................................................................................................................................. 9
4.2
Methods ......................................................................................................................................... 10

5.

The Driving Force-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) Framework and the Global Coastal Zone ....... 14
5.1
Driving forces affecting coastal and marine ecosystems .............................................................. 14
5.2
Pressures affecting coastal and marine ecosystems ...................................................................... 19
5.3
State indicators of coastal and marine ecosystems ...................................................................... 20
5.4
Impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems ................................................................................. 31
5.5
Response indicators of coastal and marine ecosystems ............................................................... 33

6.

Coastal Vulnerability .................................................................................................................................. 35
6.1
Current work on a Coastal Vulnerability Index ................................................................................. 35
6.2
Vulnerability indicators .................................................................................................................... 37
6.2.1 Exposure indicators ............................................................................................................. 38
6.2.2 Coping capacity indicator .................................................................................................. 38
6.3
The most vulnerable coastal countries ........................................................................................... 39

7.

Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................ 44

8.

References ................................................................................................................................................ 46

9.

Appendix 1a: Data used in Coastal Vulnerability Assessment in Developed Countries .............................. 50

10.

Appendix 1b: Data used in Coastal Vulnerability Assessment in Developing Countries ............................. 51

11.

Appendix 1c: Data used in Coastal Vulnerability Assessment in Small Island Developing States ............... 53

12.

Special Supplement: The Asian Tsunami Disaster, 26th December 2004 ................................................... 54

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Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk

List of Figures and Tables
Figures
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 10
Figure 11
Figure 12
Figure 13
Figure 14
Figure 15
Figure 16
Figure 17
Figure 18

Night-time satellite image ................................................................................................................ 1
Framework of the Coastal Ocean Observation Panel (COOP) ......................................................... 5
IGBP core projects ............................................................................................................................ 5
DPSIR model for Assessing Coastal Vulnerability ............................................................................. 11
Data analysis procedure ................................................................................................................ 12
Population density trends in the coastal zone, by continent (people/km2) ..................................... 16
Ratio of people living in coastal areas compared to inland .......................................................... 18
Population pressure in global coastal zones ................................................................................... 19
Land cover distribution in global coastal zones .............................................................................. 21
Percentage distribution of land cover in coastal zones, by continent ............................................ 22
Percentage distribution of area of biodiversity hotspots in coastal zones, by continent ................. 24
Bleached coral image ................................................................................................................... 26
Global annual mean surface temperature anomalies (ºC) ........................................................... 27
Greenhouse effect ......................................................................................................................... 27
Global average sea-level rise, 1900-2100 ..................................................................................... 31
Vanishing islands ............................................................................................................................ 32
Percentage of protected areas in coastal zones, by continent ..................................................... 33
Maldives space shuttle image ....................................................................................................... 43

Tables
Table 1
Table 2
Table 3
Table 4
Table 5
Table 6
Table 7
Table 8
Table 9
Table 10
Table 11
Table 12a
Table 12b
Table 12c
Table 13

Population estimates in coastal zones by various sources .............................................................. 15
Population pressure and distribution in top 10 countries ................................................................. 16
Comparison of population density in coastal zones and total land area ...................................... 20
The 10 most populous cities in the coastal zones of the world ....................................................... 20
Coastal zone land cover distribution in top 10 countries ................................................................ 23
Percentage of each hotspot and its protection status within the coastal zones ............................. 25
Percentage distribution of areas of transboundary hotspots in global coastal zones ..................... 26
Reported windstorm and tidal wave incident distribution in top 10 countries (1900-1999) ............. 28
Reported windstorm and wave/surge incident casualties in top 10 countries (1900-1999) ............ 29
Surface topography and the proportion of coastline of selected coastal communities ............... 30
Current work on the Coastal Vulnerability Index .............................................................................. 36
Vulnerability in global coastal zones – Developed countries .......................................................... 40
Vulnerability in global coastal zones – Developing countries ......................................................... 41
Vulnerability in global coastal zones – Small Island Developing States ........................................... 43
A comparison between the Coastal Vulnerability Index produced by this study and the
FAO index on vulnerability to sea-level rise ..................................................................................... 45

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Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk

Regional and Global Vulnerability of Coastal Zones to Climate Change and Sea-level Rise DIVA Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment DPSIR Driving Force-Pressure-State-Impact-Response EEA European Environmental Agency ENSO El Niño Southern Oscillation EPA U.List of Acronyms AVHRR Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer BPOA Barbados Programme of Action CI Conservation International CNIE Committee for the National Institute for the Environment C-GOOS Coastal Global Ocean Observing System COOP Coastal Ocean Observation Panel COP Coastal Ocean Programme CPACC Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change CVI Coastal Vulnerability Index CZM Coastal Zone Management DEM Digital Elevation Model DINAS_COAST Dynamic and Interactive Assessment of National.S. Environmental Protection Agency EROS Earth Resource Observation Systems EVI Economic Vulnerability Index FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations GDP Gross Domestic Product GEF Global Environment Facility GIEWS Global Information and Early Warning System GIS Geographical Information Systems GISS Goddard Institute for Space Studies GIWA Global International Water Assessment GLOBEC Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics GOOS Global Ocean Observing System GPA Global Programme of Action GRID Global Resource Information Database GVA Global Vulnerability Assessment HDI Human Development Index HOTO Health of the Ocean ICSU International Council for Science ICZM Integrated Coastal Zone Management IFRC International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies IGBP International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IUCN World Conservation Union JGOFS Joint Global Ocean Flux Study ii4 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .

S. Foreign Disaster Assistance/Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters OECD Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development PAGE Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems PSR Pressure-State-Response RAP Retreat. Protect RSP Regional Seas Programme SIDS Small Island Developing States SLR Sea-Level Rise SOFIA State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture SOPAC South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission SST Sea Surface Temperature SURVAS Synthesis and Upscaling of Sea-level Rise Vulnerability Assessment Studies UNAC United Nations Association in Canada UNCSD United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNEP United Nations Environment Programme USGS United States Geological Survey VMAPO Vector Map Level 0 WCMC World Conservation and Monitoring Centre WMO World Meteorological Organisation WRI World Resources Institute 5 iii Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . Accommodate.LMR Living Marine Resources LOICZ Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone MA Millennium Ecosystem Assessment MRC Munich Reinsurance Company NAS National Academy of Sciences NDVI Normalised Difference Vegetation Index NIMA U. National Imagery and Mapping Agency NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration OFDA/CRED Office of U.S.

Public Works and Water Management). Dr. The support provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U. Gilian Cambers (University of Puerto Rico). Bill Boyd (Southern Cross University). Elizabeth Khaka and Salif Diop and Patrick M’mayi (UNEP). Martin Adriaanse. Assistant Prof. Kim Giese (USGS) for her excellent job in producing maps. Geological Survey (USGS) is gratefully acknowledged. Yves Henocque (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea). Jane Smith and Nazmul Hossain (Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Goonetilake (Texas A&M International University). Annie Muchai.S.Acknowledgements Our special thanks to the following individuals and organisations who assisted us in the preparation of this report by providing data. Beth Ingraham for Proof reading and Audrey Ringler for the design and layout of the report. iv 6 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . Jeffery Danielson. Russel Arthurton and Hartwig Kremer (Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone) and Craig Pratt (South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission) for their valuable comments and data. Dr. Robbert Misdorp (CZM-Centre/The Netherlands Ministry of Transport. Rebecca Johnson for her skillful editing. Eric Wolanski (Australian Institute of Marine Science). R. graphics and the report. Isabel Martinez. Mark Ernste. comments and reviews: Dr. Eugene Fosnight.

an undersea earthquake measuring 9. waves. tidal surges and rising sealevels than those who live inland. and the coping capacities of coastal communities. This area is also home to forests.0 on the Richter scale occurred off the northwest coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. Almost since the dawn of mankind. The earthquake precipitated one of the worst disasters of modern times. the CVI provides only a rough indication of these parameters. wetlands and biodiversity hotspots covering about 42% of the coastal zone. as giant tsunamis crashed onto the coastlines of the Indian Ocean Rim Countries. in terms of population pressure. and to develop a preliminary Coastal Vulnerability Index. land cover.Foreword Bernard Wahihia / UNEP History shows a long and intrinsic relationship between coastal areas and human habitation. fragile ecosystems and the causes of their vulnerability. geographic exposure. In order to address this degradation. as coastal populations continue to grow – often with few defences against the forces of nature. This UNEP study attempts to achieve four primary objectives: to provide an overview of current global coastal monitoring activities. it is important to understand the status and distribution of coastal populations. to assess the impacts of human activities and environmental threats on coastal and marine environments. including satellite remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems. On December 26th 2004. developing and small island developing states have high population concentrations in coastal areas. 7 v Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . Today. However. A reliable assessment of the current status of the global coastal environment is long overdue. and wreaking devastation on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Six of those cities are located in developing countries. Coastal population density and the ratio of people living in coastal areas compared to those living inland reveals that over 85% of developed. habitable coastal zones have been key areas of population concentration and human interaction. The major constraint has been a widespread lack of accurate and timely data at the global level. recent advances in spatial datagathering and processing techniques. and future analyses will become more reliable as more data is made available. Nine of the world’s ten most densely populated cities are also found in coastal areas. People who live in coastal areas are relatively more exposed to windstorms. have started to assist the scientific community in overcoming these constraints. of which five are in Asia. A Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) produced for each country shows its relative vulnerability based upon its exposure to natural hazards and its individual coping capacity. the probability of natural hazards. This event testified to the growing vulnerability of coastal communities. causing massive losses of human life and infrastructure. Climate change and anthropogenic factors have been the primary causes for the increasing degradation of coastal ecosystems. land cover. they are among the most densely populated regions in the world. at this stage. The analysis shows that about 41% of the global population lives in coastal areas that constitute roughly 7% of the Earth’s total habitable land area. However. It is estimated that nearly 19 million people live within two kilometres of the affected coastal areas. to apply a Driving Force-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework to assess the dynamic relationship between socio-economic and environmental indicators in coastal zones. The analysis also shows that coastal zones occupy about 19% of the global landmass.

I trust that the results of this assessment will serve to increase public awareness about the vulnerability of coastal
zones, based upon the most reliable scientific information available, as well as catalysing policy options to
mitigate the future vulnerability of inhabited coastal zones. It is our intention that this document will provide a
vital first step for identifying adaptive response options at national levels within an Integrated Coastal Zone
Management (ICZM) framework.

Klaus Toepfer
United Nations Under-Secretary General
and Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme

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Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk

Major Findings

Approximately 41% of the global population is concentrated in the coastal zone, which is defined as the
area within 100km of the coastline.

The average population density in the coastal zone has increased from 77 people per km2 in 1990 to
87 people per km2 in 2000. Current projections put this figure at 99, 115 and 134 people per km2 in 2010,
2025 and 2050 respectively.

Nine of the world’s 10 most densely populated cities are located in the global coastal zone. Five of these
cities (Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Calcutta and Bombay) are in Asia, while two (Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires)
are in South America. Seven of the 10 most densely populated coastal cities are in developing countries.

The global coastal zone covers 19.2% of the Earth’s total land mass, of which only 7.6% is habitable (the
remainder is either barren, snow/or ice-covered, or closed forest).

An estimated 42% of coastal lands are covered with forests. According to the study, more than 50% of the
coastal areas of Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil comprise forest cover. Many other countries, including China
and India, have much lower proportions of coastal forest, as much of their coastal areas have been
cleared for agricultural activities or settlement (55% of China’s coastline and 47.5% of India’s).

Designated protected areas occupy only 10.5% of the global coastal zone. Of these, an estimated 29%
is forest, 10% barren, snow- or ice-covered land, 8.6% grassland, 2.1% cultivated land, and 10% water.

Conservation International has identified 25 ‘biodiversity hotspots’ around the world, 23 of which are at
least partially within the coastal zone. On average, only 8.5% of the coastal hotspots fall within designated
protected areas. The geographical extent of these hotspots highlights the need for regional approaches
to coastal ecosystem management. Of the 23 hotspots that extend into the coastal zone, 14 fall within
the borders of some 58 countries. These transboundary hotspots are largely concentrated in Asia, the
Caribbean, Africa and South America.

The five most vulnerable coastlines in small island developing states are those in the Maldives, the
Seychelles, Barbados, Bahamas and Fiji. The five most vulnerable developing country coastlines are in
Bangladesh, China, India, the Philippines and Mauritania. In developed countries, the most vulnerable
coastlines are in Denmark, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium.

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Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk

Coastal zones have long been key areas for population concentration. 2000. polluting pristine habitats and accelerating land-use conflicts (Brodie. Africa shows very little light due to its widespread lack of electricity.gov/apod/image/0011/earthlights_dmsp_big. In particular.jpg Figure 1: The Earth at Night This night-time satellite image shows the imprint of human settlement on the world. such events have come to interest decision-makers and conservationists as well as the general public. Furthermore. volcanic activity. The impacts of vegetation clearance. hurricanes and storm surges. Shi and Singh. fisheries and other resources. WRI. social interaction and oceanic travel. al. al. waves. tidal surges and floods has become more visible. Demand for coastal and marine resources is increasing rapidly as coastal areas become more developed (NOAA Coastal Ocean Programme. Source: http://antwrp. Sachs et. As the impact of natural processes such as storms. The bright spots are the lights emitted from towns. the scientific evidence is mounting that high population densities and the expansion of urban areas into wildlife habitats and wetland areas are rapidly degrading the coastal environment. The effects of changes in coastal environments have not been limited to the coastal zone. They also contribute significantly to many countries’ economies through the provision of employment. there are growing indications that global warming and its consequences – rising sea levels and more frequent storms – pose a very real and imminent threat to our coastlines (IPCC. Pilz and Traub. they represent some of the most densely populated regions in the world (Sachs et. They provide valuable natural resources and protect people and land from the often devastating effects of oceanic weather. Studies indicate that climate change and Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk 11 1 . Background Coastal environments are of crucial importance to all living organisms because they contain some of the world’s most productive ecosystems. 1995. cities. freshwater and terrestrial habitats that support a rich variety of indigenous fauna. Today.nasa. 1997). changes in atmospheric conditions in recent years have increased the occurrence of floods. as well as vegetation with a high biological diversity. 1997). Coastal environments comprise marine. 2003). the processes have received a corresponding increase in attention. 2001. Man’s relationship with coastal areas dates back over countless millennia. 2001.1. and waterways for navigation and the transportation of goods. 2000). and other areas of human activity. However. 2001). In recent years. The findings of recent research show that human actions have profound impacts upon coastal zones (NOAA. Krishnamoorthy. and manmade pollution all have regional and global implications. 1995. and caused a notable rise in the warming of global land and water areas (Viles and Spencer.gsfc. 2001). rising sea surface temperatures.

The dynamic relationship between these indicators can best be explained using the Driving Force-Pressure-StateImpact-Response (DPSIR) framework. two recent developments in spatial information technologies offer the potential to make such a global assessment feasible. historical aerial photography. and reduced freshwater quality. there have been no coordinated assessment efforts to understand human vulnerability in the coastal zone at the global level. The societal responses to address these problems should include strategies to mitigate these impacts: research into sources of coastal vulnerability. The main constraints have been the limited availability of accurate and timely data on coastal environments. The key questions that the study attempts to answer are: • What are the main driving forces that affect coastal environments? • What are the main pressures on global coastal zones? • What is the current status of these primary coastal issues? • Which coastal countries are the most vulnerable. coastal overcrowding. and why? 2 12 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . and increasing populations are pressure indicators. Activities affecting the environment such as agricultural expansion into wetlands. The second involves advances in spatial data processing technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and image processing with affordable high-powered computers. The impacts of these indicators are clearly visible today in many coastal regions. and the vulnerability of coastal populations to environmental threats. land cover and use. These developments make it possible to model such changes at varying levels of temporal and spatial detail. and the means to assess the current situation and the impact of corrective measures. and published socio-economic data. city expansion. To date. Utilising new spatial information techniques and currently available global data-sets. water quality degradation. including land cover changes. incentives to reduce greenhouse gases. it is important to understand the status and spatial distribution of coastal populations. The first is access to extensive spatial data-sets for environmental assessment derived from sources such as satellite remote sensing. Socio-economic and environmental factors are the main driving forces that put pressure on coastal areas. Modelling human vulnerability to environmental change is clearly vital in order to understand regional and global ecosystem responses to climate change. the impacts of cities. rising temperatures and sea levels. coral bleaching. this study sets out to accomplish two primary goals: to assess the current status of global coastal populations and selected environmental issues. These include forest excisions. the over-exploitation of resources. State indicators show the observable changes resulting from these pressures.anthropogenic factors have been the major causes of coastal system degradation. and the lack of modelling tools for analysing environmental changes and their impact on people and coastal ecosystems. the declaration of protected areas. groundwater pollution. In order to address these problems. Fortunately. soil erosion. and to evaluate human vulnerability to environmental threats in the global coastal zone.

and producing coastal zone (100km) data-sets from global data-sets. especially in developing countries and small island developing states. • The study demonstrates the use of GIS and remote sensing capabilities in deriving land cover information at the global level. waves and tidal surges was evaluated using global coastline data and surface topography. • To increase public awareness of coastal zone vulnerability issues. the probability of natural hazards. using GIS and remote sensing techniques. As well as national policymakers. The research has been designed to help such bodies develop global perspectives on coastal vulnerability. The report should be used as a stimulus for identifying adaptive response options at the national level. This project contributes to the broader knowledge base of coastal zones in several ways: • The study examines the key factors of the DPSIR model and linkages affecting coastal environments. The study research focuses on the vulnerability of people living in coastal areas to population pressures. Instead. it is hoped that the study will provide useful guidance to international agencies and cross-border bodies working in the area of coastal management and conservation. land cover. • It uses several global data-sets to derive information to assess the current status of people and their living environments in the coastal zone. and the coping capacities of communities. geographic exposure. as a first step towards assessing the relative vulnerability of global coastal communities to environmental threats. Rising sea levels at local and regional levels may have significant impacts on coastal lowland regions around the world. • The project has drawn up a preliminary Coastal Vulnerability Index for 117 selected countries. within an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) framework. • To apply the DPSIR framework in order to assess the dynamic relationship between the different (socio-economic and environmental) indicators. • To work towards the development of a preliminary Coastal Vulnerability Index as a proof of the concept. • To assess the impacts of human activities and environmental threats on coastal and marine environments in terms of population pressure. as well as improving understanding of the spatial distribution of risk at national and local levels. Study Objectives The main objectives of this study are: • To provide an overview of some of the current global coastal monitoring activities.2. the effects of relative sea-level rises could not be directly included in the vulnerability index due to the coarse resolution of elevation and sea-level rise data used in this study. this research attempts to develop a preliminary index for assessing the relative vulnerability of coastal communities to environmental threats. However. With the long-overdue nature of a global-level assessment of coastal vulnerability. land cover changes. we believe it will prove a useful step in raising awareness of coastal vulnerability and providing a basis for more in-depth examination by concerned coastal nations. and natural hazards. Although the index produced here does not accommodate the full range of threats faced by coastal zones. 13 3 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . based upon the latest accurate scientific information. geographic exposure to sea-level rises and to storms.

14 4 Just as the coastal environment is a complex system.html). more than 140 countries participate in at least one RSP. In November 2001. priorities and resources which will lead to the prevention reduction. UNEP’s RSP also provides a solid platform for the regional implementation of global conventions and programmes to safeguard the coastal environment. The Global International Water Assessment (GIWA) was initiated to provide up-to-date information on water resources. UNEP provides a global framework for cooperation between individual RSPs.ch/regionalseas/index. as required by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its partners. There are currently 17 regional seas covered by action plans or their equivalents. and habitat destruction and alteration.org/water/regseas/regseas. designed to achieve significant environmental benefits at national.unep. and the following year the UN General Assembly designated UNEP as the lead agency in its implementation. persistent organic pollutants. namely sewage. 13 of which are supported by Regional Seas Conventions or other protocols. biological and geological observations with Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . Approximately 100 governments attended the meeting.gpa. chemical. The overall objective of GIWA is: “To develop a comprehensive strategic assessment that may be used by GEF and its partners to identify priorities for remedial and mitigatory actions in international waters. so is it prone to a complex array of problems. as requested by UNEP’s 22nd Governing Council in February 2003. and strengthening cooperative efforts to monitor and assess the marine and coastal environments (www. The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment underlined the importance of the seas and marine life to the future of humanity. GIWA also undertakes strategic ecological assessments of transboundary waters and analyses policy options in order to provide pertinent scientific advice to decision-makers and water managers. such as the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the protection of the marine environment from land-based activities. The GPA was adopted by 108 governments and the European Community in 1995. as well as to its recovery from the impacts of land-based activities. including coastal waters.org/about/default. The integration of physical. nutrients. The main aim was to link coastal nations together in a common commitment to mitigate and prevent further degradation of the world’s coastal areas. litter. The first attempt to address coastal and marine issues in a coordinated manner began with UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme (RSP) in 1974. Canada hosted the first intergovernmental review of the GPA in Montreal. and the critical role of respective RSPs in facilitating coordination was highlighted. with a special focus on international water boundaries.htm). Altogether. at which the central role of national governments in implementing the GPA was reaffirmed. radioactive substances. and is designed to assist States in taking actions individually or jointly within their respective policies.” The programme’s final chapter provides specific guidance to states and regional organisations concerning actions for addressing particular sources of land-based pollution. The RSP is currently embarking on new strategic directions.unep. in-shore and open waters ( http://www. heavy metals. Current Global Coastal Monitoring Activities In response to mounting evidence of the deterioration of the coastal zone – together with growing appreciation of its critical importance to human existence – there have been several global actions initiated by international bodies.net/) GIWA assesses key issues and problems facing the aquatic environment.giwa. and in some cases a programme secretariat.htm).unep. The urgent need to integrate coastal resource management and coastal zone protection with river basin management was also emphasised (www. control and /or elimination of the degradation of the marine environment. In addition to comprehensive assessments of international water issues. The GPA commits signatory countries to “prevent the degradation of the marine environment from land-based activities by facilitating the realisation of the duty of States to preserve and protect the marine environment. regional and global levels. Addressing these problems requires a broad range of institutions working on different coastal issues in a coordinated manner.” (www. oils (hydrocarbons).3. promoting further synergies in regional and global policymaking spheres. sediment. The 5th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas in November 2003 agreed upon a set of strategic guidelines to increase the effectiveness and visibility of the RSP by developing greater institutional partnerships.

000 YEA 0 YE RS A ARS ENT TOD LOICZ: LAND-OCEAN INTERACTIONS IN THE COASTAL ZONE AY AGO JGOFS: JOINT GLOBAL OCEAN FLUX STUDY GO GLOBEC: GLOBAL OCEAN ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS IGBP-DIS: DATA AND INFORMATION SERVICES START: SYSTEM FOR ANALYSIS.kva. the Living Marine Resources (LMR) panel and Coastal Global Observing Systems (CGOOS) (www. The main goal of all these projects is to improve understanding of key physical processes and how their impacts and linkages affect both the environment and people (www. sea levels and climate affect coastal ecosystems. the system is coordinated by the Coastal Ocean Observation Panel (COOP). has developed eight core projects concerned with global analysis (see Figure 3).igbp. GAIM: GLOBAL ANALYSIS INTEGRATION AND MODELING IGAC: INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY BANC: BIOSPHERIC ASPECTS OF THE HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE GCTE: GLOBAL CHANGE AND TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS LUCC: LAND USE AND LANDCOVER CHANGE PAGES: PAST GLOBAL CHANGES PRES 200 200 . which integrates and refines plans drafted by agencies such as Health of the Oceans (HOTO). and risks Figure 2: Framework of the Coastal Ocean Observation Panel (COOP) to human and marine health. and GLOBEC – specifically address physical processes that directly relate to the coastal zone. and the impact of these changes on human welfare. Although all eight of these research projects have some link to the coastal zone.htm). The purpose of creating a coastal module for the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) was to provide nations with a unified framework for addressing coastal issues. as well WMO as maintaining liaison with research GOOS projects such as Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) and UNEP Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ).kva. effects of anthropogenic activities. The HOTO agency is responsible for assessing COOP the state and trends of the marine environment. the Food and ICSU Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The LMR panel.se/cgi-bin/php/frameset.se/cgi-bin/php/frameset.org/goos/ CGOOS HOTO LMR coop_tr. RESEARCH AND TRAINING IGBP Core Projects Source: http://www. scientific IOC and technical design of a global coastal observation system.ioc.socio-economic requirements has been recognised as a key priority in coastal management (www. the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS). As shown in Figure 2. three of them – Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ). established in 1996. and other modules of GOOS. The second addresses the scaling of the material flux models at spatial scales from local to global levels.ioc.unesco. The LOICZ project examines how changes in land use. The JGOFS study attempts to answer the key question: How do ocean biological processes influence and respond to climate change? The GLOBEC project examines how global change will affect marine ecosystems and potential feedbacks to physical climate systems.unesco. an international scientific research programme. The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP).org/goos/cozo.php). This project has two major components.igbp.htm). is charged with the strategic development.php Figure 3: International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Projects Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk 15 5 . The first examines the influence of human activities on changes in the coastal zone.

aspx). To understand the impacts of climate change on particular ecosystems and issues. trade and consumption. the IPCC indicated that global warming is primarily linked to the emission of anthropogenic gases such as carbon dioxide. analyses and disseminates information on production. The programme collects. This study.earthobservatory. while monitoring production and consumption trends as a basis for long-term policy formulation and planning (www. a four-year international programme launched in June 2001.gov). affect economic activities as well as the lives of people and ecosystems. 2001). the lengthening of growing seasons.ipcc. forests and related resources to improve economic and social standards in a sustainable manner. The panel’s working groups have produced many assessment reports on climate change.ch/). including the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS). The IPCC third assessment report (2001) states that “anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are highly likely to cause warming of the Earth. particularly precipitation and temperature changes. According to research on the sun’s contribution to global warming by astrophysicist Mark Cliverd of the British Antarctic Survey. Understanding climate change is thus vital to understanding coastal issues. does not have a specific coastal focus. The primary objective was to assess potential impacts on coastal and marine resources associated with climate variability and projected climate change. the solar contribution to global warming accounts for up to 20%. Geological records. The FAO Fisheries Programme produces the respected State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report every two years.org/2/about. Its latest research attributes several recent developments to climate change. Despite having no direct coastal agenda. focused on the national level in the United States. significantly impacts on coastal environments. methane and nitrous oxide. The report proposed the integration of climate variability and change into all coastal planning. primarily to address issues related to world food production. The Forestry Programme is concerned with maximising the potential of trees. permafrost thawing. The working groups are organised to assess: • Scientific aspects of climate systems and climate change. • Options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.fao. and changes in the emergence of insects (IPCC. 2000). A change in the average air temperature and precipitation are significant components of projected global climate change. which provides a global view of fish capture. The FAO first initiated GIEWS in 1975. 6 16 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . increases in rainfall and rainfall intensity in mid-latitude areas.millenniumassessment. Based upon scientific observations. particularly climate change.The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). The IPCC has three working groups and a taskforce addressing national greenhouse gas inventories. Changes in weather patterns. It is another attempt by the international community to address the needs of decision-makers and the public for greater scientific information concerning the consequences of ecosystem change and options for responding to those changes (www. the Fisheries and Aquaculture Programme. The MA produced its first report – Ecosystems and Human Wellbeing: A Framework for Assessment.gov/). represented the first comprehensive assessment of a coastal region. Environmental change. fossil plants and the distribution of pollen show that past vegetation changes are consistent with climate changes.overview. The national Coastal Ocean Programme (COP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) produced a report in 2000 on the potential consequences of climate variability and change on coastal areas and marine resources.nasa. and the Forestry Programme. while the remainder is made up of greenhouse gases (www.org/docrep/). In recognition of the potential impact of climate change. but factors such as solar variability could amplify or subdue the effect” (www. • Vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change and its consequences. 2003 – to offer decision-makers and professionals a mechanism for identifying options that better achieve integrated management of land. the FAO of the United Nations operates a number of programmes dealing with coastal issues at the global level.earthobservatory. and emphasised the importance of developing mitigation and adaptation mechanisms for the long-term sustainability of coastal resources (Boesch et al. the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and UNEP in 1988 established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assess all the available scientific. water and living resources. aquaculture and policy issues. specific case studies were included. technical and socio-economic information related to human-induced climate change (www. including the shrinking of glaciers. and • Emissions and adaptive response measures.nasa.

Evidence suggests that increasing greenhouse gases since the late 19th century may have resulted in the increase of global surface temperatures by 0. and documentation of the effects of human disturbances on coastal ecosystems (Burke et al. elevations. coral reefs and pollution.gov). which recently became UNEP’s global biodiversity information and assessment centre. biodiversity. including global warming. There have been a number of attempts to fill these data gaps. the centre provides environmental information to the general public on the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. As well as assessment and early warning work in forest. the development of settlements in coastal habitats. Changes in climate. use of high resolution satellite data in mapping coastal habitats. under the direction of the IPCC. Availability of reliable data and coordinated research are important prerequisites for effective coastal management. with increasing CO2 and other greenhouse gases potentially increasing mean surface air temperatures by 1-50C ( http://yosemite. “Coral reefs are under assault. geomorphology. physical and biological processes. vertical and horizontal land movements. 1993). changes in river systems due to engineering projects. This database has been used to calculate the relative vulnerability of coastal areas along the US west coast to projected increases in air and sea temperature and sea-level change. regional and global scales. causing loss of life and property in coastal areas.noaa. September 11. Executive Director UNEP Source: BBC News. Houghton et. To address these issues. In 2001.60C (www. 1996. They are damaged by irresponsible tourism and are being severely stressed by the warming of the world’s oceans. Its biodiversity and climate change programme has conducted a number of projects examining the impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems. The WCMC.” Klaus Toepfer. as well as assessments for individual countries. UNEP-WCMC completed an important assessment on coral reefs entitled The World Atlas of Coral Reefs. The first was the coastal hazard database developed by Gornitz and Kanciruk (1989) for a section of the United States coastal zone. 2001 The Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems (PAGE). socio-economic and vulnerability indicators at national. conducted by WRI in cooperation with UNEP. work carried out by the Synthesis and Upscaling of Sea-level Rise Vulnerability Assessment Studies (SURVAS) (www.nsf/content/Climate. The study shows that human actions have profoundly changed the extent. The general consensus is that coastal environments are being degraded worldwide and that the Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk 17 7 . population trends.org/).ac. Data on relative sea-level trends. a global vulnerability assessment was produced to identify the impact of accelerated sea-level rise on coastal nations (Hoozemans.gov/OAR/globalwarming. 2001). In order to improve the quality of data used in vulnerability studies. climate change. Regional and Global Vulnerability of Coastal Zones to Climate Change and Sea-level Rise (DINAS-COAST) has aimed to develop a network of international scientists and improve understanding of accelerated sea-level rise and its impact on coastal areas. the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and UNEP – is another institute concerned with the health and fate of coastal environments. accurate and timely data on coastal areas are clearly essential. The independent. key information needs include: the location and extent of coastal ecosystems. Warrick et al. condition and capacity of all major ecosystem types (Burke et.ncdc. particularly short-term climatic variations.epa. al.mdx. 2001). Many institutions have been involved in studying components of and processes affecting coastal ecosystems. According to the PAGE study. coral reefs and marine life (www. 1993). geology. Primary impacts include agricultural expansion into forest areas. non-profit World Conservation and Monitoring Center (WCMC) – jointly founded in 1988 by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). historical data on coastal habitats.unep-wcmc. freshwater and marine ecosystems. dry land. better and more consistent classification schemes and data-sets to classify the world’s coasts. UNDP and the World Bank. and the degradation of water resources. assesses the current state of the world’s ecosystems. aims to provide vital information for policy and actions to conserve “the living world”. urban development and climate change all are important requirements in coastal vulnerability studies.html. They are rapidly being degraded by human activities. In 1992. In addition.survas. al.uk) and the Dynamic and Interactive Assessment of National. affect the intensity and frequency of storms and shoreline erosion rates. DINAS-COAST initiated another tool – the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) – that enables users to produce quantitative data on climate. This trend will continue for the next 100 years. Coral reefs are highly sensitive to land-based pollution and changes in water temperature. damming in catchment areas. The atlas reports that 58% of the world’s reefs are under threat from human activities – and emphasises the urgent need to conserve biologically diverse marine habitats for future generations. The atlas provides a global assessment of reefs with detailed maps and statistics.

8 18 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .impacts are mainly attributable to anthropogenic factors and climate change. The main constraints in addressing these issues have been the lack of accurate and timely information and a widespread lack of coordination.

2001). Caucasus Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk 19 9 . Global Population Database: The geographically referenced population database was provided by the UNEP/Global Resources Information Database (GRID) (www.cia. This is an operational definition to study the human vulnerability in the global coastal zone at 1km cell resolution. The data used in this study are from the most relevant.4. Mesoamerica 3. 2025. which is the line forming the boundary between the land and sea. These data-sets for 1990 were generated using a model incorporating many variables. 4. 3. characterise large-area land cover patterns. such as terrain and eco-regions. CI has identified the following 25 regions as the world’s leading biodiversity hotspots: 1. Chocó-Darién. Atlantic Forest Region 9. including marine life such as fish and coral reefs. Global Protected Area Database: UNEP-WCMC (www. Caribbean 7. and other woodlands – were taken from the 1995 forest cover database. 4. Biodiversity Hotspots: Conservation International (CI).unep. Areas covered by grassland. areas covered by different forest classes – closed forests (density >40%).org/). California Floristic Province 2. Central Chile 6. In this study. a definition based on distance is required.gov/cia/publications/ factbook/index. In the database.unep-wcmc. a body of conservation professionals based in Washington DC. The definition of a protected area adopted by IUCN is: “An area of land and/ or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and of natural and associated cultural resources and managed through legal or other effective means” (WCMC 2000). Global Land Cover Distribution Data: The USGS land cover database (Loveland et al. This database was built on characteristics of vegetation seasonality determined in terms of weekly composites of Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the NOAA AVHRR sensor for the period 1992-93 (http://edcdaac. Succulent Karoo 12. Data and Methods A main constraint of any global study is a lack of reliable published data. Western Ecuador 4.org/) provided the protected areas database (1992. Tropical Andes 5.html ).conservation. Mediterranean Basin 10. open and fragmented forests (density 10-40%). Brazilian Cerrado 8. 2. defined by the mean high-water mark (New Zealand National Topo/Hydro Authority). 2050) published by the World Resources Institute (WRI. provided the biodiversity hotspots database (www. 1995). The following sections describe the data-sets used for this study.1 Data 1. 5. USA (http://www. Guinean Forest of West Africa 11. 1996).net/).usgs. currently available data-sets suitable for understanding coastal issues and the vulnerability of coastal populations at the global level. The predicted global population statistical data were taken from the World Resources Database CD-ROM (2000. the coastal zone is defined as the terrestrial area within 100km of the coastline. Definition of the Coastal Zone The area of the coastal zone encompasses the upper limits of catchments of coastal rivers to the seaward limits of terrestrial influence. unique NDVI signatures and associated attributes. The hotspots are considered to be the Earth’s biologically richest yet most endangered eco-regions. In this study. 2010. For planning and management purposes. World Coastline Data: World coastline (the boundary between the land area and the sea) data were taken from the World Factbook developed by the Central Intelligence Agency. cultivation and water were taken from the USGS land cover database.gov/ ). 2000) was used as a base map to update forest cover maps for many parts of the world for the year 1995 using the FAO classification system (FAO.

economic. Among other things.org/esa/population/unpop. 16. 15. as they appear to cause most of the damage suffered by coastal areas. The factors included were population distribution and density in coastal areas.000 (1km grid cell) scale to cover the entire Earth. It does not effectively address pressures resulting from environmental change. Therefore. It identified 13 natural hazards. better understanding of the linkages between socio-economic conditions and coastal environmental dynamics is a prerequisite that will lead to more sustainable management of the coastal zone. 21. tidal waves and tsunamis were considered. Completed in late 1996. this coarse resolution does not allow sufficient detail for local or regional analyses. threats to biodiversity hotspots. Human activities modify. institutional and natural system pressures into the PSR model was developed by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . The main limitation of the PSR model is its limited focus on anthropogenic factors. The GTOPO30 was derived from several raster and vector sources of topographic information. 20. hurricanes. typhoons. Political Boundaries Data: The political boundaries data-set was taken from the U. Global 30 Arc-Second Elevation Data Set (GTOPO30): The GTOPO30 is a global digital elevation model (DEM) with a horizontal grid spacing of 30 arc seconds (approximately 1 kilometre). 18. GTOPO30 was developed over a three-year period through a collaborative effort led by staff at the USGS EROS Data Center (EDC) ( http://. pressures and current status of key environmental factors relevant to coastal vulnerability were assessed using the DPSIR model. 17. Attribute assignments were verified and corrected as needed for the resulting polygon coverage and subsequent coverages were joined to generate an updated map. 14. National Imagery and Mapping Agency’s Vector Map Level 0 series CD-ROM. Foreign Disaster Assistance/Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (OFDA/CRED) (2000). 8.un. as at March 2004. World’s Cities: Distribution of the world’s cities was taken from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Population Division (www. current global data-sets remains a major constraint for regional and global studies. Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forest of Tanzania and Kenya Cape Floristic Province Indo-Burma Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Mountains of South-Central China Sundaland Philippines Wallacea Southwest Australia Polynesia-Micronesia New Caledonia New Zealand (Myers et al. shape and affect environmental processes.S. only natural disasters such as storms. The purpose of the study’s second stage was to assess the impacts of population. The availability of high quality.gov/gtopo30/gtopo30. 2000). land cover.13.htm). this data-set provides a 1995 version of the political boundaries of the world at 1:1 million nominal scales.usgs. 6. 24. 9. the socio-economic indicators.S.html). All raster data-sets used in this study were acquired at 1:1. cyclones. 4.000. 7. First. and the probability of natural hazards related to storms. with tropical storms as the most devastating to coastal environments. a modified framework (Driving Force-State-Response model) incorporating social. Coastal regions are exposed to the direct impacts of windstorms as well as large waves and tidal surges. However. In addressing these limitations. 25. In this study. The Pressure-State-Response (PSR) model developed by the Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) is an example framework for environmental evaluation. Changes in the condition of natural systems have a direct impact on the ecosystem functions that humans depend upon for their socio-economic wellbeing (Bowen and Riley 2003). 23. waves and tidal surges. 22. climate-related processes (natural hazards). 19.edcdaac. World Natural Hazard Database: The World Natural Hazard database was developed by the Office of U. land cover distribution.2 Methods The study was carried out in two stages. 10 20 The study was based on the premise that people and their environments are interdependent. and topographical characteristics of landscape on human vulnerability in global coastal areas. tropical storms.

the growth of coastal cities and urbanisation. coastal tourism. increasing storm activities.org/env/europe/monitoring/EnvMonRep/en/). taxes on greenhouse gases. Driving Forces Driving forces that shape and influence the wellbeing of humans and coastal ecosystems include socioeconomic factors and natural or environmental factors. densely populated coastal cities. Impact These are the effects of a changed environment.org/env/europe/monitoring/EnvMonRep/en/). Environmental factors are mainly related to environmental hazards and climate change resulting from human actions and/or natural trends. policies for protecting pristine ecosystems such as wetlands and coral reefs. State.unece. as well as research to raise awareness of key issues. The ICZM concept provides an holistic approach and a coordinated framework in which to address these issues. It is important that these strategies are implemented within a coordinated framework. Pressure Pressure indicators describe the issues and problems resulting from population concentrations in the coastal zone. Response Responses to the problems include measures and strategies adopted by decision-makers to alleviate the impacts. and the growth of cities all increase the demand for coastal resources. including the current state of population distribution. the DPSIR framework appears to be a practical approach for describing dynamic linkages between socioeconomic and environmental indicators of coastal vulnerability. Increasing human presence in the coastal zone. coastal forest and wetland degradation. beach degradation and coastal erosion. Assessments of coastal vulnerability using existing data are an important first step. water pollution. State State indicators relate to observable changes. leading to the potential degradation of coastal ecosystems. Pressure.(www. Driving Force-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR): A framework for evaluating socio-economic and environmental indicators of coastal vulnerability Despite the incompleteness or complete lack of measurable data-sets for some indicators at the global level. Restrictions on residential developments. Driving Forces Socio-economic and natural processes Pressures Coastal issues State Current state of issues Responses Assessment of coastal vulnerability Development of sustainable management strategies (ICZM) Impact Changes in the coastal ecosystem Figure 4: DPSIR model for assessing coastal vulnerability Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk 11 21 . The DPSIR framework of the European Environmental Agency is an extended version of the Driving Force-State-Response framework developed by UNCSD (www. coral bleaching. issues and response strategies are described using Driving force. coastal land use and land cover patterns.unece. saltwater intrusion. The complexity of human and environment interactions in the coastal zone. These changes heavily impact upon the quality of life in coastal communities and upon sensitive coastal ecosystems. and the sustainable use of coastal resources are some of the main responses that policymakers and planners can take to mitigate vulnerability. and changes within biodiversity hotspots. Impacts of pressures are evident in changes in land cover. rising global temperatures and sea levels. Impact and Responses (see Figure 4).

5. World coastline Coastal zone Country boundary Global data layers Global coastal zone Overlay coverage Status of coatal zone (see layers below) Coastal vulnerability Figure 5: Data analysis process 12 22 The following data layers were used in the study: 1. Biodiversity hotspots in coastal zones data layer: Biodiversity hotspots in coastal zones were estimated by combining the hotspots grid with the 100km buffer zone and political boundary grids. 2010. This coarse resolution digital elevation model shows very few Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . 2010. Protection status of coastal zones data layer: The protection status of coastal zones was estimated by combining the protected area grid with the 100km buffer zone and political boundary grids. The diagram below shows the data analysis process used in the study. excluding Antarctica and inland lakes. 7. Elevation data with greater than 0m and less than 50m values were selected to produce a ‘lowland’ layer. 4. A linear population growth rate was projected for each country’s coastal zone. 2025 and 2050. The following classification was used for population density: Low population density: < 25 people/km2 Medium population density: 25-100 people/km2 High population density: >100 people/km2 3. Land cover distribution in coastal zones data layer: The land cover distribution in coastal zones. pressures and state of the coastal zone and their impacts on the global coastal zone. Distribution of the world’s cities in coastal zones data layer: A grid of cities with more than 100. Raster and vector data layers were in an Interrupted Goode Homolosine Projection. by country. Population density in the coastal zone data layer: The coastal population data layer and the total available land area in the coastal zone for each country were used in calculating population densities. The percentage of population in the coastal zone by country in 1990 was multiplied by the projected total population in order to predict the population in the coastal zone in 2000. World coastline data and country boundary data were used to define the 100km coastal zone. the 100km buffer zone grid. The buffer zone was overlaid with the population grid data to produce the population distribution data layer. The data were then used in assessing global coastal vulnerability. Distribution of surface elevation in coastal zones data layer: A digital elevation data layer showing surface topographic characteristics of the global coastal zone was generated from the Global 30 ArcSecond Elevation Data Set.000 people was combined with the buffer layer in order to obtain the number of cities located in the 100km coastal zone. was estimated by combining the political boundary grid. Population distribution layer: The coastal zone was defined as incorporating a buffer of 100km around the continental boundaries. 6. Projection of population in coastal zones data layer: Preliminary projection numbers of population and population pressure in the coastal zone were presented separately for 2000. 2025 and 2050. 8.GIS analysis was performed using the GRID module of Arc/Info combined with other vector GIS analytical tools. and the land cover distribution grid. 2. All global data layers were overlaid with the coastal zone data layer to identify the driving forces.

storms and wave surges at the global level was calculated using the topography and the length of a country’s coastline as a proportion of the total length of its boundaries. this study excluded some. Kitts & Nevis. This preliminary assessment was carried out for 117 coastal nations. 11. geographic exposure and storm surges were selected to show the exposure to hazards. 9. 10. and used to assess the probable distribution of disaster incidents in global coastal countries. floods and exposure to tropical storms. tidal waves and storm surges are primarily limited to coastal areas. Dominica. 13 23 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . while the HDI was selected to represent the coping capacity. Tropical islands and small states were individually assessed as some have volcanic bases with steep hills in the centre and narrow coastal strips (eg. and (b) combining all indices according to a formula [equation 1] to produce an index value for each country. The population pressure. Vincent and the Grenadines. Fiji. The reported number of storms and tidal waves over the past 100 years (1900-99) was extracted from the World Natural Hazard Database developed by OFDA/CRED. and St. land cover. land cover. Populations in these countries are generally concentrated on narrow coastal lowlands. St.details for small island developing states which are less than 100km in width. Assessment of natural hazard risk in coastal zones data layer: Effects of storms. either because they were too small to assess on a global scale. Haiti. St. Assessment of coastal zone vulnerability data layer: The vulnerability of human populations in coastal zones is primarily related to their exposure to hazards and their coping capacities. landslides. World coastline data layer: The potential exposure to rising sea-levels. Lucia). (Although the 1992 IPCC Coastal Vulnerability Study assessed 179 nations. Vanuatu. The spatial distribution of vulnerability was assessed by (a) developing indices for each indicator (population pressure. or because of lack of assessable data). natural hazards and geographic exposure) and utilising the Human Development Index (HDI) developed by UNDP. where they are vulnerable to natural hazards such as erosion.

5. More recently. many parts of the global coastal zone have the highest rates of population growth (Boesch et al. Vietnam and Japan (see Table 2). the Maldives. either because most of their coastal zones are located in polar or desert regions or because their total populations are relatively small compared to their land mass (see Appendix 1a).6% of the Earth’s land area. rising sea-levels. According to the United Nations Association in Canada. Coastal population densities in countries with large coastlines such as Canada (3 people/km2). However. Small and Nicholls. China. This study represents a first attempt to provide country-bycountry estimates of total coastal populations. Russia (5). desert. In 1992. In a larger context. storms and tidal surges. ice. land and water. about 38% of the world’s population lives on 7. Australia (10) and the United States (68) are low. 1995. Belgium. Australia is a special case. over-developed and overexploited regions in the world (Hinrichsen et al. According to a recent NOAA Coastal Programme study. The Driving Force-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) Framework and the Global Coastal Zone 5. especially in Asia. nevertheless. more than 60% of the world’s coastal zones are covered by snow. Many scientists and international agencies have attempted to estimate the total coastal population (see Table 1). 2003. the 10 countries with the highest population density in the coastal zone are: Bangladesh. and the lack of a clear universal definition for the coastal zone. which are unsuitable for permanent habitation without extensive modification. it is clearly important to get a reasonably accurate estimate of population sizes. Consequently. the United Nations estimated that more than half of the world’s population lives within 60km of a shoreline. India. To understand the significance of human population as a driving force of coastal change. as well as their spatial distribution. the World Resources Institute estimated that 40% of the world’s population lives within 100km of the coastline – an area comprising one-fifth of the global land mass (WRI.1 Driving forces affecting coastal and marine ecosystems Population The concentration of people and cities in coastal areas increases the demand for limited land resources. Small et al. the Netherlands. South Korea. 2000). 2001). According to the analysis. The population analysis shows particularly high population pressure in developing countries. 14 24 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . there has been no reliable country-by-country estimate of the number of people living in global coastal areas. Barbados. It has long been acknowledged that coastal areas are among the most crowded. population pressure remains relatively low. Mitchell et al. This is primarily due to lack of consistent and uniform methods for assessing population distributions in coastal areas. 2000. Intense human activities degrade the quality of air. The population distribution pattern shows approximately two billion people – 38% of the world’s population – living within a narrow fringe of coastal land. 2000). However. closed forests or wetlands. People and ecosystems in coastal areas are relatively more exposed to the effects of coastal floods. most of the two billion coastal inhabitants live in less than 40% of the world’s coastal zones – creating a very high population density in these areas. 1991). seven out of ten people live within 80km of the ocean and almost half of all cities with a population of over one million are located around coastal areas and river mouths (UNA. to date. representing about 19% of the total land area. with 84% of its population living in a coastal zone that occupies roughly 20% of the total land area.

J. and J. The study estimated projected population densities for the coastal zone with the assumption that coastal population growth will be similar to overall growth.A. 25 15 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .C. Vitousek. Moss and D.Table 1: Population estimates for the global coastal zone from various sources Source Agenda 21 Author or Organisation United Nations 1992 Coasts in Crisis Don Hinrichsen 1995 Protecting the Ocean United Nations Association in Canada NOAA 1991 Population and Development in Coastal Areas Population and Environment Linkages: Ocean Human Domination of the Earth’s Ecosystem The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability People and Ecosystems The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change on Coastal Areas and Marine Resources Committee for the National Institute for the Environment P. 115 people/km2 in 2025. Accordingly. population 100km GIS/No details Not clear 2000 17% of land in the coastal zone Not clear The average population density in the global coastal zone has increased significantly in recent years – from 77 people/km2 in 1990 to 87 people/km2 in 2000.J. and 134 people/km2 in 2050. H. the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes 60km Statistical data 1998 133 million 1998 60% of the world’s population 1997 60% of population 100km Not clear 1997 Half of the population Not clear Not clear 2000 40% of the population 53% of total U. potentially rising to three-quarters by 2020 54% of Americans Seven out of ten Scope of coastal area 60km Method of study used Not clear 772 coastal counties 80km Statistical data Not clear 673 coastal countries on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.H. Lubchenco. M. it is estimated that the coastal population density will increase to 99 people/km2 in 2010. Mooney. Watson.T. R. Melillo R.M. Zinyowera.M. Dokken World Resources Institute (WRI) NOAA Year Population estimate More than half. It is anticipated that coastal populations will continue to grow at a proportionately greater rate than those in inland areas.S.

01 1.57 1.10 1. 250 211 200 191 173 171 155 150 141 134 123 123 115 104 99 100 90 89 87 79 69 77 67 77 67 57 53 50 50 26 29 32 37 41 44 0 Africa Australia and Pacific Europe and Asia 1990 North America 2000 South America 2010 2025 World 2050 2 Figure 6: Projected population density trends in the coastal zone.14 1.94 1. total population.3 100 10 83 16 90 81 90 126 96 Bangladesh Maldives China India South Korea Barbados Belgium Netherlands Vietnam Japan Land area 2 (thousand km ) Total % in coastal zone 135 67 3 3 9402 6 3154 16 10 95 0. by continent (people/km ) 16 26 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .60 1. and size of coastal zone.00 4.4 98 3 61 3 95 33 57 367 94 Ratio of coastal population and available coastal land Population density in the coastal zone available coastal 2 (people/km ) 1.3 100 1276 25 1006 27 47 100 0.05 1.00 1.013 563 525 508 460 453 433 387 351 * Selected by the population density of coastal zone.081 1.Table 2: Population pressure and distribution in 10 countries with most populous coastlines* Country Population (million people) Total % in coastal zone 128 76 0.35 0.

the coastal population proportion is equivalent to the proportion of coastal land. If the ratio is 1. As ‘mega-cities’ continue to sprout along the coastlines of Asia and Africa. Among the environmental factors affecting coastal populations and ecosystems. fragile coastal environments are being exposed to ever growing pressures.01)) / ((% coastal population (76. indicating a widespread tendency for populations to congregate in coastal areas. and to rising sea-levels. As much of the coastline of global coastal regions is exposed to windstorms. as they are affected not only by the direct impact of storms but by the additional hazards of waves and tidal surges (MRC. waves and tidal surges. particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. According to the United Nations Population Division.61)) = 1. the most visible and devastating impacts are attributable to storm activities. These have increased in recent times due to the increase in coastal populations. and global climate change due to anthropogenic and physical factors. creating greater pressures on the land (eg. marine resources and coastal water quality are coming under intense pressure. sheltered bays and ports. limited lowland areas have given rise to long ‘ribbon’ developments. 2002). for Bangladesh ((% coastal lands (67. particularly in tropical and mid-latitude areas. If the ratio is greater than 1. which intensifies the occurrence of flooding. 1998). the proportion of the population living in coastal areas equals the proportion of the coastal zone of that country. Coastal regions and island nations are particularly exposed. suggesting the strongly coastal nature of their populations. waves/tidal surges and rising sea-levels Exposure to storms. Table 2 shows that of the 10 countries with the most densely populated coastal zones. urban settlements tend to be concentrated around estuaries. Densely populated coastal regions with lengthy coastlines are particularly exposed to these threats. marine and coastal ecosystems. With few exceptions. In Japan and the United Kingdom. represent important driving forces that affect people. but complex systems of habitation. The figure further shows that almost every small island state has a ratio of 1 or above. the increasing economic value attached to new city developments and industrial areas. public services – and their wastes. Coastal cities constitute not only collections of people and buildings. 17 27 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . Exposure to storms. river catchments.14). eight have a ratio greater than one. Coastal cities The development of coastal cities is another driving force that affects humans and ecosystems in coastal areas. developing and small island nations. This trend is further supported by Figure 7. are expanding into areas that are vulnerable to marine-related natural hazards (Arthurton. Storms also often bring heavy rainfall. In many coastal regions. Increasing international trade through sea ports and the growth of beach-based tourism promise to exacerbate this trend even further in the future. As people continue to relocate from rural areas to coastal cities. almost all of the countries in the three regions have ratios above 1 (the diagonal represents parity between the percentage of coastal population and that of coastal lands). landslides and coastal erosion. infrastructure. the population concentration in coastal areas is more than the available land. approximately two-fifths of the world’s major cities of 1-10 million people are now located near coastlines (Tibbetts.Ratios of the percentage of people living in coastal zones compared to the percentage of coastal lands show the relative distribution of populations between coastal and inland areas. 1998). Fast-growing coastal cities. which shows scatter diagrams of the ratios of people living in coastal areas compared to inland populations in developed. settlement in areas previously avoided.

Small Nations and Island States coastal population as percentage of total country population 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 coastal zone as percentage of total country area Figure 7: Ratios of people living in coastal areas compared to inland 28 18 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .a. Developed Countries coastal population as percentage of total country population 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 80 90 100 80 90 100 coastal zone as percentage of total country area b. Developing Countries coastal population as percentage of total country population 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 coastal zone as percentage of total country area c.

High >100 people km -2 Medium 25-100 people km High >100 people km -2 -2 Figure 8: Population pressure in gobal coastal zones 29 19 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . where nearly one-third of all land has a high population density. In 2000. so too have demands for the natural energy sources that power so much of modern life. such as decreasing freshwater inflows and pollution of estuaries. Cyclic interactions among oceans. terrestrial land masses. waves.1% have high population densities (Figure 8 and Table 3). 5. and 17. it continues to place an ever greater burden on the Earth’s climate – as well as using up the finite natural resources that play such an important role in regulating it. As mankind continues to utilise fossil fuels and forest resources to power its inexorable ‘progress’. A comparison of population densities in the coastal zones and total land areas of each continent shows that population densities are significantly higher in coastal areas (Table 3). The rapid development of coastal cities is causing increasing environmental problems. Global precipitation patterns. 2002). tides. However. ocean currents. and the degradation and destruction of vital habitats such as wetlands. The highest population pressures are experienced in the coastal zones of Europe and Asia. 19. Of all the world’s coastal zones. modify and shape landforms. coral reefs and sea grasses (Tibbetts. this increasing settlement leads to ever greater population densities.Coastal and terrestrial ecosystems.2 Pressures affecting coastal and marine ecosystems Population density and growth The global coastal zone is not only under pressure from high population densities. habitats and human activities. are intrinsically linked to and affected by climate. as the global population has grown and production systems advanced. there were 87 people/km2 living in coastal zones compared to just 23 people/km2 living in inland areas. as well as all human activities.2% of the Earth’s total land area. over the past 100 years.2% have medium densities. but from the continuing and growing movement of people to coastal towns and cities. It is estimated that coastal zones extending 100km inland occupy approximately 19. wind and numerous other factors support.7% have low population densities. the atmosphere and the sun’s radiation are necessary to sustain plant and animal life on Earth. As habitable land is limited in most coastal regions. 63. These processes have the capacity to adjust to temporal changes of climate and other factors that maintain a balance between various components of the global system. temperatures.

9 16.3 3.8 Population (in millions) in 2015 28. Among the 10 most populous cities in the coastal zone. Uncontrolled urban expansion and the resulting Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . Over the next decade.38 83.12 3.000 are located in the global coastal zone. Population Division.15 5.80 88. coastal cities in developing countries are expected to expand significantly – particularly in India. Low PD: <25 people/km2.2 20.31 11. and two in North America (Table 4). is vital to the survival of coastal communities and the success of national economies.2 16.8 16.14 22.6 26.4 15.2 17.60 3. representing about half of the world’s cities.67 32.97 13.6 5.2 10. 5.3 13.21 82. particularly coral reefs and other fragile benthic communities. The growth of large cities.19 6.7 2.Table 3: Comparison of population densities in coastal zones and total land areas Continent Density Africa Australia and Pacific Europe and Asia North America South America (Mesoamerica. High PD: >100 people/km2.85 83.11 % of Medium Population Density Coastal Total land zone area 23.22 8. According to the World Bank.worldbank.5 1. over 90% of the population growth in developing countries is taking place in cities (www.09 9.97 13.88 73.84 13.79 Total land area 4.2 Continent Asia South America South America North America Asia Asia North America Asia South America Asia World Ranking (by present population size) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. *Not a coastal city. together with its natural habitats and resources.12 17.9 13 Estimated growth (in millions) 1.90 Coastal zone 10. five are in Asia.81 46.2 18 14.34 18.47 87. Medium PD: 25-100 people/km.05 17.54 19.html). Coastal cities in developing countries are growing relatively faster than in other regions. 20 30 Land cover and land use The coastal zone.6 12. increasing storm activities and rising sea-levels.5 4.2 2 1. Table 4: The 10 most populous cities in the global coast zone City Tokyo Mexico City* Sao Paulo New York Bombay Shanghai Los Angeles Calcutta Buenos Aires Seoul Population (in millions) in 1996 27. The already damaging effects of human settlement and pollution are now being exacerbated by global warming.1 11.74 8. However.9 11.89 6. industries and tourism-based activities continue to threat coastal and marine biodiversity.02 30.65 % of High Population 2000 Data.7 12.org/ urban/facts.7 13.99 59. to date there have been no coordinated efforts to control the growth of urban centres or settlement in the coastal zone.3 17.9 19.77 64. China and South America (Table 4).24 76. Caribbean) World 1 % of Low Population Density Coastal Total land zone area 65.34 63.3 1.18 10. three in South America.67 13.3 State indicators of coastal and marine ecosystems The current state of coastal ecosystems indicates that land cover and land use have changed dramatically as a result of population growth and urbanisation. Coastal cities More than 260 cities with populations of over 100.

snow and ice cover 37. cleared lands (built-up areas.changes in coastal land use and land cover are creating enormous pressures on coastal and marine ecosystems. the Middle East. Forests Barren. In developed coastal areas. Several broad areas of vegetation cover can be seen in North America. tropical South America.8%. seawater and freshwater quality. forested lands (closed forests. this usually leads to declining biodiversity. and woodlands) cover 41. and the west coast of Saharan Africa. barren land.2% of the world’s land area. and tropical western Africa. soil erosion and vanishing wetlands. open and fragmented forests. Barren land. Of these coastal zones. These changes affect terrestrial and marine habitats. northwestern Europe. Without such knowledge. ice and snow cover constitute most of the coastal zones of the Arctic.9%. and wetlands and inland water bodies cover 1. which place major demands on food production and resource use. and freshwater availability. Snow. both communities and ecosystems are exposed to greater hazard risks. it is invariably accompanied by population growth and urbanisation. cultivated areas and bare land) make up 14.3%. Sustainable management requires regular assessments of the distribution and utilisation of available land resources.2%. Although countries with access to navigable waterways and coastlines have an advantage in terms of economic development. Coastal zones are estimated to occupy 19. where land is limited and competition for resources high. eastern Asia.8%. western Australia. Figure 9 presents a global picture of coastal land cover patterns. eastern Australia. grasslands constitute 4. and Ice Grassland Cultivation Water Figure 9: Landcover distribution in global coastal zones 21 31 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .

95 15.7% respectively). As well as forests.00 10. Table 5 shows the distribution of coastal land cover types in the 10 countries with the largest coastal zones.1% and 15. South America and the Australia/Pacific region have the highest proportion of cleared areas (16.14 South America 8. North America has the highest percentage of snow.1.73 53.24 41.38 25.51 33.81 World 4.3% in the Australia/Pacific region and 8.65 16. snow and ice 30.28 37.67 Australia and Pacific 10.00 Forests 20.3%).22 2.17 2.41 Africa 7. ice and barren land cover in its coastal zones. while the highest concentration of forests is in Australia and the Pacific (54.00 Grassland 50.80 54.23 North America 1.83 39. cleared areas.4% in South America).79 1.00 Water Figure 10: Illustrates the differences in the distribution of land cover between the continents.47 2. The presence of inland water bodies is low in all of the coastal zones in comparison to other land cover categories.00 Cultivation 60.63 44.45 0.59 36.26 18. as well as the largest percentage of coastal grasslands (10. wetlands and inland water bodies.00 40.00 Barren.69 7. 22 32 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .66 48.47 Europe and Asia 1.98 0.32 0. the table also shows the proportion of each country’s coastal zone that is covered by Conservation International’s Biodiversity Hotspots.23 6.02 39. grasslands. snow and ice.88 14.

27 6.07 11.9 (16.2 Brazil 850063.69) 56737.30 0.07 1.42 2.00 13.17 % Wetlands and inland water bodies 2.87 67. Figure 11 illustrates the proportion of biodiversity hotspots that fall within the coastal zone on each continent.08 The United States.82 14.0 (83.03) 52702.biodiversityhotspots.62 4.92 0.16 11.38 2.41 0.9 (16.52 16.14 10.93 1.42 2.60 1. just over 40% (63.57 0. 1992). China and India have large areas of cleared land (55% and 48% respectively).43) 270352.60 67. The first 10 years of the 21st century have been called the “last chance decade” (Mittermeier et al. snow and ice 342561.23 53.3 (37.1 (20.670 km2) of the area covered by biodiversity hotspots is concentrated within the coastal zone.35 15. The 25 “hotspots” identified by Conservation International are remote.3 Total % coastal Forests land (‘000 ha %) % % Grasslands Cleared areas % Barren.44 2. according to Watson et al (2000).92 56. is vital for maintaining life-sustaining systems throughout the biosphere (WCMC.19 55.89 0.04 32.56 19.21 1.99) 157135. 2002).65 7.82 59.05 47.43 0.33 0. while Russia. due to the destructive influence of humans. spectacular – and in danger of being destroyed.9 Indonesia 188748.00 3. Indonesia.2 Russia 1681414.16 4.12) 73630.83) 277218. but that have been significantly altered or impacted upon by human activities (www. However. Hodgson.38 47.5 (64. in relation to the total area of hotspots found on each continent.61 1.60 50.47 2.36 3. the variety and variability among living organisms and the environment in which they occur.0 Norway 323895.40 1.5 (68. 1999) and may be among the most critical for many species and ecosystems.34 2. Brazil and Mexico have more than the world’s average (42%) forest cover in their coastal areas.57 23.92 4.90 32.7 India 315440. Biodiversity hotspots Biodiversity hotspots are terrestrial regions that support an important diversity of endemic species. Some of the most unique and diverse natural ecosystems may also lose over 70% of their habitats (Malcolm et al. It is feared that many undiscovered species will become extinct even before they are identified. 1994.80 4.23 62. 85-90% of all species could be saved by identifying and protecting them before their habitats are further degraded. 23 33 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .91 50.0 (6. Chile and Canada have a large proportion of coastal lands that are barren or covered in snow and ice.Table 5: Coastal zone land cover distribution in countries with the largest coastal areas Country Total land area (‘000 ha) Canada 983400.18 26.02 0. Biodiversity. biodiversity in many places is decreasing at an alarming rate.36 30. 1999).83 4. The distribution shows that.94 4.org/xp/Hotspots/).20 0.35 3.86 34.39) 130343. Globally.39 29.26 16. 1999). At the global level.37 45. it is essential that these invaluable habitats are offered special and urgent protection (Mittermeier et al. Relatively few places remain where endemic biodiversity is still robust.97 6. coral reef degradation is a particularly serious concern (Goreau and Hayes.60 % Designated protected areas % Covered by Biodiversity Hotspots 10. More than 80% of the eco-regions studied will suffer extinctions of plant and animal species as a result of global warming.74 0.53 8.0 (34.0 (9.81 30.70) 47459. However.64 6.3 Mexico 195378.81) 77845.91 35.42 7.82 36.83 3.40 2.4 China 936666.39 28.19 14.47) 159850.7 (16. To protect the diversity of life on Earth.0 United States Australia 940626.81) 29.67 5.62 18.8 Chile 73076.9 768639.

7.75 40.5% in Australia and the Pacific. and its protection status. As the table shows.67 06.biodiversityhotspots.org/xp/Hotspots/hotspots_by_region/. and 17. The relatively small percentage of hotspots that are protected in the global coastal zone is alarming.05 0.8% in Europe and Asia. 35.8% in Africa. 23 are at least partially within the global coastal zone (the exceptions are Brazilian Cerrado and the mountains of Southwest China).77 48.27 Africa 29.7% in South America. 10.8 % in Australia and the Pacific.76 35. and just 2. and 24. Nine hotspots have at least 90% of their area in the global coastal zone.81 74.86 10.48 2. 6. The ratio of protected coastal hotspots to the total area of hotspots within the coastal zone is 12.42 North America 17.00 10. by continent Table 6 shows the proportion of each biodiversity hotspot that lies within the coastal zone.00 80.48% are in the coastal zone in Africa. 68.4% in North America.68 South America 34.1% in South America.7% in North America.80 17. Only 8.00 30. only two hotspots have over 20% of their areas under protection.00 50.3% in Africa. 46.48 World 24. Details of the hotspots in each region can be found at www.5% in Europe and Asia. 24 34 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .00 20.9 % in Australia and the Pacific.88 Australia and Pacific 46.07 12. 8. The ratio of coastal hotspots designated as protected to total protected coastal areas is 17. only three have less than 30% of their area in the coastal zone.00 ratio of protected coastal hotspots to total protected coastal areas ratio of protected coastal hotspots to total area of coastal hotspots ratio of hotspots in coastal zones to total area of continental hotspots Figure 11: Percentage distribution of area of biodiversity hotspots in coastal zones. 16.00 70.51 Europe and Asia 16. 74. Of the 25 hotspots worldwide.6% in North America.73 7.58 68.00 60.9% in Europe and Asia. 34.8% in South America.5% of the total area of the hotspots located in the coastal zone is included in protected areas.00 40.

83 % that is protected 1.38 73.01 8.57 96. The hotspot with the largest protected area is the Tropical Andes. 35 25 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .70 9.78 20.65 1.01 4.20 3.43 47.11 11.12 30.28 11.34 32.58 28.38 0.50 None of the biodiversity hotspots in Polynesia and Micronesia fall within designated protected areas.67 99.63 76.93 88. 32% of the coastal part of this hotspot is currently protected. A major obstacle in protecting some biodiversity hotspots is their transboundary nature.81 3.08 8. Establishing immediate protection status for the areas that remain unprotected is clearly of critical importance.10 40.15 39.76 59.38 12. parts of 14 lie within the borders of more than 58 countries (see Table 7).28 1.79 7.05 1.Table 6: Percentage of each hotspot and its protection status within the coastal zone Hotspot Atlantic Forest California Floristic Province Cape Floristic Region Caribbean Caucasus Central Chile Choco-Darien Western Ecuador Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forest of Tanzania and Kenya Guinean Forests of West Africa Indo-Burma Madagascar & Indian Ocean Isles Mediterranean Basin Mesoamerica New Caledonia New Zealand Philippines Polynesia & Micronesia Southwest Australia Succulent Karoo Sundaland Tropical Andes Wallacea Western Ghats & Sri Lanka World % in the coastal zone 26.74 2.89 68.30 99.79 91.91 91.68 11.27 1. respectively.01 6.98 68.15 13.30 35.00 11. The Caribbean and Mediterranean basin hotspots extend over the borders of 15 and 12 countries. Among the 23 hotspots that fall partly within the coastal zone.90 55.27 99.95 67.74 68.36 2.84 9.71 89.

77). El Salvador (2.94). Thailand (19.16). India (1. 26 36 Benin (1. Chile (97.81). Peru (14. Nicaragua (10.91).00). Guinea (3. Panama (13.08). Thailand (1.59). Cuba (43. Venezuela (30. Honduras (9.70).82). Nigeria (24. Israel (2.27).38). Panama (5. Greece (11. Peru (24.500 km2 of shallow coral reefs exist worldwide. Ecuador (17.29). and barriers against the damaging effects of storms and tides. However. Malaysia (25.82). An estimated 255. Lebanon (2. and affected virtually all of the reefs in the Maldives.56) Pascal Kobeh / Still Pictures Central Chile Choco-Darien Western Ecuador Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forest of Tanzania and Kenya Guinean Forests of West Africa Figure 12: Bleached corals Mangroves grow along approximately 8% of the world’s coastline (Burke et al.88).18). Brunei (0. Italy (13.74).54). South Africa (78.06) Colombia (38. Chagos Archipelago and Seychelles (Spencer et al.48).61).50). recreation and income.09). Sierra Leone (10. Dominican Republic (19.29). This is a clear indication of the potential future impact of climate change on coral reefs globally.71). sources of timber.89).24). Ecuador (33. Liberia (15. Costa Rica (6.16).67). Malaysia (0. Morocco (10.44). Cameroon (8.94).77).39).15).27) Algeria (4.49).27). 2001) and about one-quarter of all tropical coastlines.26).92).97). Cambodia (6.01) Mexico (15.07). Colombia (22. France (3. including temperature changes. pollution and exposure to air.82). Syria (0. Myanmar (Burma) (27.56) India (62. Mexico (56.39) Indo-Burma Mediterranean Basin Mesoamerica Succulent Karoo Sundaland Tropical Andes Western Ghats & Sri Lanka Coral reefs and mangroves Coral reefs are widely used by coastal communities and the tourism industry for food.43) Bangladesh (2.71) Namibia (21.49).61). 2000).02) Belize (2.09). Vietnam (26.000 km2.54).28).53). covering a surface area of approximately 181. Cyprus (2. others (0. 2000). United States (84. with more than 90% in the Indo-Pacific region (Spalding and Grenfell. Coral reef areas have been significantly reduced or destroyed through human actions and climate change in many parts of the world (WRI.11) Argentina (2.67).97). Jamaica (4.77) Kenya (8. Togo (2.73) Indonesia (73. others (2. they too are under immense pressure from human exploitation and rising sea-levels. Libya (4. Ghana (14.Table 7: Percentage distribution of areas of transboundary hotspots within the global coastal zone Hotspot Countries covered (%) Atlantic Forest California Floristic Province Caribbean Brazil (99. Spain (16. Turkey (26.99).55). Uruguay (0. Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . Reefs are highly sensitive to sea surface temperature changes. Tanzania (91. Haiti (10. China (11. Coral bleaching. United States (12.58) Chile (4. destroyed many reefs around the world during the 1997-98 El Niño.61). Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) (17.30). Sri Lanka (37.55). Puerto Rico (3.2) Bahamas (3. 1997). Laos (4.47).33).8). Guatemala (6. a phenomenon caused by various types of stress.06). Mangrove forests are vital to coastal communities as fish spawning grounds.72).

Global warming Although scientists are still debating the causes of global warming. often resulting in the loss of human life and serious economic damage in coastal zones. 2001). An IPCC study has also found that the Earth’s average surface temperature has risen by approximately 0. an increase in seasurface temperature.43°C – the second warmest global surface temperature in more than a century (Hansen et al 2001. and some is absorbed and re-emitted in all directions by greenhouse gas molecules. 1995). Increases in these gas emissions are attributable to human activities. The data show the absolute mean global surface temperature in 2001 was 14. CO2 emissions as a result of burning vegetation. but some studies estimate that half of the world’s mangroves have already been destroyed (Kelleher et al. The terms ‘hurricane’ and ‘typhoon’ are regionally specific names for a strong ‘tropical cyclone’ (www.noaa. based upon data collected by meteorological stations around the world since 1880 (www. increasing storm activities. investigations into temperature trends confirm a marked increase in global temperatures over the past 100 years. 2002). While the whole picture of global warming remains unclear. such as volcanic activity and changes in solar radiation (Kleypas et al.epa.gov/research/).4°C) will rise by 1°C by 2050 and by 2°C by 2100. Once a cyclone reaches winds of 17 m/s it is called a ‘tropical storm’.nasa. 1999). the definition changes to a Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk 27 37 .gov/hrd/tcfaq/A1. 1997). Tropical storms are low-pressure systems that originate in tropical and sub-tropical zones. 6 Annual Mean 5-year Mean 4 2 0 -2 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Source: www. The recent IPCC report estimates that the current mean global temperature (approximately 14. The effect of this is to warm the earth's surface and the lower atmosphere.giss. Recent warming of the atmosphere has been greatest over North America and Eurasia. The nine warmest years in the last century have all occurred since 1980 (IPCC.aoml. Increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other gases such as methane. such as the burning of fossil fuels. Solar radiation passes through the clear atmosphere Most radiation is absorbed by the earth's surface and warms it Infrared radiation is emitted from the earth's surface Source: www. If winds reach 33 m/s. most studies point to the significant contribution of greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC.gov/globalwarming/ Studies (GISS) is conducting research on global temperature Figure 13: Global annual mean surface temperature anomalies (ºC) variations. and reclamation for urban and industrial areas. The main human impacts include felling for firewood and building materials. The predicted consequences of these temperature increases include rising sea-levels.gov/globalwarming Figure 14: The Greenhouse Effect Increasing tropical storm activities Hurricanes and typhoons are among the most devastating natural disasters. between the latitudes of 40°N and 70°N (IPCC. changing weather patterns. the release of household gases and deforestation.epa. 1993). clearance for aquaculture or road construction. 1997). as well as natural phenomena.Approximately 112 countries and territories have mangroves within their borders (Spalding et al.6°C (1°F) over the last century. and various habitat changes. chlorofluorocarbons and nitrous oxide are causing a warming of Earth’s surface temperature known as ‘the greenhouse effect’ (Warrick. usually between latitudes 8ºS and 20ºS. 2001a). Some of the infrared radiation passes through the atmosphere.html).

9 0. which both suffered more than 160. respectively).6 1. and the displacement of human habitation (http://tropical. The spatial distribution shows that tropical coastal areas face the highest risk of storm-related incidents.9 (121) 8. Bangladesh suffered by far the greatest human cost of windstorms and tidal wave incidents over the last century.edu/forecasts/ According to the World Natural Disaster Database developed by OFDA/CRED (2000). China (134). Bangladesh (120).3 2. Societal vulnerability to storms has worsened as the frequency and intensity of storms have increased. 2001). Australia (121).5 0.1 1.4 2.colostate. Mexico (50).000 deaths.atmos.5-fold increase in major hurricanes and a fivefold increase in hurricanes affecting the Caribbean.7 (37) % of global deaths resulting from storm/ wave incidents 2. According to the Colorado State University hurricane forecast team. Asia was the most-affected region.356) 28. Japan (107). During this 10-year period.8 1. infrastructure and property development in coastal areas all contribute to high economic consequences.5 21.0 23.9 (121) 8. India (121). High population densities. a ‘typhoon’ in the northwest Pacific.3 (221) 9. Other severely affected countries were China and India. For example.1 Coastal population 2 density per km (2000) 68 276 563 526 10 1081 351 387 44 107 Source: OFCD/CREDA World Natural Disaster Database. and that the majority of these are in developing countries.9 17. primarily because ever-increasing numbers of people live in hurricane-prone coastal areas (Goldenberg et al. the Philippines (221). cyclones caused 139.9 (134) 8. 2001).000 deaths in Bangladesh in 1991 and Hurricane Mitch resulted in 14. This high variability of cyclone activities is also attributed to changes in sea-surface temperature and vertical wind shear (Goldenberg et al.4 34. beach erosion. The 10 countries with the highest probability of experiencing windstorms or tidal wave incidents were the United States (392).600 deaths in Honduras in 1998-99. 2000 28 38 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .9 (107) 3. Vietnam (54). the most predominant global disasters reported between 1991 and 2000 were floods and windstorms (888 and 748. with more than 600. The vulnerability of human populations to storm and hurricane activities has risen substantially in recent decades.7 (50) 2.0 0.9 (54) 3. The deadliest Atlantic tropical cyclones account for just over 20% of all tropical storms – but cause more than 80% of the damage. Table 8 summarises the world’s major storm incidents and reported casualties over the last century. leading to increased risk of flooding.9 (392) 16. Table 8: Reported windstorm and tidal wave incident distribution in 10 most affected countries. 2001).0 56.2 0. the years 1995 to 2000 experienced the highest level of North Atlantic hurricane activity. and France (37). 1900-99 Country United States Philippines China India Australia Bangladesh Japan Vietnam Mexico France % of global storm and tidal wave incidents (world total = 1.8 (120) 7. or a ‘severe tropical cyclone’ in the southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean (Bengtsson.‘hurricane’ in the North Atlantic and northeast Pacific.000 casualties (Table 9).0 % of total population requiring immediate assistance during the disaster period 0. including a 2.0 15.0 0.2 15.9 3.

Senegal.noaa. Research findings on climate change and models suggest that the increasing storm activity of recent years is closely related to an increase in sea-surface temperature (SST) (Goldenberg et al. Although there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the El Niño/La Niña oscillation is a result of climate change.Table 9: Reported windstorm and wave/tidal surge casualties in 10 most affected countries. the Netherlands. 2001).709 19. Warmer SSTs decrease atmospheric stability (Goldenberg et al. 1900-99 Country Bangladesh China India Japan Philippines Honduras Hong Kong Vietnam United States Haiti Storm and wave/tidal surge casualties 612. houses and plantations. Bangladesh. an SST of over 26. with elevations of less than 50 metres. more than 75% of the coastal zones of the Bahamas. while El Niño tends to increase the number of tropical storms in the Pacific (www. it is still unclear whether changes in the frequency of storms. bridges. the Maldives. warm El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena are characterised by an increase in tropical storms and hurricanes in the eastern Pacific.425 169. People and coastal ecosystems in such lowelevation areas are more exposed to windstorms and/or tidal waves than those further inland at higher elevations. particularly in the tropical Pacific.816 19. During the El Niño period of the early 1990s. 2001). An increase in storm activities in Sri Lanka eroded the southwestern coastline and parts of a major highway. SSTs in tropical oceans have witnessed an upward trend. Unusual storm surges in Kiribati (1997) and the Marshall Islands (1998) heightened tides and destroyed sea walls. Oceans are the primary energy source for tropical cyclones. Tonga. Geographical exposure of coastal areas Much of the land in many coastal communities – particularly those small island states that are not volcanic – is characterised as relatively flat.gov/tao/elnino/faq. The occurrence of more frequent and violent storms. However.572 24. according to IPCC (2001). It is believed that El Niño suppresses the development of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic. timing and intensity are directly related to global warming. Surinam and Germany have elevations of less than 50 metres. while they doubled between 1990 and 2000. which is likely to influence atmospheric circulation on a global scale (Kumar et al. 2004). Storm activities in the Atlantic basin were relatively low during 1971 and 1994. For example.pmel. 2000 In recent years. affecting Tuvalu. During the past 50 years. many coastal areas have witnessed significant increases in storm activities.604 Source: OFCD/CREDA World Natural Disaster Database. Denmark. their location. Samoa.159 161. there was a marked increase in tropical cyclones in the Pacific region.544 23. are due to sub-regional variations of sea-level associated with the El Niño phenomenon (Mitchell et al. Extreme storm activity in the Atlantic basin in 1995 was attributed in part to recent temperature increases in the Atlantic Ocean. and a decrease in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. 2001). 29 39 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .5°C is usually considered necessary for tropical cyclone development (Lindsay. Cook Island and Pacific Polynesia. Rainfall variability and anomalies of SST can trigger hurricanes. it may play an important role in tropical storm activities. roads.620 11. the Gambia.889 40. La Niña in the equatorial Pacific favours hurricane formation in the Atlantic.090 31. In general.html). 2001). As Table 10 shows.

The procedure used in calculating the percentage of flat land used in the ‘topography index’ is as follows: Global digital elevation model (1km resolution) Digital Elevation Model for the coastal zone % of relative flat land for each country Countrywide coastal zones layer The ‘coastline index’ is calculated using the following procedure: Coastline index = (length of the coastline/total length of the country boundary) Countries with longer coastlines and coastal lowlands are geographically more exposed to environmental threats such as storms and rising sea-levels than mountainous or landlocked countries. countries such as Indonesia. the Philippines.063 90. According to the analysis. Seoul.Table 10: Surface topography and coastline proportions in selected coastal communities Total coastal area (km2) Bahamas Maldives Netherlands Gambia Senegal Bangladesh Denmark Surinam Germany 8. Osaka. its topography is primarily coastal lowland (87%) and the population distribution is limited to the coastal zone (Table 10). the Maldives.5%.017 Coastal lowland area % with elevation Coastline and the country Topography index Geographical exposure (ie.267 47. including China and India.635 2.031 7. Table 10 shows that countries such as the Bahamas. Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . open and woodland) constitute about 42% of the land cover in the coastal zone.903 0.988 63.980 33.235 69.990 0. eight of these 10 cities are in developing countries.762 1.495 0.907 0.991 0. 10 major cities with a combined population of more than 139 million people are also located in coastal zones.443 105. However.635 2. Senegal and Denmark are geographically more exposed than countries such as Bangladesh and Surinam. 30 40 Global patterns of land cover distribution show that major forest cover types (closed. Along with small island developing states.000 0.000 1.305 0.800 50. Bangladesh has a relatively low coastal exposure as it has lengthy borders with India (4. respectively). Calcutta and Bombay) and three are in South America (Sao Paulo.120 0.306 41.980 33. Bangladesh. Overall. human populations are more highly concentrated in coastal areas than in inland areas. Furthermore.398 1.814 0. Indonesia. Many other countries. Japan. Summary: Status of the global coastal zone This study reveals that 41% of the world’s human population is found in the global coastal zone.300 103. Vietnam and the United Kingdom have more than 75% of their populations living in coastal areas.869 0.580 The geographical exposure of a country is calculated using the average of ‘coastline index’ and ‘topography index’.000 1. less than 50m) (km2) 8.648 0.536 0. composed of about 7% of the total habitable land area on Earth.000 1. Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro).219 37.006 79. have relatively low proportions of coastal forest cover as large areas have been cleared for agricultural use (55% and 47. Five of these cities are in Asia (Tokyo.184 0.481 0. The ratio of people living in coastal areas compared to people living inland clearly shows that coastal areas are the most densely populated regions in the world.831 0.000 0.098 0.870 0.364 8.000 0.813 of less than 50m 100 100 99 97 91 87 82 78 76 boundary index 1. In more than 85% of the countries studied.973 0. Mexico and Brazil have more than 50% of their coastal zones covered with forests.778 0.053km) and Burma (193km) in comparison to its coastline (580km).

Africa and South America.no/climate/ipcc-tar/wg1/553. Working Group 1: The Scientific Basis. www.htm According to this study.0 greatest pressures facing the A1B coastal zone and its inhabitants are A1F1 A1T changing land use and land cover. 31 41 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . and the reduction of biodiversity. According to the 2001 International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies’ World Disaster Report (OFDA/CRED). These figures clearly confirm that the world’s coastal regions are facing growing pressures due to their increasing populations. In addressing the need to protect humans and their environments in coastal zones. The protection status of these hotspots. Bangladesh. During the last century. 1996). 5. coral bleaching and pollution.3% in Africa. 1900-2100 and 25cm during the 20th century. the Philippines.2 ecosystems and human systems to adapt without major disruption and cost. Each of the six lines appearing in the key is the average of all atmosphere-ocean general circulation models for one increasing trend (Warrick.grida. The average number of people affected each year by disasters rose from 147 million in 1981-90 to 211 million in 1991-2000. India. global sealevels have risen by between 10cm Figure 15: Global average sea-level rise. large waves and tidal surges.7% in South America and just 2. China.7% of the area covered by biodiversity hotspots is located in the coastal zone. and high probability of natural disasters. where over 256 million people were affected by these disasters. They are expected to accelerate significantly during the 21st century as a result of human-induced climate change. The global distribution of natural disasters. The most affected coastal areas are located in developing countries. sharing borders with more than 58 countries. or a combination of both. the last century clearly shows the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The impacts of these 0.0 changes. 80% of the people killed by natural disasters were in Asia. the Caribbean.4 Impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems Sea level rise (m) Current studies indicate that the 1. especially windstorms. there were seven countries with more than 100 incidents (the United States. shows a greater likelihood of occurrence in tropical coastal areas.8 B1 explosive urban growth. High winds and tropical storms accompanied by flooding and large waves have devastating impacts. Moderate estimates suggest a global rise of about 50cm by 2100 (Figure 15). land cover changes. A2 0. particularly in storm-prone areas in the global coastal zone.9% in Australia and the Pacific – but low in developing countries – 6. The global distribution of biodiversity hotspots shows that 14 of the 23 hotspots in the coastal zone have transboundary status.6 changes include rising sea-levels. Australia and Japan). This will have disastrous effects on densely populated coastal environments around the world. These hotspots are mainly concentrated in Asia. four of these countries are in the developing world.4 Accelerated increases in temperature could raise sea-levels beyond the capacity of coastal 0. A wealth of literature examines historical and current sea-level 0. global warming. threats B2 to biodiversity hotspots. The study further shows a much greater number of casualties in developing countries. is high in developed countries – 12.The analysis also indicates that 40.4% in North America and 10. expressed as a percentage of each region’s protected areas. it is vital to understand the vulnerability of people and their ecosystems in these areas. and increasing storm activities. This may be related to coastal population increases or increases in storm-related disasters. A composite global 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 2060 2070 2080 2090 2100 mean sea-level change curve over Source: Climate Change 2001. 0. more frequent storms. which is a reflection of their limited coping capacities to natural disasters. of the six illustrative scenarios.

The effects of sea-level rise may vary spatially to a great extent. Major river deltas and coastal lagoons that have traditionally been favoured sites for human settlement will also be affected by sea-level rise. for example. coastal erosion and landslides. under a one-metre sea-level rise scenario. West Africa (Niger and Congo). Sierra Leone. The most affected areas will be the coastal areas of Europe and Asia and island nations with extensive coastal lowland areas. In these countries. 1995. and other impacts associated with rising sealevels (Hoozemans and Hulsburgen 1995). Gabon. the relocation of these populations is likely to cause significant social upheaval. populations living in flood-prone coastal areas will increase from 210 to 260 million. they will be equally vulnerable to the impact of increasing tropical storms. The effects are also likely to be intensified as these countries do not have sufficient resources to mitigate their impacts. 1998). Ukraine and Japan. Russia. The impact of sea-level rise is already evident in many Pacific island nations. 1991). continue to affect the quality of life and the sustainability of human populations and ecosystems in the global coastal zone. The low-lying Dutch. Much of the land areas of the Bahamas. Titus et al. 32 42 All these issues will. Gambia. Rising sea-levels will also increase salinity intrusion into freshwater aquifers in the coastal zone. Cuba. such as Haiti. due to the effects of land shrinkage.Rising sea-levels may adversely affect coastal areas by exposing or inundating land. whether directly or indirectly. Seychelles. Kitts and Nevis. there has been much less focus on the potential effects on settlement and population (Gommes et al. and 6 million in Egypt. in turn affecting water supplies. The FAO reports that a sea-level increase of 1 metre will adversely impact the lives of 13 million people in Bangladesh. and Dominica. River deltas with high population densities such as those in North Africa (on the Nile). With predicted sea-level rises. A global assessment of people at risk shows that. German and Baltic coasts will be the most seriously affected. one of the archipelago’s 33 major islands. northern and western Europe. climate change and rising sea-levels are already affecting tourism. consists of 1. the Dominican Republic.200 islands and atolls. Senegal. Although impacts will vary greatly according to Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk Roland Seitre / Still Pictures Rising sea-levels are also likely to flood low-lying coastal areas. It is expected that Millennium Island. fishing and the coastline. the Netherlands. Other high-risk areas include lowlying coastal lagoons in Angola. Although much has been written about the effects on agriculture and erosion. With the relatively high density of coastal populations in Europe (>100 per km2). food. have smaller coastal zones and will not be so dramatically affected by rising sea-levels. Germany. the coastline. the Maldives and the Marshall Islands do not exceed 3-4 metres above the current mean sea level. inundation.princeton. saltwater intrusion. the projected population at risk will increase to 400 million by 2020. mainly from agricultural areas. Wetlands protect the land from the sea and act as a filter to runoff from the land. including important habitats such as wetlands and mangroves. Kiribati. 72 million in China. 80% of which is less than 1 metre above sea level. the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable because they are primarily coastal lowlands. water supplies. which cover about 29 million square kilometres of ocean and contain some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Many low-lying island states and atolls in the Pacific Ocean. The Maldives.edu/). A relative vulnerability assessment of global coastal zones indicates that Southeast Asia. Cameroon. heritage and community Figure 16: Vanishing Islands structure of these islands will all gradually be eroded. Although small islands with volcanic origins. . southern Asia (Ganges) and Southeast Asia (Mekong) will all be adversely affected by rising sea-levels. agricultural productivity and human migration (Brinkman .1995). will disappear completely within the next 30-50 years. St. and small island developing states in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the Caribbean Sea are the areas most vulnerable to sea-level rise (Hoozemans and Hulsburgen. Rising sea-levels and small island developing states and river deltas Small island developing states are likely to suffer the most serious consequences of sea-level rise. Nigeria. When combined with population growth. It is estimated that a 50cm rise in sea-levels will destroy up to 50% of the coastal wetlands in North America (www.

61 19.41 10. According to these estimates. as well as the Netherlands’ ongoing assistance to vulnerable coastal nations through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Climate Change Study Assistance Programme. the Danish International Development Agency. it was only after the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 that ICZM showed an impressive growth in both developed and developing countries.93 10. Figure 17: Percentage of protected areas in coastal zones by continent Integrated Coastal Zone Management One of the fundamental principles of the 1972 United Nations Stockholm declaration was that “states should adopt an integrated and coordinated approach to their development planning” in order to manage their resources rationally and improve their environment. 10% barren land.00 30.edu/b2k/ baseline2000. www. snow or ice. 10. the protected areas in the coastal zone are made up of 29% forest.34 North America 32. regional and international levels. Figure 17 shows the percentage of protected areas that occupy the coastal zone in each continent. Protected areas Designated protected areas occupy roughly 10. show a clear indication that ICZM strategies have been recognised as practical and appropriate responses to the problems and issues in the coastal zone. forests and tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems. The growing number of countries and ICZM initiatives.00 10. In 1993. home to thousands of endemic species (Shi and Singh. by agencies such as the World Bank.87 0. and 10% wetlands and inland water bodies (www.5 Response indicators of coastal and marine ecosystems Responses to pressures on the coastal zone include the designation of protected areas.76 5. the Asian Development Bank. together with supporting action plans developed by UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme.14 5.6% grassland.32 Australia and Pacific 48.59 Europe and Asia 23. the Swedish International Development Agency. this had increased to 145 countries and organisations engaged in 698 ICZM efforts. particularly since 1992.uhi. the designing of national policies to minimise human impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems.1% cleared areas.org/).00 50.57 Africa 8. By 2002. 2.45% of the global coastal zone. 75 countries and organisations were engaged in 217 integrated coastal management efforts at national.pdf ). Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk 33 43 . the Japan International Cooperation Agency. the onus is increasingly upon individual societies to adopt measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate the looming social and ecological effects of rising sea-levels on their coastal communities. 2003). and the signing of international conventions and commitments for integrated coastal zone management. This is further supported by significant investments in coastal and marine projects. 8.00 20.00 60. 5.00 40.45 World 23. and the United States Agency for International Development. Of these. the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. ration of protected area in coastal zone to total area protected on each continent.46 South America 12.unep-wcmc.umb.geographical location and levels of socio-economic development. However.00 ratio of designated areas in the coastal zone to total coastal zone area.

The assessment of coastal vulnerability presented in this study is intended as a key management tool for raising awareness of relative levels of vulnerability in specific coastal areas. The need for greater cooperation and collaboration in preserving what is left of our marine and coastal habitats has pushed integrated coastal zone management up the global agenda in recent years (Kenchington and Crawford. “pollution from land-based sources still represents 75-80% of total marine pollution. As a recent study alarmingly noted. 2003).These efforts recognise the importance placed by many farsighted developed countries on helping poorer countries to ‘clean up their acts’ in the global coastal zone – a zone which. 34 44 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . after all. with 90% of urban wastes and 70% of industrial wastes discharged into the sea without treatment in developing countries” (Belfiore. and for coordinating the planning and management of their future protection and adaptation. affects the health of the entire planet. 1993).

1993). transportation routes and political systems in coastal areas throughout the world (Sachs et al. • Impacts of physical changes on the socio-economic and ecological coastal system.” According to the IPCC-CZM report. sea-levels. The Vulnerability Assessment of Coastal Zones concept was originally introduced by the IPCC’s Coastal Zone Management (CZM) sub-group in 1991 and is defined as “a nation’s degree of capability to cope with the consequences of sea-level rise. The results of the IPCC’s Vulnerability Assessment methodology. population pressure and coping capacity. financial.1 Current work on a Coastal Vulnerability Index Effective coastal management at the state. an assessment involves three major aspects: • Susceptibility of coastal areas to physical changes imposed by sea-level rise. 2001). applied in 43 coastal nations and regions. coastal areas offer advantages over inland areas for many human activities. For much of the past 1. with major implications for both people and ecosystems. 2001). People and coastal ecosystems can be vulnerable to different threats – ecological. Vulnerability in this report is defined as the extent to which a population or an ecosystem is liable to be affected by a hazard event. or coastal erosion rates (Daniels et al. These advantages have fostered the development of cultures. cities. • Possibilities to prevent or alleviate such impacts by implementing measures. intensifying pressures on the land and modifying the natural environment.6. regional or national level requires the ability to identify areas with high population densities and housing values that would be adversely affected by increases in storm frequencies. Rijkswaterstaat and Delft. Coping capacity) The conceptual framework in developing a Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) thus involves: (a) the identification of measurable indicators to represent exposure. environmental – and to different degrees. 1993. and its capacity to adapt to or otherwise mitigate its adverse impacts (The National Academy of Sciences. The main strategies for adaptation to rising sea-levels were identified as Retreating. Human vulnerability depends upon a population’s exposure to a hazard. 1994). 2001). wetlands. there has been an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters in the coastal zone. Coastal vulnerability (CV) can thus be expressed as a function (f) of exposure to environmental threats. 45 35 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . population density and coping capacity: CV = f (Exposure to hazard. Population density. In addition. 1990).000 years. were reported during the 1993 World Coast Conference in the Netherlands (IPCC-CZM. Accommodating and Protecting (RAP) (IPCC-CZM. rice production and basic protection costs (Hoozeman et al. and mitigated by the capacity of a population or ecosystem to cope with these effects. people have increasingly exploited the coastal zone. and (b) the development of a mathematical model to combine these indicators into a composite CVI. focusing on the impact of potential sea-level rises on their coastal populations. 6. The Global Vulnerability Assessment (GVA) – Sea Level Rise (SLR) presented an overview of 179 coastal nations. Coastal Vulnerability By virtue of their geographic location.

fisheries assessment Application of IPCC methodology to produce a pilot study Socio-economic index. Atlantic Coast erosion. physical features. land production.htm Outputs www. A 1998 study by the FAO on agricultural vulnerability to storm-related disasters in developing countries reviewed the impact of tropical storms on agriculture. geographic isolations. population density. 1999 Although a number of studies and reports have attempted to develop coastal vulnerability indices. where poverty and population pressures force growing numbers of people to live in harm’s way” Kofi Annan. gov/epubs/ openfiles/ ofr99-593/pages/ cvi. Secretary-General of the United Nations. of Maldives Coastal. Table 11: Current work on a Coastal Vulnerability Index Year 2001 Author or organisation FAO 2001 Woods Hole Inputs used Tropical storms Slope. October 9.usgs. Coastal vulnerability index. Grenada and Guyana Coastal. wave height. natural disasters. forestry and fisheries.org Index value ranking www. wave height. geomorphology Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre. the majority of this work has been focused purely on assessing vulnerability to sea-level rise (Table 11).org/docrep/meeting/003/x9178e. Economic vulnerability index www. natural resources.cobalt. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Coastal.cpacc. etc. shoreline displacement. Rep. forest. in an effort to determine the relative economic impacts of inundation Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .fao.S. US west coast Vulnerability due to sea-level rise 1999. 1999 International Herald Tribune. tidal range Population density.“Most disaster victims live in developing countries. 2001 South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) Environmental vulnerability 1999 UNDP and Ministry of Planning and National Development.org/ docrep/meeting/ 003/x9178e. 2000.gov/ epubs/ndp043c/ sec9.fao. org. This index evaluates both physical variables (eg.esd. geology. Oceanographic Institution vulnerability to sea-level rise. a pilot study involving Barbados.htm Land. Based on 12 dimensions with many components for each dimension Source of references www. Maldives at island and atoll level 2001 2001 36 46 Focus of application Agricultural vulnerability to storms Coastal Subsidence.woodshole. sea-level. geomorphology. mean wave height. mean elevation.fj/ Projects/Evi/EVI% 20Indicator% 20Web/evi_ indicators_list.htm Environmental vulnerability index Chapter 11: Maldives and Vulnerability Poverty Assessment Human vulnerability index Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Goddard Space Institute developed an Economic Vulnerability Index that combines a socio-economic index with a coastal vulnerability index for the US coastal zone. tidal range. elevation) and economic factors (eg.htm). er.sopac.html www.cdiac. and presented a strategy for reducing agricultural vulnerability to such disasters (www. housing values). U. ornl.

but does not include a human component ( http://pubs. A weighting scheme was applied for the indicators based upon their priorities in constructing an overall index. erosion.html) (Gornitz et al. environment. One major constraint in developing such an index is the lack of reliable data-sets for evaluating the many and varied dimensions of human vulnerability.gov/of/ of99-593/pages/cvi. consumer goods.1999). including effects on the physical and biological aspects of ecosystems. A single index along with key vulnerability indicators will help to assess each country’s vulnerability standing and the major contributing factors. 1998). It is important to develop a vulnerability index that assigns a single index value for each coastal country and examines the spatial distribution of variations of vulnerability. drinking water. education. 37 47 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . communities and species (Kaly et al . health. including natural disasters (windstorms.2 Vulnerability indicators People in coastal areas are exposed to a variety of environmental threats. A global Coastal Vulnerability Index is clearly important for understanding the current status of vulnerability facing many countries worldwide. As the above table indicates. vulnerability was assessed for 117 countries selected for their different levels of human development (UNDP.or coastal erosion. Nicholls’ study examined a range of issues including changes in sea-level rise and climate change. What is needed is a simple yet reliable methodology for assessing the vulnerability of human populations in coastal areas to environmental threats. The environmental component. 1998). attempts to assess the vulnerability of the environment to both human and natural hazards. endemic diseases. 2001).sopac. 1994. biodiversity. It is expected that countries will use the index to determine the vulnerable areas of their individual environments. Coping refers to the manner in which people act within their ranges of resources and expectations to reduce their vulnerability and the impact of such threats. The project is in progress.htm).fj/Projects/Evi/EVI%20Indicator%20Web/evi_indicators_list. as well as changes in vegetation diversity. The impacts of these threats on coastal societies vary widely depending upon their coping capacities. 6. food security and employment).ecy. waves and tidal surges). and methodologies for vulnerability assessment. electricity. shrinking wetlands. The study also provides a good introduction to UNEP’s Handbook on methods for climate change impact assessment and adaptation strategies. Shaw et al. this study considered a variety of factors that put coastal communities in vulnerable situations. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has developed a coastal vulnerability index to sea-level rise for the US Atlantic coast. and what would be the relative economic and social impacts of their losses? ( http://www. housing. communication. Diseases such as malaria and dengue fever affect huge numbers of people living in tropical and sub-tropical coastal areas. new tide range and mean wave height). although its geographic focus is limited to the Caribbean (Nicholls. transport. using 12 indicators (income and poverty. it addresses two questions: What coastal areas are most at risk. relative sea-level change. In this study. slope. soil condition and water quality). developed by the South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC). In 1998.usgs. in order to identify and prioritise adaptive response strategies. although database development for each country appears to be a constraint. No attempts have been made to assess global coastal areas as a whole or to develop a vulnerability index for all coastal countries. The first index to consider the east. forest excisions. Robert Nicholls prepared a technical report on assessing coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise for the Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change (CPACC) project. This index uses six physical variables (geomorphology. In 1998. reduced access to drinking water. these studies are more or less limited to a particular geographic region or to the effects of specific processes such as erosion or sea-level rise. The environmental vulnerability index produced by SOPAC consists of 54 indicators (cobalt. and ecosystem degradation (erosion. the UNDP and the Republic of Maldives’ Ministry of Planning and National Development developed a composite vulnerability index to assess human vulnerability in the country.wa.gov/) The Barbados Programme of Action called for the development of a composite index incorporating the environmental and economic vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). populations or organisms.org. In attempting to develop a comprehensive Coastal Vulnerability Index. Gulf and west coasts of the United States as an integrated unit.

In this study. reliable and measurable composite index. typhoons and hurricanes) and wave surges (including tsunamis and high tides). UNDP’s Human Development Report provides the latest HDI for each country. fresh water and infrastructure. it is assumed that there is no difference between the HDI of a country’s coastal areas and its interior. an attempt has been made to develop a simple. This can be used to assess how relative topographical characteristics affect human vulnerability.This study used data on natural disaster incidents that occurred in the past 100 years and that signify disaster-prone areas around the world.1 Exposure indicators • Population density in coastal areas . knowledge (defined by its Gross Enrolment Ratio). A country’s performance is measured by calculating the average of these three indices (UNDP.2 Coping capacity indicator The Human Development Index (HDI) developed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) appears to be the best available indicator for measuring coping capacities. • Percentage of vegetation cover . people and ecosystems are more exposed to natural disasters than countries with shorter coastlines and fewer people in coastal lowlands. However. large incomes and longer life expectancies are generally better informed and have better access to modern infrastructure and communication. Although drought affects many countries. expressed as a value between 0 and 1. Population density indicates demand for a variety of resources and services. The HDI considers three data dimensions: healthy life (defined by a country’s average life expectancy). It shows the combined effects of life expectancy at birth. including land. exposures to certain environmental threats could not be assessed by this study. The proportion of forest cover for each country was obtained using the ratio of forest cover to coastal lands.(HD)] …… [1] PD ND 1-FC GE HD = = = = = where: population density high probability of natural disaster incidents low forest cover geographic exposure human development 38 48 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .Due to data constraints and measurement difficulties. it was omitted from this study in order to give priority to natural disasters that largely affect coastal areas.2. using the indicators described below. as well as protecting freshwater sources and reducing coastal erosion. and standard of living (defined by its Gross Domestic Product). If coastal areas have been used extensively for economic activities such as aquaculture. These primarily comprise of windstorms (tropical storms. education level and income level. cyclones.Vegetation in coastal areas serves to protect human settlements and coastal environments from extreme storm activities. 6. 6. 2001). • Geographic exposure . People with high literacy rates. Low forest cover contributes to low productivity due to soil degradation and sediment deposits in riverbeds.The geographic exposure of a country is assessed using the percentage of flat land (less than 50m) and the proportion of the length of the coastline to the country’s total boundary.This is represented by the population density index derived from the ratio of coastal population to coastal land area. Computing vulnerability A country’s coastal vulnerability is computed using the following equation: Vulnerability = f( (PD) + (ND) + (1-FC) + (GE)) . The study used the World Natural Disaster database (CRED) to extract the total number of disaster events for all global coastal countries over the past 100 years. forest and mangrove areas typically are cleared – reducing protection from storms and increasing marine pollution. • Probability of natural disaster incidents .2. If a country has a longer coastline and the coastal lowlands are densely populated. and also affects water quality.

natural hazards.459 respectively (Table 12a). High geographic exposure. all indicators were scaled between 0 and 1 using the following scaling formula: Index = (X – Min)/(Max – Min) …………… [2] i i Where X = data value for X indicator A value between 0 and 1 shows the contribution of a particular indicator compared to that of other countries. lack of forest cover (forest index). and a single vulnerability index value may not present an accurate picture of their overall vulnerability. developing and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) for vulnerability to environmental threats (CVI). The original data are in non-comparable units. Once scaled.5 (between 0 and 1) CVI values. therefore. Calculation and standardisation of CVI values Once the CVI was calculated for each country. topography and human development. and geographic exposure (topography and the ratio of coastline to country boundary). natural hazards and population pressures on their coastlines contribute to this risk. countries are ranked as having ‘moderate’ vulnerability if they are within 68% of the distribution around the mean ((1 sd) ± 0. and a formula is required to convert the data into a set of equivalent indices. all of the indices were combined to produce a Coastal Vulnerability Index. while 0. These data are important in raising awareness of risk and for more in-depth studies using comprehensive data-sets. In addition to the overall CVI produced for each country.478 and 0.. while countries with ‘high’ and ‘low’ vulnerabilities are above and below these cut-off points.8 shows a relatively high presence of forest cover among the countries examined. For example. Accordingly. All developed countries show less than 0. Using mean and standard deviations. This was done using the following formula and the minimum and maximum CVI values of the region: CVI (standardised) = (x – min) / (max-min) ……………… [4] The ‘Vulnerability Class’ in Table 12 was produced by evaluating the distribution of index values across all of the countries assessed in the CVI. is equal to ‘high population concentration + high probability of natural disaster incidents + low forest cover + high geographic exposure – the human development level.28 (mean) where 1sd = 0. all of the countries were standardised to bring the values between 0 and 1. a value of 0. assessing its relative status (ie. level of vulnerability) within the region. However.’ Appendix 1 shows the original data collected for population density. Table 12 also shows a country’s risk factors to population pressure (population density index and ratio of coastal population and land). Among these countries.High vulnerability. Canada. China and Russia should be evaluated cautiously. and the vulnerability classes.S. All of these countries comprise diverse regions. the ranking of countries in developed. 6.14). which is indicative of their high coping capacities to environmental threats. The table also presents the HDI.3 forest cover indicates a very low level of forest cover.3 The most vulnerable coastal countries The individual risk factors listed in Table 12 were derived from the data presented in Appendix A. Denmark and the Netherlands show relatively high vulnerabilities with 0. forest cover. vulnerability indices for countries with large land masses and long coastlines such as the U. 39 49 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . All global coastal zones were evaluated and the result was a single value for each country. natural hazards (storm/ tidal hazard index).

719 1.983 0.000 0.000 0.459 0.034 0.380 0.593 0.189 0.059 0.972 0.069 0.116 0.040 2.000 0.546 2.476 0.189 0.107 0.228 0.039 0.135 0.414 1.967 0.000 0.000 0.579 1.160 0.257 0.991 0.957 0.305 1.020 0.043 0.762 0.347 0.248 0.651 1.248 0.045 0.255 0.653 0.index Population density index Topography index Forest index Human development index (HDI) Ratio of coastal population on and coastal land index Ratio of the country boundary and the coastline Geographic exposure Coastal Vulnerabilty Index (CVI) Vulnerability class 0.207 0.247 0.014 0.212 0.974 0.108 0.966 0.021 1.000 0.581 1.920 0.335 0.220 0.000 0.027 0.111 0.034 0.958 0.080 0.004 0.289 0.222 0.182 0.011 0.000 0.045 0.000 0.453 0.091 0.412 0.366 0.419 0.813 0.041 0.024 0.778 1.788 1.002 0.647 0.364 0.576 0.000 0.730 0.207 0.004 0.398 0.100 0.192 0.026 0.031 0.325 0.000 0.038 0.038 0.281 0.090 0.161 0.002 0.257 0.596 0.932 0.400 0.040 0.008 0.000 0.042 0.910 0.000 0.092 0.547 0.257 1.801 0.213 0.042 1.102 1.035 0.069 0.020 0.098 0.020 0.000 0.179 1.640 0.896 0.965 0.000 0.056 0.000 0.623 1.340 0.971 0.216 0.721 0.815 0.155 0.966 0.058 0.696 1.142 0.961 0.984 0.256 Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Low Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Low Moderate Moderate Moderate Low Moderate Moderate 50 40 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .000 0.267 0.854 2.996 0.335 0.078 0.000 0.191 0.059 0.150 0.081 0.000 0.899 0.797 1.177 0.157 0.043 0.000 0.344 0.130 0.326 0.478 0.961 0.978 0.033 0.102 0.620 0.054 0.Table 12a Vulnerability in global coastal zones Country Developed countries Australia Belgium Canada Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Japan The Netherlands New Zealand Norway Poland Portugal Russia Spain Sweden United Kingdom United States Total killed and affected due to storm and tidal wave incidents .300 0.970 0.036 0.756 1.478 0.247 0.733 2.857 1.990 0.000 0.983 0.351 0.062 0.000 0.000 0.767 0.966 0.987 0.953 0.227 0.543 0.000 0.271 0.809 2.101 0.378 0.946 0.733 1.270 0.270 0.918 1.024 0.189 0.814 0.040 0.

429 1.519 0.104 0.790 0.593 0.735 0.855 0.023 0.050 0.004 0.081 0.009 0.489 1.593 0.291 0.261 0.064 India 0.001 0.525 0.388 0.672 0.049 0.378 0.059 1.039 0.039 0.135 0.044 0.338 0.000 0.163 0.543 3.701 0.028 0.314 0.567 1.166 0.018 Bangladesh 0.294 Liberia 0.079 Guatemala 0.416 0.000 0.002 0.107 0.971 0.489 0.223 0.265 0.758 0.916 0.181 0.000 Belize 0.589 1.168 0.390 0.000 0.272 0.000 0.520 Colombia 0.549 1.129 0.350 0.029 Madagascar 0.046 0.001 0.659 1.089 0.000 0.112 0.879 1.767 -0.016 0.134 3.164 0.027 0.310 0.644 0.154 0.637 0.652 0.779 0.704 0.910 0.000 0.370 0.000 0.047 0.824 0.447 0.074 0.287 0.009 Brazil 0.160 0.289 0.396 0.082 0.105 Georgia 0.001 0.078 0.017 0.332 0.760 0.005 0.000 0.039 0.061 Chile 0.177 0.184 0.910 0.000 0.396 0.242 0.440 0.988 0.282 0.305 1.776 0.000 0.100 0.011 Eritrea 0.931 0.398 0.428 0.005 0.171 0.806 0.289 1.752 0.669 0.236 1.000 0.663 0.162 0.027 0.159 0.000 0.486 Indonesia 0.112 Mozambique 0.192 0.020 0.068 Djibouti 0.094 0.351 1.907 0.001 0.033 0.016 0.076 0.039 0.842 2.268 0.439 0.039 0.000 0.247 0.235 0.190 0.056 Costa Rica 0.278 0.876 0.320 0.037 0.120 0. Democratic Peoples Republic 0.194 0.250 Moderate Low Moderate Moderate High Moderate Moderate Low Low Moderate Low Moderate 0.152 0.801 0.136 0.068 Brunei 0.086 0.050 Bulgaria 0.000 0.208 0.644 0.065 0.258 0.714 -0.190 0.000 0.738 0.065 Cameroon 0.037 0.000 0.494 1.719 0.046 0.036 Korea.003 0.080 0.209 0.092 0.736 0.857 0.415 0.571 0.479 0.019 1.002 Gabon 0.086 0.091 0.000 0.318 0.501 0.870 0.000 0.000 0.037 Libya 0.190 0.154 0.314 0.000 0.176 0.439 1.143 Kenya 0.339 0.360 0.001 0.085 0.041 0.115 0. The 0.053 0.000 0.547 0.626 0.214 0.155 0.191 Guinea 0.098 0.303 0.364 0.000 0.304 0.784 0.049 0.000 0.015 0.080 Mauritania 0.098 0.120 0.664 0.058 0.070 0.022 Malaysia 0.335 0.248 0.605 0.245 1.481 0.037 0.106 0.575 1.029 Ecuador 0.712 0.186 0. Islam Republic 0.354 0.253 0.096 0.239 0.002 -0.333 0.609 0.065 0.000 0.039 Morocco 0.885 0.973 0.098 0.723 0.032 0.130 1.800 0.476 0.622 -0.283 0.001 0.030 Jordan 0.228 0.503 0.478 0.251 1.733 0.374 0.130 0.527 0.000 0.194 0.113 Algeria 0.134 0.301 0.190 0.282 0.723 0.130 El Salvador 0.295 0.049 1.682 0.008 Gambia.675 0.175 0.396 0.090 0.140 Iran.471 0.681 -0.142 0.807 1.378 0.831 0.340 0.350 0.098 0.index Coastal population density index Developing countries (as per World Bank) Albania 0.164 0.579 0.082 0.453 1.284 Equatorial Guinea 0.400 1.000 0.115 0.958 1.651 0.000 0.472 0.041 0.000 0.783 1.639 0.265 0.599 0.043 Topography index Forest index Human development index (HDI) Ratio of coastal population on and coastal land index Ratio of the country boundary and the coastline Geographic exposure Coastal Vulnerabilty Index (CVI) Vulnerability class 0.232 High Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Low Moderate Moderate Low Low Moderate Low Moderate Moderate Low Moderate High Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate 0.000 0.835 1.176 0.348 0.056 0.682 0.083 Egypt 0.032 0.356 0.297 0.810 0.331 0.071 Guyana 0.021 Argentina 0.039 0.049 0.338 0.478 1.298 0.903 0.000 0.507 0.001 0.032 1. Republic 0.221 0.474 0.877 0.000 0.951 0.232 0.617 0.075 0.307 0.157 0.591 0.038 0.610 0.197 0.739 0.068 0.183 0.076 Lebanon 0.006 Honduras 0.000 0.613 0.018 China.660 0.242 0.Table 12b Vulnerability in global coastal zones Country Total killed and affected due to storm and tidal wave incidents .089 0.165 0.012 Mexico 0.000 0.510 1.946 0.000 0.077 0.777 1.102 0.359 0.039 0.561 0.870 0.191 Angola 0.028 0.061 Cambodia 0.469 Kuwait 0.772 0.387 0.282 Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate 51 41 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .315 0.021 0.310 0.971 0.884 0.024 0.563 0.805 1.592 0. Peoples Republic of 1.040 Ethiopia 0.789 0.027 0.563 0.000 0.032 French Guiana 0.054 0.906 1.073 0.220 Korea.716 0.261 0.106 0.835 0.

139 0.423 0.000 0.922 0.320 0.004 0.294 0.139 0.268 Sudan 0.000 0.564 0.752 1.105 0.055 Somalia 0.067 Sri Lanka 0.030 1.355 0.778 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.821 1.030 0.035 0.004 0.219 0.190 0.042 0.275 0.105 0.211 0.039 0.087 0.039 0.065 Zaire/Congo.372 0.240 0.119 0.098 0.050 0.251 0.294 0.094 0.134 0.906 0.000 0.883 0.000 1.660 1.035 Papua New Guinea 0.179 Panama 0.497 1.043 0.551 0.039 0.731 0.191 2.702 0.863 0.967 1.185 0.169 1.020 0.383 0.285 0.387 0.061 0.069 Viet Nam 0.298 0.344 0.247 0.000 0.009 Syrian Arab Republic 0.286 0.724 0.050 0.743 0.167 0.000 0.404 0.426 0.783 0.010 Suriname 0.000 0.651 0.471 0.004 0.866 0.413 0.052 0.863 0.226 0.000 0.438 0.122 Namibia 0.347 0.184 0.077 United Arab Emirates 0.005 0.150 0.399 Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate 0.066 0.269 0.077 0.564 0.070 0.274 0.207 0.237 0.677 0.156 0.040 Uruguay 0.742 0.311 Oman 0.095 Low 42 52 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .215 0.030 Venezuela 0.005 0.418 0.907 0.702 0.000 0.916 0.109 0.828 1.000 0.439 0. Democratic Republic 0.782 0.049 Nigeria 0.000 Nicaragua 0.274 0.160 0.753 0.685 0.864 1.008 0.015 1.106 0.758 0.424 0.322 0.000 0.136 -0.Table 12b Vulnerability in global coastal zones (continued) Country Total killed and affected due to storm and tidal wave incidents .000 0.807 0.165 0.535 0.069 Philippines 0.415 0.374 0.000 0.174 0.625 1.042 1.050 1.603 0.315 0.714 0.608 0.204 1.320 0.011 0.127 Ukraine 0.index Coastal population density index Developing countries (as per World Bank) Myanmar 0.000 0.254 0.248 0.212 2.789 0.003 0.536 -0.061 Thailand 0.243 0.053 Saudi Arabia 0.552 0.000 0.200 0.109 Sierra Leone 0.079 0.296 0.558 0.005 0.293 Romania 0.372 1.058 0.398 0.896 1.136 -0.436 0.626 0.297 0.357 Yemen Arab Republic 0.078 0.000 0.003 0.115 0.359 0.578 0.633 -0.063 0.731 0.861 0.218 0.069 0.458 0.000 0.733 0.454 0.021 0.311 0.328 0.100 0.000 0.034 0.197 0.502 0.000 0.384 0.000 0.128 0.081 0.202 Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate 0.084 0.407 0.522 0.020 South Africa 0.038 0.477 1.157 0.691 1.818 0.425 0.008 0.175 0.162 0.238 0.195 1.393 0.255 Republic of the Congo 0.000 0.365 1.374 0.724 1.683 1.000 0.325 1.556 Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate High 0.082 0.751 0.489 1.415 0.289 Tanzania.162 Turkey 0.089 0.497 0.069 0.005 -0.050 0.210 0.015 0.218 1.399 0.000 0.751 -0.913 1.011 Peru 0. United Republic 0.373 0.011 0.091 Topography index Forest index Human development index (HDI) Ratio of coastal population on and coastal land index Ratio of the country boundary and the coastline Geographic exposure Coastal Vulnerabilty Index (CVI) Vulnerability class 0.000 0.922 1.034 Senegal 0.256 0.509 0.255 0.131 0.439 0.016 Pakistan 0.174 0.233 0.

094 0. China.039 Seychelles 0.598 0.358 0.549 0.036 Maldives 0. Other highly vulnerable small island states are the Seychelles.000 1. Source: http://images.000 0.039 Dominica 0.598 2.820 0.699 0.000 1.163 0.201 0.579 3.039 St Kitts & Nevis 0. a low proportion of forests in coastal areas.546 0. Vincent and the Grenadines. while all of the remainder face a ‘moderate’ risk (Table 12c). These countries are vulnerable to environmental threats due to their geographic exposure to storms and hurricanes. Two of the 16 SIDS face a ‘high’ vulnerability.864 0.040 Barbados 0.071 0.494 0.000 0.015 0.877 0.000 0.001 0.118 1.718 0.552 0.177 0.292 0.554 0.937 1.index Coastal population density index Topography index Forest index Human development index (HDI) Ratio of coastal population on and coastal land index Small Island Developing States (as per UN Economic and Social Development) Bahamas 0.039 St Vincent & The Grenadines 0.129 0.002 0.145 0.039 Ratio of the country boundary and the coastline Geographic exposure Coastal Vulnerabilty Index (CVI) Vulnerability class 1. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) clearly have the highest exposure factors.286 0.754 0.004 0.564 0. All SIDS are relatively more vulnerable to environmental threats than other countries.143 0.042 0.000 1.707 0.211 0. Bangladesh.794 0.Table 12c Vulnerability in global coastal zones Country Total killed and affected due to storm and tidal wave incidents .isc.000 0.577 0.470 2.041 St Lucia 0. low forest cover and high population pressure on the coast. Vanuatu and Fiji.424 1.042 0.153 0.223 0.487 0.039 Haiti 0.199 1.934 2.005 0.252 1.000 1.gov/images/ pao/STS7/10061237.000 0.425 0. or by protecting their coastal areas with sand bars/islands or constructed dykes (eg. the Caribbean and the Pacific.757 0.018 1.000 0.024 0.187 0.067 0. High population densities and geographic exposure.877 0.000 0. According to Table 12c.176 0.202 0.746 0.036 0.000 0. Bahamas.000 0.039 Vanuatu 0.nasa.000 0.061 1.135 1.358 0. with an index value of 1. India and the Philippines show high levels of vulnerability (Table 12b).000 1.207 0. Their social and economic development indicators are also relatively higher than many countries in the ‘developing countries’ category.007 0.824 0. Some volcanic island states.120 0.000 0.297 0.251 Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate High High Moderate Moderate Moderate 1. Seychelles.940 0.463 0.000 1.039 Fiji 0.081 0.00.013 0. where windstorms and tidal surges are more prevalent.000 1.682 1.782 1.004 0.367 0.000 1. The Netherlands and Denmark).325 Moderate Moderate Among developing countries.000 0.000 0.831 1.422 0.000 0.001 0.039 Solomon Islands 0.613 0.466 0. the United States).001 0.513 0. This raises the interesting possibility that countries with high coastal vulnerability may be able to reduce it by opening up inland areas to urban settlement and development (eg.421 0.356 0.794 1. such as St.791 0.187 0.297 0. have relatively narrow coastal lowlands and steep hills in the centre (except the Seychelles).152 0.788 0.061 2.013 0. particularly in the Indian Ocean.257 0.000 1.771 1.208 0. This clearly indicates the vulnerable nature of people and ecosystems on small islands. and a low human development index ranking contribute to their high vulnerability values.898 0.272 0.039 Cuba 0.791 0.039 Jamaica 0.992 1. Barbados.jpg Figure 18: Maldives space shuttle image 53 43 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .173 0.038 Cyprus 0.039 Dominican Republic 0.440 2.684 1. Fiji and Haiti.000 2.740 0. the Maldives shows the highest vulnerability of all.

it has a higher potential to cope with natural disasters due to its high human development and technological advances. tides and rising sea-levels than those living in inland areas. probability of natural disasters. so too do pressures on land. population pressures. China and India. Not all coastal countries with high population concentrations and a high probability of natural disasters are vulnerable. Coastal populations and ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to these threats because of their high degree of exposure.75% of the area covered by biodiversity hotspots occur in the global coastal zone. Bangladesh. This study shows that the vulnerability of a community to environmental threats depends upon both their exposure and their coping capacities. Barbados.7. the top 10 most vulnerable coastal countries are the Maldives. a country’s exposure was determined using population density. communication systems and financial structures that can help to minimise the impacts of environmental threats. natural hazards. Denmark and the Bahamas. the Philippines. The vulnerability index and the vulnerability class produced for each country shows its relative standing based upon its individual exposure and coping capacity. Some countries have better infrastructure. six of them are in developing countries and five are in Asia. wetlands and biodiversity hotspots covering 41% of the coastal zone. The major constraint to carrying out such an assessment has been the lack of accurate and timely data at the global level. the Seychelles. while North America has the highest (32%). and geographic exposure.45% of designated protected areas and 24. A reliable assessment of the current status of the global coastal environment is long overdue. Recent advances in spatial data gathering and processing techniques such as Satellite Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems have enabled the research community to begin to overcome these constraints. It is important to note that 14 of the 23 hotspots are at least partially distributed within the borders of 58 countries – a factor that may hinder the proper management of these hotspots. It is evident that a coastal community with a high population density living on relatively flat land with a long coastline in a natural-disaster-prone area is more exposed to environmental threats than other coastal communities. However. Of the 25 most biologically diverse hotspots in the world. The consequences of these human pressures are all too evident in the continuing upward trends of global warming. Conclusion As the world’s coastal population continues to grow. 23 lie at least partially in the coastal zone. People who live in coastal areas are relatively more exposed to environmental threats such as storms. Mauritania. The analysis of this study shows that approximately 41% of the global population lives in coastal areas that constitute about 7% of the total habitable land on Earth. water and other environmental resources. In this study. Although Denmark also has a high vulnerability due to its geographic exposure and low forest cover. the two most densely populated countries in the world. According to the analysis. According to the Coastal Vulnerability Index. This area is also home to forests. 10. The Seychelles have a high human development index and low population density and its low forest cover and high geographic exposure contribute to a high vulnerability value. India. Coastal population densities and the ratios of people living in coastal and inland areas reveal that more than 85% of developed and developing countries and small island states have high population concentrations in coastal areas. it can minimise the effects of its exposure to some extent by reducing its vulnerability. ecosystem degradation and pollution.16% and 47. Asia has the lowest forest cover in the coastal zone (10%). geographic exposure and the probability of natural disaster occurrences appear to be the major factors contributing to vulnerability to environmental threats. if the community has a better coping capacity. Eight of the 10 most densely populated cities are found in coastal areas.52% respectively (Table 5). While Indonesia and Mexico have retained more than 30% of their coastal forests. 54 44 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . The analysis also shows that coastal zones occupy about 19% of the global landmass. These are fragile ecosystems with some of the world’s richest biodiversity. have the most cleared land in coastal zones: 55. China. According to the result.

While the number of countries used in this CVI (117) and the EVI (235) are different.53 Bangladesh 3.478 0. which primarily considered the economic forces at work in medium and low human development SIDS (http://islands.htm ).554 0. cultural.21 Barbados 4.593 0.478 0. SOPAC has developed an Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI). The accuracy of currently available national statistics.45 Denmark 3. 55 45 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . the FAO has developed a ‘vulnerability index’ (or VI). which also considers the potential impacts of social and economic systems on countries’ vulnerability. Although the index produced in this study was based only upon specific available data.466 0.58 Bahamas 2. financial and technical impacts.84 Seychelles 3. Table 13 compares the rankings of the top 12 countries according to the CVI in this study and the EVI of SOPAC. has been examined in terms of its socio-economic. particularly for smaller counties and those with longer coastlines.000 0. These vulnerabilities can affect many people without respect to their country’s geographic location. These results of this preliminary CVI should be interpreted with caution. With the aim of promoting environmental vulnerability considerations in national development planning and management. both of these studies arrived at similar vulnerability rankings to those produced by this study – particularly in the case of small island nations. Table 13 Comparison between this Coastal Vulnerability Index and SOPAC’s Environmental Vulnerability Index Coastal Vulnerability Index Country Maldives Bangladesh China India Philippines Seychelles Barbados Mauritania Denmark Bahamas Netherlands Senegal Index value 1.htm).07 India 3.85 Netherlands 3. particularly those derived from digital maps and remote sensing based sources and those compiled within individual countries.556 0.40 Senegal 2.494 0. in a much broader sense.07 Vulnerability.ch/d98-vul.In order to assess the combined effects of insularity and population.835 0.org/waicent/ faoinfo/sustdev/Eidirect/Eire0049. pose a serious constraint to this type of analysis.14 Philippines 4.unep.78 China 3.56 Mauritania 2.458 SOPAC Environmental Vulnerability Index Country Index value Maldives 4. the information derived for each country can serve as a broader indicator of threats to people living in similar coastal zones and situations. which is defined as the product of the Insularity Index and population density (www. as well as those derived from coarse resolution global data-sets.644 0.459 0. coastal countries face particular environmental threats in addition to other forms of vulnerability because of their close proximity to the sea. However. there are some similarities in the order in which the countries appear.fao. physical. Despite the differences in the factors used by the FAO study and by the Commonwealth Vulnerability Index. Variations also exist among different data sources.

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62 38.95 16.71 25.00 0.2 Norway 323895 Poland 31047.25 38.26 9.7 United Kingdom 23737.87 79.47 19.11 81.00 13.65 99.08 29.57 9.99 61.99 54.04 25.47 91.2 Denmark 4213.17 94.09 77.19 62.00 89.52 9.6 Iceland 9940.97 59.38 1.18 76.8 Finland 33223.46 82.25 54.00 83.00 0.08 89.26 41.47 34.01 18838 10257 30679 5274 5179 59061 82688 10597 282 3574 6077 57194 126428 15871 84.20 33.00 0.00 30.3 Russia 1681414.60 0.00 1.46 39.36 37.58 23.96 13 16 88 117 5 110 29 100.06 2.48 0.32 22.00 0.74 38.5 Germany 35491.00 75.49 44.33 19.07 10.00 0.55 100.63 81.99 0.00 0.53 85.26 39.01 0.35 56.39 16.22 100.4 Israel 2822.00 0.94 19.83 96.9 United States 940626.52 14.86 99.5 Sweden 44209.00 0.93 19.76 100.19 241 68 97.51 99.75 91.34 50 60 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .74 13.1 France 54508.01 0.00 0.73 100.3 Netherlands 3455.00 4.1 Japan 36723.54 13.80 83.07 16.04 41.58 10 453 3 100 22 107 142 76 1 44 235 174 352 433 100.35 11.00 83.73 7.31 38.59 3.26 39.5 New Zealand 26354.19 34.9 Belgium 3054.09 23.14 47.00 3760 4465 38727 9788 146196 39801 8898 89.84 10.69 78.00 34.63 65.68 0.00 0.06 76.30 26.1 Greece 12870.51 19.03 64.93 100.7 Canada 983400.4 Spain 50296.97 35.00 0.32 72.99 21.09 21.06 16.2 Portugal 8926.13 59.9 20.78 99.30 99.60 35.00 0.Appendix 1a Data used in Coastal Vulnerability Assessment in Developed Countries Country Total land ha’000 Coastal land % Coastal forest % Coastal topography (<50.02 95.44 48.9 18.02 95.0m) % Total killed and affected to storm and tidal wave incident Total population ‘000 2000 Coastal population % 2000 Coastal population density 2000 Ratio of the country boundary and the coastline % risk % Developed countries Australia 768639.76 58336 277825 94.44 61.24 0.00 0.12 45.43 81.00 0.41 96.34 96.16 79.00 58.60 14.6 Ireland 6780.59 29.3 Italy 29834.00 80.00 62.55 95.86 82.39 12.

70 16.58 37.58 Ethiopia 113223 2.93 18.80 3.82 27.31 50.90 36.69 6.42 76.27 13 45 35 3 9 114 86 207 78 8 70 526 152 35.60 Angola 125067 11.67 47.00 0.53 93.02 0.02 3493 31599 12781 37032 128310 242 169202 326 8306 11207 15129 15211 1276301 38905 3798 687 12646 68119 6319 95.4 97.81 Kenya 58805 8.16 25.59 Georgia 6968.52 Guinea 24533.1 26.74 Argentina 277679 14.09 0.04 11.41 83.00 0.95 China.00 0.06 Cambodia 18181.95 82.8 67.14 37.37 26.90 9.95 34.67 64.76 9.39 0.7 54.64 21.85 4.73 31.14 26.21 63.00 30.34 22.03 41.76 Eritrea 12066.64 Equatorial Guinea 2677.79 33.00 0.00 34.51 8.43 27.31 100.18 36.58 0.70 Algeria 231937 4.01 0.00 100.65 76.00 0.22 India 315441 16.52 70.47 5.03 0.39 Korea.3 27.4 24.17 8.07 Guatemala 10936.00 0.71 Honduras 11289. Islam Rep 162156 11.54 34.00 100.58 Lebanon 1032.76 100.74 38.1 54.11 2.68 50.00 0.00 Ecuador 24855.87 19.95 7.57 67.77 66.28 Cameroon 46798.39 0.00 76429 6330 30340 7.05 Madagascar 59247.00 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk 61 51 .96 0.82 66.28 Gabon 26468.71 Indonesia 188748 69.07 9.04 90.Appendix 1b Data used in Coastal Vulnerability Assessment in Developing Countries Country Total land ha’000 Coastal land % Coastal forest % Coastal topography (<50.86 0.47 21.00 0.76 Chile 73076.77 29.27 9.00 0.5 51.8 99.06 Iran.1 43.00 61.73 16.96 1.72 32.36 0.00 62.46 13.50 30.83 20.00 0.00 0.00 0.9 39.23 0.87 37.00 0.00 0. Rep 9685.92 80.98 61.6 74. The 1065. Dem P Rep 12144.36 73.63 73.34 18.52 239 508 83 319 41 33 25 59.69 59.5 41.02 42.00 0.3 64.08 0.60 15.7 23.5 82.59 23.93 32.00 100.3 36.71 35.93 100.53 17.00 0.28 29.74 19.29 French Guiana 8320.16 97.32 81.53 10.00 123 207 24 21 1081 11 75 55 66 71 67 20 563 62 75 32 90 142 308 33.02 0.94 23913 46883 1966 3289 3256 6387 17395 100.16 27.00 0.00 24.05 12.70 Djibouti 2160.54 17.57 13.7 15.45 57.3 13.00 0.86 39. P Rep 936667 6.46 10.91 31.8 99.76 28.00 0.42 15.04 33.86 91.02 51.25 Jordan 8921.10 17.45 5.03 87.33 72.74 60.44 66.96 20.93 28.44 0.83 52.43 25.61 100.14 34.56 14.39 54.25 0.28 51.31 62.13 30.0m) % Total killed and affected to storm and tidal wave incident Total population ‘000 2000 Coastal population % 2000 Coastal population density 2000 Ratio of the country boundary and the coastline % risk % Developing countries (as per World Bank) Albania 2857.66 0.00 0.5 99.7 34.34 68.91 71.56 39.92 Brazil 850063 9.72 21.72 1.5 100.85 10.31 7.02 452 3850 66175 179 1235 1244 5418 12222 7861 874 6485 1006770 212565 41.38 88.29 94.09 85.12 47.76 17.26 1.97 Liberia 9621.02 28.27 87.50 Costa Rica 5108 99.4 60.17 95.49 Egypt 98238.58 0.00 0.3 26.00 0.04 100.46 39.06 54.01 Belize 2191.06 Colombia 114116 15.27 Gambia.61 62.02 0.39 El Salvador 2057.05 90.28 Kuwait 1706.2 67.31 11.03 25.94 76.50 19.4 34.12 51.13 39.16 Brunei 587.91 69.50 Guyana 21059.22 25.75 Korea.8 95.93 33.7 95.67 80.70 33 156 40 30.00 0.4 9.00 100.00 0.26 76.15 22.00 0.19 28.00 0.88 0.5 99.98 Bulgaria 11085.50 Bangladesh 13564.2 94.47 Libya 161802 10.30 0.35 88.57 34.12 18.

09 0.27 14.40 Turkey 77977.77 86.4 46.92 86.96 56.09 0.9 62.00 0.00 90.48 32.86 27.99 92.53 0.2 39.32 29.5 17.00 Nicaragua 12875.4 20.7 28.00 33687 60495 65732 50801 16.85 Peru 129555 16.53 13.83 73. Rep.61 0.00 9.35 77.53 100.58 73.42 72.27 20.1 64.5 30.76 Thailand 51486.57 63.10 50.19 100.13 Somalia 63489.56 64.7 32.75 100 0. 41630.00 72.00 0.00 0.93 Panama 7437.61 5.44 Mauritania 104259 5.6 0.7 36.59 67 176 138 84 26.01 44.17 55.60 0.00 18118 60.21 0.00 0.78 United Arab Emirates 7826.19 80.3 8.63 14.00 0.00 0.08 42.85 0.9 8.08 24.51 71 52.94 39.59 7.09 21.65 3.09 0.21 0.00 0.00 2982 22505 21661 9495 4866 11530 46257 18821 29823 452 93. Uni Rep 94522.56 56.46 68.00 11.72 28.25 88 14 44 122 47 133 1 53 336 19 194 38 63.94 Mozambique 78810.26 89.89 40.50 17.0m) % Total killed and affected to storm and tidal wave incident Total population ‘000 2000 Coastal population % 2000 Coastal population density 2000 Ratio of the country boundary and the coastline % risk % Developing countries (as per World Bank) Malaysia 32794.00 51749 2.7 43.32 0.37 Yemen Arab Rep.41 0.04 Papua New Guinea 45929.66 12.27 Viet Nam 32617.00 13 75 276 86.00 0.00 0.44 14.45 9.51 0.77 6.2 94.01 0.3 99.11 37.08 0.75 12.38 81.00 0.12 5.8 4.89 34.94 68.57 37.56 4811 25662 75037 80.9 25.44 39.43 53.00 31.11 100.34 39.12 0.00 0.00 0.48 42.61 71.66 42.69 Sierra Leone 7224.00 2.00 5.21 3.93 42.37 0.3 46.7 62.41 64.91 0.09 Syrian Arab Rep 18670 16.94 51.34 52 62 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .10 32.46 1.90 Suriname 14622.97 Venezuela 91408.21 9.18 Senegal 19674 31.00 0.82 52.00 0.04 50.85 Oman 31219.22 0.21 Tanzania.86 44 33 75 387 60.38 36.45 Romania 23737.59 Sudan 250880 2.41 100.3 44.34 73.54 42.4 57.74 27.3 39.69 0.10 0.39 91.21 Saudi Arabia 195263 13.4 31.78 41.41 5.53 0.4 24.88 Philippines 28875.1 99.94 99.18 20.65 Ukraine 59827.1 70.05 75.Appendix 1b Data used in Coastal Vulnerability Assessment in Developing Countries (continued) Country Total land ha’000 Coastal land % Coastal forest % Coastal topography (<50.36 2444 3274 24170 80549 100.00 16.34 16.61 31.18 41.04 0.38 0.8 90.15 Sri Lanka 6516.71 317 58 38 119 60 22 74 290 12 11 2.12 16.00 16126 58.89 58.68 13.68 35.98 8.7 11.01 45.6 29.14 Nigeria 91207.61 Mexico 195378 37.75 29.00 0.9 39.69 Morocco 40434.78 313 7.62 25.19 47.34 78.44 21.76 41.13 South Africa 122160 20.10 10.86 Uruguay 17801.9 10.84 Myanmar 66712.12 Republic of the Congo 34300.75 45.17 24.26 69.18 21.41 68.19 58.9 77.09 100.47 44.10 56.18 23.03 Namibia 82529.63 35.99 18.1 8.98 Zaire/Congo.82 20.27 0.23 37.00 0.79 64.8 16.00 0.29 53. Dem.63 Pakistan 87679.47 24.00 22299 2580 98881 28984 19563 49342 1733 4694 128786 2717 156007 2856 100. 233815 0.

97 20.00 100.6 100.00 100.30 St Vincent & The Grenadines 38.17 0.8 98.00 Seychelles 404 100.94 4.00 100.00 70.01 100.00 Vanuatu 1138.7 98.00 63 53 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk .1 0.00 100.00 100.00 78 192 100.56 Maldives 298 100.00 0.11 100.02 302 264 11201 793 81.7 99.61 0.01 40.00 0.1 96.00 0.97 Barbados 41.55 100 60 12.73 30 0.00 St Kitts & Nevis 25.00 100.77 Dominica 74.82 100.00 0.05 8495 848 7817 2587 302 77.00 0.34 0.00 100.68 Cyprus 899.00 57.00 0.00 Solomon Is 2599.87 54.Appendix 1c Data used in Coastal Vulnerability Assessment in Small Island Developing States Country Total land ha’000 Coastal land % Coastal forest % Coastal topography (<50.00 100.97 12.32 15.16 100.4 154.80 Dominican Rep 4794.44 17.51 19.5 15.1 99.19 1.06 14.2 100.00 99.00 83.50 55.85 19.13 46.03 114.5 192 100.60 78.5 99.90 1.00 100.00 1.02 St Lucia 58.55 Cuba 10805.4 444 100.00 100.00 75.00 100.23 100.57 51.00 71.00 0.0m) % Total killed and affected to storm and tidal wave incident Total population ‘000 2000 Coastal population % 2000 Coastal population density 2000 Ratio of the country boundary and the coastline % risk % Small island developing states Bahamas 890.00 Haiti 2660 99.86 0.00 20 460 103 88 73 100.04 100 29.00 100.3 100.00 99.4 100.79 37 21.52 89.00 98.00 100.00 100.57 100.54 Jamaica 1086.12 13.83 94.5 96.4 98.00 100.00 94.86 Fiji 1833 100.13 0.00 177 46 295 226 1013 192 17 78.1 99.06 0.00 219 15 100.

and the damage to coral reefs is mostly due to the impact of debris from the land. Large tsunamis have been known to rise to heights of 30 metres (100 feet). which was only able to enter where the dune line was broken by river outlets. with much of the sediment deposited on healthy reefs. anecdotal evidence and satellite photography before and after the disaster appear to corroborate claims that coral reefs. From Banda Aceh in Sumatra to the tourist resorts of southern Thailand. Vegetated sand dunes appear to have provided an excellent first line of defence. or been lost completely. www. An estimated 250. 54 64 Assessing Coastal Vulnerability: Developing a Global Index for Measuring Risk . Human health and the natural environment are.unep. According to a recent UNEP study (After the Tsunami Rapid Environmental Assessment. Excessive demands have been placed upon a multitude of environmental capacities. or even creating new islands. As they reach the shallow waters of the coast. Water and soil have been contaminated. 26 December 2004 The phenomenon known as “tsunami” (soo-NAH-mee) is a series of travelling ocean waves of extremely long length usually generated by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption. and by the time between these crests. and onwards to the east coast of Africa. If counted in sheer numbers. The loss and devastation caused by this disaster brought incalculable suffering to millions of people around the Indian Ocean. where mangrove forests and sea-grass beds significantly mitigated the effects of the tsunami. the fishing villages of Sri Lanka. and the events that followed. Tsunami waves are distinguished from ordinary ocean waves by their great length between crests. as well as peat swamps. agricultural land. intrinsically linked. Their grief is shared around the world. but the overall damage is thought to exceed $10 billion. harbour or lagoon funnels the wave as it moves inland.pdf). tsunami waves travel at speeds exceeding 800 km per hour (500 miles per hour). such as coral reefs and healthy sand dunes. The earthquake and tsunami of 26 December 2004. ranging from 10 minutes to one hour. can provide a lifesaving buffer against aggressive waves. the challenge of recovering from the earthquake and tsunami appears nearly insurmountable. livelihoods have suffered. as always. It is clear that the coastal zones of many of these countries will remain vulnerable for a long time yet. in rivers. hazardous debris threatens the health of communities. In the deep ocean. Shallow soils were also stripped from some low-lying atolls. Community-based Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Planning will be fundamental principles in the efforts to rehabilitate the worst affected regions – and to rebuild their human lives. Millions of people were displaced and are struggling to restore their homes and regain their livelihoods. mangrove forests and other coastal vegetation. most of the Yala and Bundala national parks were spared because vegetated coastal sand dunes completely stopped the tsunami. Sri Lanka offers some of the best evidence that intact coastal ecosystems. and their experience is a humbling reminder that we are all vulnerable to the powerful forces of the natural world that sustains us. will be remembered as among the worst human tragedies of our time. the waves slow down and the water can pile up into a wall of destruction 10 metres (30 feet) or more in height. The effect can be amplified where a bay. For example. with a wave height of only a few centimetres. turtle populations have undoubtedly been affected. provided considerable protection from the effects of the tsunami. Some of the most severe damage to Sri Lanka’s coastline was where mining and damage of coral reefs has been heavy in the past.org/tsunami/ reports/TSUNAMI_report_complete. Coastlines have been eroded. Even a tsunami three to six metres high can be very destructive and cause multiple deaths and injuries. Although most wildlife appears to have avoided harm. The damage to coastal ecosystems is highly variable. The UN Humanitarian Flash appeal estimated immediate needs at $1 billion. often exceeding 100 km (60 miles) or more in the deep ocean.000 lives were lost. Tsunamis are a threat to life and property for all communities living near the ocean.Special Supplement: The Asian Tsunami. communities were overwhelmed by the damage and loss. Similar observations were made in the province of Phang Nga in Thailand.