Practitioner needs to adapt to Sea-Level Rise: Distilling information from global workshops

Daniella Hirschfeld, Ray Boyle, Robert J. Nicholls, David Behar, Miguel Esteban, Jochen Hinkel, Gordon Smith, David J. Hanslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate-induced sea-level rise threatens the world’s coastal populations, critical infrastructure, and ecosystems. The science of sea-level rise (SLR) has developed to inform understanding of global climate mitigation and adaptation challenges, but there is much less engagement with practitioners to discern their climate services needs and support the development of adaptation planning and action on the ground. In addition, adaptation planning and implementation processes for SLR are relatively new and practitioners developing leading practices are seeking interaction with their peers and the SLR science community. To address these gaps, we co-produced online global workshops with sixty-nine practitioners from twenty-six countries. These workshops aimed to increase understanding of the state of SLR adaptation planning practice worldwide, gather information on practitioners' existing knowledge and service needs to advance their adaptation efforts, and facilitate exchange between practitioners engaged with coastal adaptation and the SLR science community. The workshops uncovered commonalities across contexts and identified consistent needs from scientists and other technical experts amongst the practitioner community. These needs include generating more localized SLR impact data, understanding of compound risk, creating data timelines for decision making, and developing clarity about uncertainties and probabilities. We also observed important differences between urban and rural locations and between places with different economic resources. To meet their needs, practitioners identified three crucial next steps: 1) Develop more online engagement opportunities, 2) Establish a global practitioner community of practice, and 3) Scale and improve the provision of climate services.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100452
JournalClimate Services
Early online date24 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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