Summary and recommendations of PERSGA Regional Training Workshop on Coastal Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptations to the Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal and Marine Environment (November 2008, PERSGA HQ, Jeddah)

The main objective of the workshop was to expose specialists from the region to the latest methods and models for conducting assessment of coastal vulnerability to climate change impacts. This is seen to feed into the development of regional capacities that are capable of implementing the planned assessments and activities of the PERSGA adaptation program. The workshop was organized in three days where the theoretical background and methodologies of coastal vulnerability assessment were covered during the first and second day of the workshop, while case studies were presented on the third day. The following subjects were covered in the workshop:

  • Climate change and coastal areas, including IPCC AR4 results
  • An introduction to assessing coastal vulnerability to climate change
  • Drivers and scenarios for coastal vulnerability assessment
  • Data and scenario requirements for coastal vulnerability assessment
  • Methods and models for coastal vulnerability assessments
  • Advanced methods for coastal vulnerability assessments: outcome driven modeling
  • Interpretation of coastal vulnerability assessments
  • Climate adaptation, including its links to wider coastal management
  • Case studies at local, regional and global scales

Based on the discussions during the Workshop, the following actions were recommended to further understanding of the issues related to coastal vulnerability.

1.    Develop appropriate climate scenarios for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden region embracing factors such as sea-level rise, sea surface temperature, storminess, etc.
2.    Develop a synthesis of the existing knowledge on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability for the PERSGA region, including summarizing the talks that were presented at the Workshop. This could be published by PERSGA as a collective statement about the region, and include a regional synthesis and an argued case for the next steps.
3.    Increase understanding of coral reef impacts, locally and regionally, potentially feeding into a new assessment tools such as an extended version of DIVA.
4.    An application of DIVA to the PERSGA region. This could be undertaken with the existing model, or the model could be developed in terms of improved input data, as is being done in EU-funded CIRCE Project for the Mediterranean, or even new models (see 3 above).
5.    Case studies of vulnerability areas such as Djibouti (based on Workshop presentation) or Jeddah (as a large port city).
6.    Improve data availability as this is a shared problem worldwide. However, the feedback from participants indicates that there is an urgent need to develop an accessible coastal database, and PERSGA could lead this activity for the Region.
7.    Continue the Workshop programme. The evaluation of workshop by participants ranged from very useful to useful. This is an indication that such activities are good for developing regional capacities, which should continue in the future.

The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden