Climate change adaptation in SIDS: A systematic review of the literature pre and post the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

Authors: Stacy-ann Robinson*, Colby College
Topics: Regional Geography
Keywords: climate change adaptation, Fifth Assessment Report, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Small Island Developing States, systematic literature review
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 6
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change in 2014 was the most comprehensive to date. Yet it left several
gaps with regards to the impacts, implications and responses to climate change
in small island developing states (SIDS). SIDS are recognized as a special
grouping of developing countries. Located in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans,
Caribbean, and Pacific regions, they comprise 58 countries that are disproportionately
vulnerable to climate change and its impacts. With adaptation to climate
change viewed as a viable and necessary complement to mitigation,
academic interest in adaptation in these complex geographies is increasing.
Despite this, not enough is known about the body of knowledge relating to
adaptation in SIDS. This presentation systematically reviews 208 articles, books,
book chapters, conference papers, and notes, and synthesizes the nature and
extent of the research evidence before and after AR5 (i.e., from 1990 to 2014,
and from 2015 to 2018). It specifically explores shifts in (a) when, where and
by what means knowledge is being produced (e.g., subject areas, methodologies),
and the ways in which adaptation is being framed (i.e., conceptually,
operationally), (b) the narratives, consensuses, and tensions across the key
emerging themes in the literature, and (c) the knowledge gaps that exist. It also
outlines a future research agenda, which is an important consideration not
only for multi-scale actors working to help solve the global climate challenge,
but also for the scholars preparing the Small Islands Chapter of the Sixth
Assessment Report due in 2021.

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