ICZM Scoping Risks

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The objective of this task is to describe the generally understood conditions of the coastal zone at the start of the ICZM Process, whether or not they are verified or verifiable at this stage. It is better to include all perceived problems and issues at this stage, leaving them to be “distilled” into a manageable and refined set of “core” issues later in the Process.

The objective of the Risk Identification is to identify key areas of uncertainty, to identify vulnerability, and to help identify measures to increase the resilience of the coastal zone. This task seeks to identify the natural and man-made risks to the coastal area of a magnitude that exceeds normal “trend” expectations of other pressures. Examples include severe flooding, acute pollution from watershed or marine sources, or enhanced disaster risk as a result of topography, sensitivity or proximity to a major natural or man-made risk source, or even to social or economic instability.

Climate change adds a new and challenging dimension to risk analysis in coastal areas, not only because of the uncertainty of its scale and impacts, but also because of its long-term nature compared to, for example, the risk of pollution from a shipping disaster. Nevertheless, climate change is probably the most important, far-reaching and difficult to predict risk in terms of the scale and nature of its impacts on the coastal zone.

Techniques & Tools

The risk analysis is primarily a desk exercise in conjunction with the key stakeholders and technical experts from relevant sectors. Risk vulnerability is conventionally categorised according to the:

  1. Nature of the risk and its consequences
  2. Magnitude of the possible adverse consequences from each risk
  3. Probability of occurrence of each risk

Quantification may be possible in many risks (e.g. area of land subject to flooding according to likely scenarios). However, in many risk cases, approximations in the form of simple categorizations (such as moderate, severe, very severe, low, medium, high), or simple numerical scales (such as 1-5) may be appropriate. Such simplification may have benefits in saving time and aiding communication with non-technical stakeholders.

For instance, climate change risk analysis will be based on high, medium and low impact scenarios derived from IPCC projections.

See also

This article has been drafted by PAP/RAC
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

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