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Managed Retreat for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction A Comparison of Three Coastal Megacities, Brent DOBERSTEIN

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6th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2016 Integrative Risk Management - Towards Resilient Cities. 28 August - 01 September 2016 in Davos, Switzerland

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Managed Retreat for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction A Comparison of Three Coastal Megacities, Brent DOBERSTEIN

  1. 1. Managed retreat for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction: a comparison of three coastal megacities Brent Doberstein, Alexandra Rutledge, Idowu Ajibade & Anne Tadgell 1
  2. 2. Overview • Summary of research: “Coastal Cities at Risk (CCaR): Building Adaptive Capacity for Managing Climate Change in Coastal Megacities” ($ Canadian IDRC). • Research question: To what extent is managed retreat being used as part of megacities’ climate change adaptation (CCA) ‘toolkit’? ▫ Managed retreat in CCA policy or practice • 3 Case studies ▫ Lagos, Manila and Vancouver ▫ Research methods ▫ Cross-case comparison • Conclusions 2
  3. 3. What is managed retreat? • One of the generic CCA ‘tools’ • …any strategic decision to withdraw, relocate or abandon private or public assets at risk of climate change related (coastal) hazards (after BC Min. of Environment 2013) ▫ Flooding, Erosion, Sea level rise & Storm surge 3
  4. 4. 4 Lagos Case #1: Lagos, Nigeria
  5. 5. Lagos: Extreme vulnerability to CC impacts • Flat topography and low elevation • High population • Widespread poverty • Weak institutional structures • Increasing incidence of extreme flooding (Source: UCCRN 2009) 5
  6. 6. Projected sea level rise for Lagos source: Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University. Projection of 5cm to 50cm sea level rise (Mehrotra et al., 2009) 6 5-50cm
  7. 7. Managed retreat in CCA Policies?  Limited evidence of managed retreat in formal policy  “Relocating vulnerable populations” (Elias & Omojola 2015)  Practicing the opposite of managed retreat!  Expansion of urban dev. on Atlantic ocean  City administrators: land reclamation & coastal development the best CCA/DDR response...  Land reclamation for wealth creation o Eko Atlantic city project o “…commercial and financial epicenter of West Africa by 2020” Photo credit: EkoAtlantic.com 7 Storm surge-related erosion rates of >30m/yr…
  8. 8. The rich can stay but poor must relocate  Forcible eviction of slum dwellers  Often no compensation  Often not for climate change reasons 8
  9. 9. Lagos Metropolitan Development & Governance Project (WB-funded) 9 • Resettlement of >1900 flood-prone informal homes in Badia East in February 2013 ▫ 3.2 ha site ▫ Flood drainage canal + new access road • ‘managed retreat’ or “CCA” not mentioned in planning report ▫ Appears to achieve the same end (removing settlements from areas prone to CC hazards)
  10. 10. Lagos: Barriers to wider application of managed retreat • Political hesitancy over CCA (lack of policy directives) • Poverty & inadequate CCA funding • Population explosion and land shortages • Jurisdictional conflict & State/local disconnect • Concentration of opportunities in city-centre • Limited information on future risks & vulnerability 10
  11. 11. 11 Manila Case #2: Manila, Philppines
  12. 12. Manila: Extreme vulnerability to CC impacts • Multiple flood hazards ▫ Coastal ▫ Riverine ▫ Lagoonal • Sea Level Rise • Coastal erosion • High population • Widespread poverty • Annual typhoons 12
  13. 13. Managed retreat in CCA policies? • Significant CCA Policy commitments • Philippines: “Adaptation Pioneer”(Stockholm Environment Institute 2016): • CCA Policies (SEI 2016): ▫ Climate Change Act of 2009 (RA 9729) ▫ National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (2010– 2022) ▫ National Climate Change Action Plan (2011–2028) • Indirect support for managed retreat ▫ “Community-based CCA” ▫ “DRR through CCA” • …no direct mention of managed retreat in formal policy 13
  14. 14. Managed Retreat as current CCA/DRR practice? • Project: Securing the Safety of Informal Settler Families in Metro Manila (SSISF) Project • 50B PHP (~$1.1B USD) • Safer housing options for informal settlers living within 3m of flood-prone rivers • Community-led “People’s Plan” ▫ Community-planned resettlement ▫ In-city, mid-rise buildings • NGOs providing assistance 14
  15. 15. Manila: Barriers to wider application of managed retreat • Lack of policy guidance • Poverty & livelihood locations • Land availability • Political complexity: 17 jurisdictions metro Manila 15
  16. 16. 16 Vancouver Case #3: Vancouver, Canada
  17. 17. Vancouver: High vulnerability to CC impacts • Sea Level Rise • Storm surge • Coastal erosion • Enhanced flooding ▫ Coastal ▫ Riverine 17
  18. 18. Managed retreat in CCA policies? • Supported at Provincial & Municipal levels ▫ BC Provincial Government recommends consideration of both structural & non-structural adaptation – including retreat ▫ Option in Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (City of Vancouver, 2012) ▫ Option in Sea Level Rise Adaptation Primer (BC Min. of Environment 2013) 18
  19. 19. Managed Retreat as current CCA/DRR practice? • No examples of climate change-related managed retreat… • Landslide retreat • Flood/erosion related retreat ▫ Lion’s Gate water treatment plant relocation 19Lion’s Gate water treatment plant relocation
  20. 20. Map of shelter needs for 1m SLR & 500 yr storm Source: Coastal Risk Assessment Report, 2014 20 …areas where managed retreat would reduce storm damage & evacuation needs
  21. 21. Vancouver: Barriers to Managed Retreat • Waterfront land values • Landowner legal challenges • Political will • High density urban landscape and valuable assets 21
  22. 22. Vancouver: Barriers to Managed Retreat • Policy continuity: ProvincialMunicipalNeighbourhood • Lack of “location based CCA strategies” • Social costs/ loss of sense of place • Time and uncertainty • Lack of leadership 22
  23. 23. Cross-Case Comparison LAGOS MANILA VANCOUVER Managed retreat in CCA Policy?  Managed retreat in CCA practice? Managed retreat for hazard/DRR?    23
  24. 24. Conclusions • Managed retreat CCA policyfacilitates practice • Managed retreat practice is going on in all 3 cities, but under other names ▫ ‘flood resettlement’ ▫ ‘flood relocation’ ▫ ‘landslide rezoning’ • Encouraging trends ▫ Community-led CCA (Philippines) ▫ CCA policy (Vancouver) ▫ Post-disaster retreat (all 3 cities) 24
  25. 25. 25 Questions? Manila 2009

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