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Perceptions of climate change and adaptation: A subarctic archipelago perspective (Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon, North America)

Abstract : Climate change is projected to challenge adaptation capacity in small islands worldwide due to rising temperatures, sea-level rise, extreme events and changing rainfall patterns. However, adaptation planning and implementation may be delayed where people perceive a lack of urgency and put forward competing priorities such as economic development. Here, we assess perceptions of climate change and adaptation in Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon, a subarctic archipelago located south of Newfoundland, Canada. We performed and analysed a social survey reaching 289 individuals out of a population of 6260, through a questionnaire conducted both face-to-face and online. We show that inhabitants of Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon generally have a clear understanding of climate change and perceive adaptation as urgent for a number of vulnerable coastal sites. Despite some disagreements on adaptation options and the timing for implementation, it is noteworthy that even relocation action is mentioned and sometimes requested. We show that perceptions of climate change and of adaptation within Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon are heavily influenced by place attachment, personal experience of coastal hazards and environmental awareness. From a methodological point of view, our results highlight the relevance of using online surveys in well-connected but geographically isolated communities. From an adaptation perspective, our results suggest that people’s perceptions and beliefs are not only a barrier, but rather offer in some cases opportunities for adaptation planning and implementation. Such favourable attitudes toward adaptation do not exist across all small islands, so our results may be useful in determining the conditions under which people’s perceptions are conducive to adaptation.
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Contributor : Xénia Philippenko Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 10:21:16 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 3, 2022 - 4:05:47 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, February 19, 2022 - 6:05:26 PM


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Xénia Philippenko, Lydie Goeldner-Gianella, Gonéri Le Cozannet, Delphine Grancher, Ywenn de La Torre. Perceptions of climate change and adaptation: A subarctic archipelago perspective (Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon, North America). Ocean and Coastal Management, 2021, 215, pp.105924. ⟨10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2021.105924⟩. ⟨hal-03420869⟩



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