coastal development

Protecting Bonaire against Coastal Flooding A participatory multi-criteria analysis of coastal adaptation options

Part of the larger The impacts of climate change on Bonaire (2022-present) report available here.
 

Summary

Coastal hazards pose a significant threat to small islands, especially in combination with Sea Level Rise (SLR). Currently, the small Caribbean island of Bonaire is poorly protected against coastal flooding and there is a lack of local knowledge on potential adaptation options and their benefits and trade-offs. This study aims to fill this gap by evaluating how different coastal adaptation options to protect Bonaire are valued, considering economic, social, environmental, and technical criteria. This is evaluated using a participatory Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) that includes key stakeholders through semistructured interviews and the use of an online questionnaire. A wide variety of coastal adaptation options, ranging from grey infrastructure to softer Nature-based Solutions (NbS), is assessed based on an interdisciplinary set of 10 different criteria, providing a holistic view of the consequences of each option. The results show that NbS, especially mangrove restoration, and spatial zoning measures are overall perceived to be most beneficial. The least favourable adaptation strategies include the construction of any type of seawall and doing nothing. While an MCA does not lead to a final perfect solution, it does provide valuable comparative information about potential future adaptation strategies for Bonaire, which can be used to aid policy makers in the decision-making process. Moving forward, it is important to further strengthen the results of this study by conducting additional quantified analyses, including an evaluation of the spatial suitability of specific measures or combinations of measures. Moreover, to ensure public support for any final policy decisions, regardless of the specific measures that a

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire

The Vulnerable Future of Bonaire A direct climate damage assessment of the built environment of Bonaire

Part of the larger The impacts of climate change on Bonaire (2022-present) report available here.
 

Summary

This study aims to identify the extent to which Bonaire’s buildings and critical infrastructure will be directly impacted by future climate change, focusing on floods and storms. To do so, we combine open-source information on exposure and vulnerability with locally acquired detailed information through interviews and fieldwork. We introduce a new method, called neighbourhood sampling, to produce accurate local data on building values to overcome data scarcity. The results show that in 2050 a 1/100 flood event may affect at least 54 buildings, depending on the climate scenario, most of which are residential along the southern coastline, leading to a maximum of 14.4 USDm in damages. In 2050, no critical infrastructure other than roads will be hit by a flood. Using our approach, we find no damages due to storm hazards, which can be attributed to the limited availability of knowledge on wind vulnerability for Bonaire. The results are assumed to be underestimated due to inaccuracy in the applied hazard intensity maps, which can significantly impact the estimated flooding damages and associated costs. This research is anticipated to serve as a foundation for more sophisticated local climate hazard research on scarce data locations, and Bonaire specifically. Moreover, it provides a starting point for further research on adaptation measures on Bonaire, as it shows which areas are most vulnerable to flooding.

Date
2022
Data type
Research report
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire