Duvat, V. K.E., Magnan, A. K., Wise, R. M., Hay, J. E., Fazey, I., Hinkel, J., Stojanovic, T., Yamano, H. and Ballu, V. (2017). Trajectories of exposure and vulnerability of small islands to climate change. WIREs Clim Change, e478. doi:10.1002/wcc.478
Résumé [en anglais] :
This article advocates for a dynamic and comprehensive understanding of vul- nerability to climate-related environmental changes in order to feed the design of adaptation future pathways. It uses the trajectory of exposure and vulnerabil- ity (TEV) approach that it defines as ‘storylines of driving factors and processes that have influenced past and present territorial system exposure and vulnerabil- ity to impacts associated with climate variability and change.’The study is based on the analysis of six peer-reviewed Pacific island case studies covering various geographical settings (high islands vs low-lying reef islands, urban vs rural) and hazards associated with climate variability and change; that addressed the inter- actions between natural and anthropogenic driving factors; and adopted multide- cadal past-to-present approaches. The findings emphasize that most urban and rural reef and high islands have undergone increasing exposure and vulnerabil- ity as a result of major changes in settlement and demographic patterns, life- styles and economies, natural resources availability, and environmental conditions. The article highlights three generic and successive periods of change in the studied islands’ TEV: from geopolitical and political over the colonization- to-political independence period; to demographic, socio-economic, and cultural from the 1960s to the 1980s; culminating in the dominance of demographic, socio-economic, cultural, and environmental drivers since the 1980s. Based on these empirical insights, the article emphasizes the existence of anthropogenic- driven path-dependency effects in TEV, thus arguing for the analysis of the tem- poral dimensions of exposure and vulnerability to be a prerequisite for science to be able to inform policy- and decision-making processes toward robust adap- tation pathways.