Household adaptation and intention to adapt to coastal flooding in the Axios – Loudias – Aliakmonas National Park, Greece

Koerth, Jana; Jones, Nikoleta; Vafeidis, Athanasios T.; Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G.; Melliou, Androniki; Chatzidimitriou, Evaggelia and Koukoulas, Sotirios (2013). Household adaptation and intention to adapt to coastal flooding in the Axios – Loudias – Aliakmonas National Park, Greece. Ocean & Coastal Management, 82 pp. 43–50.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2013.05.008

Abstract

As a consequence of sea-level rise, coastal areas will more often experience extreme flooding in the future. Household-level adaptation is a form of accommodation that reduces vulnerability to flooding and can complement, or provide an alternative to, coastal protection. In this study we examine anticipatory adaptation to coastal flooding at household-level in the Axios – Loudias – Aliakmonas National Park, located at the Thermaic Gulf in Greece. A questionnaire survey was conducted and respondents (n = 491) were asked about actual adaptation behaviour as well as cognitive, socio-economic and housing variables. Additionally, they were asked to indicate their adaptation intention for the year 2050, for a range of narrative climate-change scenarios. Results show that coastal households in the region are currently adapting in different ways, primarily concentrating on low-effort measures. This behaviour is correlated to cognitive rather than socioeconomic and housing characteristics. In the future, respondents intend to adapt in a similar way, with a tendency to implement higher-effort and more costly measures when confronted with significant changes in climate. We argue that promoting household-level adaptation is an easy-to-implement and effective way of reducing vulnerability to coastal flooding, which should be integrated into coastal risk management strategies in Greece.

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