Abstract—The Philippines ranks as one of the countries most vulnerable to increased severity of tropical storms. Its vulnerability to climate change is amplified by it archipelagic geography and the fact that it is a developing country. This study aims to understand the factors affecting the social vulnerability of fourteen (14) coastal barangays of Zamboanga City to climate-related hazards using participatory and community-based approaches. Results show that coastal communities and coastal resources have been exposed to climate-related hazards like floods, long periods of drought, erratic rainfall patterns, landslide, storm surge, sea-level rise, receding shoreline and warmer seas. Coastal communities’ sensitivity to climate-related hazards relies mainly on their dependence on coastal resources for subsistence, livelihood and socio-cultural activities. Factors that affect their level of capacity to adapt include their local environmental knowledge, financial status, ability to plan and re-organize, livelihood diversity, attachment to place and attachment to livelihood.
Index Terms—Social vulnerability, vulnerability assessment, climate change.
The authors are with Ateneo de Zamboanga University, La Purisima St., Zamboanga City, 7000 Philippines (e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Cite:Regina P. Junio, Aurora C. Gonzales, and Teresita G. Montaño, "Understanding the Social Vulnerability of Coastal Communities," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 6, no.10, pp. 737-740, 2015.