Triple exposure: Reducing negative impacts of climate change, blue growth, and conservation on coastal communities


Coastal communities are on the frontlines of three accelerating global change drivers, climate change, blue growth, and the expansion of area-based conservation, leading to a ‘‘triple exposure’’ scenario. Despite ef- forts to maximize social benefits from climate, development, and conservation, externally driven processes can converge to amplify vulnerabilities and inequalities. Pre-existing social injustices increase the sensitivity of affected individuals to change and limit their capacity to adapt or benefit from the interacting impacts of triple exposure. We argue that external implementors cannot effectively and equitably achieve climate, eco- nomic, and conservation goals without prioritizing social justice and building general resilience. We therefore recommend that implementors: (1) address root causes of vulnerability, namely pre-existing social injustices; (2) use participatory systems approaches to improve understanding of local contexts and potential conse- quences of proposed initiatives; and (3) leverage inclusive partnerships to facilitate collaborative design and implementation. These strategies—applied together and adapted to local contexts—can support well- being, justice, and resilience within coastal communities experiencing rapid change.

One Earth