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Sustainable development goals offer new opportunities for tropical delta regions

Sustainable development goals offer new opportunities for tropical delta regions
Sustainable development goals offer new opportunities for tropical delta regions
Marine and lacustrine delta regions constitute only 1% of the Earth's surface but are home to over 500 million people.1 They are key contributors to agricultural production at the national and regional levels and thus enable alleviation of global food insecurity risks. In addition, tropical megadeltas sustain rich ecosystems that provide a variety of services and are noted for high biodiversity and natural resources.2 At the same time, however, their geographical location, coupled with often poor land use and river basin management, implies that deltas, more than other coastal areas, are prone to natural hazards and disasters such as subsidence, flooding, coastal erosion, and cyclones/typhoons. These environmental shocks have been proven to lead to high out migration and threaten human security in already relatively economically poor regions.3 Climate change, in particular sea-level rise, exacerbates the existing vulnerabilities by increasing the risks of rapid-onset disasters, as well as creeping processes such as salinity intrusion.4,5 Many deltas around the world are therefore threatened.6 This exposure to environmental change has important consequences on people's livelihoods and human development of the delta regions and beyond. In the case of the Amazon delta, the state-level human development index of the Brazilian State of Pará, where most of the deltaic area is located, is the third lowest among the 27 Brazilian states, with the education subindex ranking second poorest.7 In this commentary we discuss new opportunities for the way that the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda interacts with delta regions and highlight key policy measures needed to address the existing gaps.
1939-9154
16-23
Szabo, Sylvia
01d6bb83-2775-4470-aa2b-b6afbf936187
Renaud, Fabrice
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Hossain, Sarwar
2eea06cb-2fc3-4a42-af9f-806421ce70f6
Sebesvári, Zita
283408dc-8095-47f2-9bca-07fb8f16521a
Matthews, Zoe
ebaee878-8cb8-415f-8aa1-3af2c3856f55
Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi
865cdaad-15e3-4e4d-bb7e-b349e84d40ce
Nicholls, R.J.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076
Szabo, Sylvia
01d6bb83-2775-4470-aa2b-b6afbf936187
Renaud, Fabrice
9aa40622-4f20-4e6b-be15-e1ca8adf0bfd
Hossain, Sarwar
2eea06cb-2fc3-4a42-af9f-806421ce70f6
Sebesvári, Zita
283408dc-8095-47f2-9bca-07fb8f16521a
Matthews, Zoe
ebaee878-8cb8-415f-8aa1-3af2c3856f55
Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi
865cdaad-15e3-4e4d-bb7e-b349e84d40ce
Nicholls, R.J.
4ce1e355-cc5d-4702-8124-820932c57076

Szabo, Sylvia, Renaud, Fabrice, Hossain, Sarwar, Sebesvári, Zita, Matthews, Zoe, Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi and Nicholls, R.J. (2015) Sustainable development goals offer new opportunities for tropical delta regions. Environment, 57 (4), 16-23. (doi:10.1080/00139157.2015.1048142).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Marine and lacustrine delta regions constitute only 1% of the Earth's surface but are home to over 500 million people.1 They are key contributors to agricultural production at the national and regional levels and thus enable alleviation of global food insecurity risks. In addition, tropical megadeltas sustain rich ecosystems that provide a variety of services and are noted for high biodiversity and natural resources.2 At the same time, however, their geographical location, coupled with often poor land use and river basin management, implies that deltas, more than other coastal areas, are prone to natural hazards and disasters such as subsidence, flooding, coastal erosion, and cyclones/typhoons. These environmental shocks have been proven to lead to high out migration and threaten human security in already relatively economically poor regions.3 Climate change, in particular sea-level rise, exacerbates the existing vulnerabilities by increasing the risks of rapid-onset disasters, as well as creeping processes such as salinity intrusion.4,5 Many deltas around the world are therefore threatened.6 This exposure to environmental change has important consequences on people's livelihoods and human development of the delta regions and beyond. In the case of the Amazon delta, the state-level human development index of the Brazilian State of Pará, where most of the deltaic area is located, is the third lowest among the 27 Brazilian states, with the education subindex ranking second poorest.7 In this commentary we discuss new opportunities for the way that the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda interacts with delta regions and highlight key policy measures needed to address the existing gaps.

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Published date: 23 July 2015
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography, Geography & Environment

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Local EPrints ID: 377260
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/377260
ISSN: 1939-9154
PURE UUID: 03d1d7b5-897a-48c9-b293-1ad660f05cdd
ORCID for R.J. Nicholls: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9715-1109

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Date deposited: 28 May 2015 12:56
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 00:45

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Contributors

Author: Sylvia Szabo
Author: Fabrice Renaud
Author: Sarwar Hossain
Author: Zita Sebesvári
Author: Zoe Matthews
Author: Efi Foufoula-Georgiou
Author: R.J. Nicholls ORCID iD

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