How can coastal communities mitigate and adapt to climate change while developing and prospering?
Challenge deadline July 1, 2018
Over 30% of humanity lives near coasts, ranging from massive cities to key ports and naval bases to small islands. The effects of climate change – including sea level rise, stronger storms, ocean warming and acidification – are causing increasing negative impacts on these communities’ lives and livelihoods. For the 600 million people supported by the fishing industry, a majority of them women, overfishing, pollution, and acidification threaten their livelihoods and the fragile ecosystems on which they depend. In cities and elsewhere, some communities already face regular flooding due to higher tides, some will see more frequent natural disasters, and others will see tourist-attracting coral reefs or surfing fade.
Further, as 60% of global GDP and 90% of global trade moves through coasts, increased flooding or damage to port infrastructure poses risks for communities and businesses alike, whether or not they are near the ocean. In addition, coastal and ocean ecosystems absorb 25% of our excess CO2, but are often degraded through coastal development, making climate change harder to mitigate.
While facing numerous impacts, coastal communities from Puerto Rico to Dhaka also have the potential to demonstrate resilient and sustainable ways of living near and with the ocean. Doing so will require people to have access to new technological solutions—along with new ways to envision and enact hard decisions about economies, society, and infrastructure. The Solve community aims to find innovative solutions to support and enhance coastal communities, while mitigating and adapting to climate change. To do so, Solve welcomes solutions from innovators around the world that:
Increase the viability and scale of sustainable economic activity from oceans, ranging from fishing to energy production to tourism
Provide cost-effective infrastructure approaches to improve resilience in the face of increased storm-, sea-, and tidewater
Rebuild or replicate mangroves, corals, and other ecosystems to restore historic functions, including storm surge absorption, carbon uptake, and stable fisheries
Enable coastal communities, governments, and corporations to use data to understand and make complex decisions around sustainable and resilient development