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Cape Town’s coastline is vulnerable to a number of pressures including sea level rise, coastal erosion and increasing urban development. In making decisions to protect the coastline and coastal infrastructure from these stressors, the views of multiple diverse stakeholders need to be consulted. However, incorporating and balancing different stakeholder perspectives is not straightforward. Joseph Daron (CSAG) and Darryl Colenbrander (City of Cape Town) have recently published a paper in the Journal for Environmental Planning and Management exploring the use of a multi-criteria decision analysis tool to aid the decision making process for an adaptation project in Glencairn. The paper, titled “A critical investigation of evaluation matrices to inform coastal adaptation and planning decisions at the local scale“, draws on interview data and a sensitivity analysis of the evaluation matrix used in the South Peninsular Transport Corridor project.

Earlier this year, a related paper written by Joseph Daron, titled “Challenges in using a Robust Decision Making approach to guide climate change adaptation in South Africa“, was published in Climatic Change. This paper uses the same adaptation project as a case study but explores alternative framings of climate risk and decision making under uncertainty that could have been applied. Robust Decision Making (RDM) inverts the analytical steps associated with forecast-led methodologies, reframing adaptation in the context of a specific decision maker’s capacities and vulnerabilities. The paper presents the challenges in using the RDM approach to guide adaptation decisions, such as the decision process at Glencairn, and presents a “heuristic framework” for applying RDM in developing countries. An uncorrected proof version of this paper can be downloaded here.

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