Accepted paper:

Challenges and alternatives for climate adaptation in small and medium size cities: a view from Coyuca's coastal urban-lagoon system in the Metropolitan Zone of Acapulco, Mexico


Hector Becerril (CONACYT-UAGRO)
Rocío López (Universidad Autonoma de Guerrero)
Karol Yanez (CentroMet)

Paper short abstract:

Through the case of Coyuca's coastal urban-lagoon system with nearly 30,000 inhabitants and part of the Metropolitan Zone of Acapulco (ZMA) in Mexico, the paper explores the relevance, challenges and alternatives for developing adaptation strategies in small and medium size cities.

Paper long abstract:

The latest global agendas recognize the need to involve local actors, fight against gender inequality and reduce the gap between research and policies as crucial for achieving climate adaptation. Accordingly, they promote the development of bottom up strategies, gender sensitive initiatives and processes of multi-sectorial co-production of knowledge. The paper explores the enactment of these elements in small and medium size cities, which are expected to host an important share of the world urban population, but in which the capacities and resources of state and non-sate actors tend to be limited. The paper focuses on Coyuca's coastal urban-lagoon system in the ZMA, marked by sharp socioeconomic and spatial inequalities, and high vulnerabilities such as more frequent and severe hurricanes and floods. Specifically, it explores the learning from the implementation of Coyuca Resilient to Climate, a project financed through the Initiative Climate Resilience Cities in Latin America led by CDKN, FFL and IDRC. The paper argues that the major challenges in the ZMA's are related to the inexistence of planning processes, the persistence of gender inequalities, and the little capacity for decision-making of local actors. It also argues that two major opportunities exist in this context: leveraging on the existing knowledge on the ground produced by several actors to adapt to climate events, and strengthening capacities of local academic, who play a key role in shaping decisions over the territory as they form the local elites of the government and civil society.

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