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    Review of 'Climate Change Awareness and Risk Perceptions in the Coastal Marine Ecosystem of Palawan, Philippines'

    Climate Change Awareness and Risk Perceptions in the Coastal Marine Ecosystem of Palawan, PhilippinesCrossref
    Minor revisions, improvements needed for consistency and coherency of paper
    Average rating:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of importance:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of validity:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of completeness:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of comprehensibility:
        Rated 4 of 5.
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    Climate Change Awareness and Risk Perceptions in the Coastal Marine Ecosystem of Palawan, Philippines

    Understanding the coastal communities’ awareness and risk perceptions of climate change impact is essential in developing effective risk communication tools and in developing mitigation strategies to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities. In this study, we examined the coastal community’s climate change awareness and risk perceptions of climate change impact on the coastal marine ecosystem, sea level rise impact on the mangrove ecosystem, and as a factor affecting coral reefs and seagrass beds. The data were gathered by conducting face-to-face surveys with 291 respondents from the coastal areas of Taytay, Aborlan, and Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Philippines. Results showed that most participants (82%) perceived that climate change is happening and a great majority (75%) perceived it as a risk to the coastal marine ecosystem. Sea level rise was perceived by most participants (60%) to cause coastal erosion and affect the mangrove ecosystem, but they also perceived that coastal erosion can be prevented by mangroves. On coral reefs and seagrass ecosystems, anthropogenic pressures and climate change were perceived to have a high impact, while marine livelihoods had a low impact. In addition, we found that climate change risk perceptions were influenced by direct experiences of extreme weather events (i.e., temperature rise and excessive rainfall), and climate-related livelihood damages (i.e., declining income). Climate change risk perceptions were also found to vary with household income, education, age group, and geographical location. The results suggest that addressing poverty, and effectively communicating climate change risks can improve climate change awareness and risk perceptions.

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      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Environmental change,Environmental management, Policy & Planning,Atmospheric science & Climatology
      Policy and law,Climate change,climate change awareness, risk perception, exposure, experience, impact, policy,Environmental policy and practice,Environmental protection
      ScienceOpen disciplines:

      Review text


                  The authors have done a good job in addressing the major revisions outlined by the reviewer, particularly adding a detailed relevance of the results and study sites. Specific, minor revisions are listed below per section. These comments are related to the consistency and coherency of the paper as a whole.


      • Lines 33-44 “…species [10]”. References can be condensed considering this is just an overview.
      • Lines 44-46. A little bit misplaced, given the first few paragraphs and succeeding paragraph gives an overview of the impacts of climate change generally and in the Philippines. These lines can be moved closer (or as a transition) to Lines 62 onward (since this paragraph is closer to the research study).
      • Line 50. “Seven out of 25 cities (in the world?)”
      • Line 66. “…a complete picture for conservation decision-making and environmental management”.
      • Line 69. Indent “In Asia…” to next paragraph.
      • Line 79. “Public opinion research…” Sentence is a bit misplaced, if the variation of research will not be discussed here. Perhaps move closer to discussion. Succeeding sentence “the study on risk perceptions…” can be merged with the previous “the present study…”
      • Line 92. Missing quotation marks for “ecological public health…”
      • Line 93. Use of “we”. Please check for consistency throughout paper if using first or third person where appropriate.

      Materials and Methods

      • Line 118. “In the simulation conducted by…” Consider moving to Introduction. Furthermore, does this same study include the climate change exposure map of DENR? A reference needs to be made for such a map.
      • Line 130. “The province..” – meaning Palawan?
      • Figure 2. Revision much clearer than previous version. Is there a reason why the risk perception of the impact of climate change, anthropogenic pressures and marine livelihood was only examined for coral reefs and seagrasses (and not mangroves?) Furthermore, consider articulating some of these terms e.g. Driver, Pressure… in the discussion to connect to the overall discussion to the framework. I start to see the use of “driver” in Lines 401 onwards, but I don’t see this consistently used.


      • Consider merging section 3.3 with 3.2 since 3.2 has short results.
      • Consider moving bar charts related to agreement/disagreement to Supplementary materials, or consider combining charts into a panel or subplot illustration. I’m sorry I did not point this out earlier in the first version but it may be a good way to compare agreement/disagreement if placed in one illustration. For instance, the comparisons in Figure 7 and 8 were summarized.
      • Line 321. Missing “s” in “group”.
      • Line 345. Missing quotation marks in “not poor”.

      Discussion under Section 4.1

      • This section identifies the key predictors (personal experiences of climate impacts) of climate change awareness and risk perceptions and thoroughly cross-validates results with previous, similar research. However, I feel this section can benefit from adding a bold subsection/subheader next to each paragraph for ease of reading such as 1) Experience with extreme weather events and anomalies. 2) Experience with climate-related livelihood damages. These experiences have already been summarized and cited by the authors at the beginning of the section (Line 378-380) which provides a very good expectation of what’s to come in the succeeding paragraphs. However, because the discussion is quite rich, one can easily get lost through the reading. With these subsections, the authors can also organize their discussion more cohesively; for example, the predictors of temperature rise, excessive rainfall, and sea level rise can all be discussed within the first experience (i.e. weather) rather than discussed disjointly across the section. More specific suggestions and comments per line are found below:


      • Title: Role of Personal Experiences (in Shaping?) Climate Change Awareness and Risk Perceptions
      • Lines 391-400. Revisit overall coherence of paragraph.
        • Line 391-393 “…may serve as an indicator of what climate change will mean for the province”. Not really sure what this means or what is trying to be said.
        • Line 393-394. “The relationship of other climate-related experiences… (such as?)
        • Line 395 “…may be because”. Careful with use of “because”. Consider revising sentence structure such as “other studies may suggest…” or related.
      • Line 407. What does “substantial percentage” mean here?
      • Line 416. “impact” – sea level rise?
      • Lines 418 – 431. Revisit connection across studies.
      • Line 439. “another research study”. Not clear, is this related to the previous? If not, what specific study is this considering UNEP… is specifically cited.
      • Line 443. “previous research”. Is this referring to [46,47]?
      • Line 447. Omit lines after [68] “a study found that…” until “meadows.” Simply merge [69] as [68,69].
      • Line 454-462. Be sure to include transitions such as “in addition..” or “moreover..” to allow for ease of reading. Not sure why [75] is included as this reference is about flood victim perceptions.
      • Line 466. “…conditions that reduce light is a key factor…” Sentence unclear whether reduction of light or just light is a key factor to inhibit (or promote) coral and/or seagrass growth. Revise to something like “..land-based pollutants which increase algal blooms and turbidity, thereby inhibiting light penetration that is necessary for the survival and growth of coral and seagrass ecosystems.”
      • Line 469. No reference to Table for income results.
      • Line 481-482. Sentence repeated from Line 460-462. Revise or omit, with repeated reference to [75] that is unrelated.
      • Lines 483-488. Consider moving recommendations closer to Lines 495-500 which is the end of the section. (Or in Conclusions?).


      Discussion under Section 4.2

      • Similar to my general comment for Section 4.1, I think Section 4.2 would also benefit from subsections pertaining to the socio-demographic factors: 1) Gender, 2) Education, 3) Income, 4) Age, 5) Location. More specific suggestions and comments per line are found below:


      • Title: Role of Socio-Demographic Factors (in Shaping?) Climate Change Awareness and Risk Perceptions
      • Line 504. “Understanding population demographics” – not dynamics. Also why socio-demographics is important should be explained further. This can also be discussed within the context of recommendations
      • Line 540. “The 19-29 year old group”…
      • Line 547. “increases with age” – not increased.
      • Line 567-568. Is this related to the previous paragraph (on the variation of perceptions per location?)
      • Line 571-573. “By increasing their knowledge…they will be more concerned” – do you mean “Improving education about climate change and its impacts has shown increased concern and support for climate-friendly policies”? Moreover, what else can be said here about age and the other socio-demographic factors as part of recommendations?


      • Line 581. “…food security. These additional factors could be significant in predicting overall perception of climate change as _____” coastal hazard is a bit vague – hazard to what?
      • Line 584. What is meant by “actual status of climate change impact”? Climate change impacts were certainly described in Palawan and the specific study sites, but what is meant by the statement more specifically? Is it for instance, coral bleaching or seagrass decline? Perhaps “the state of ecosystems impacted by climate change”?



      • Line 595. “…but a number remain unaware”. Number is vague.
      • Line 604. Remove extra 19.
      • Line 615. Missing quotation marks on poor.



      Dear Sir,

      Thank you for the review. I have already submitted the revised version to UCL.

      More power and God bless.

      Best regards,

      Lutgardo Alcantara

      2022-11-10 22:33 UTC

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