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    Review of 'Perceptions of Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Factors Affecting the Coastal Marine Ecosystem of Palawan, Philippines'

    Perceptions of Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Factors Affecting the Coastal Marine Ecosystem of Palawan, PhilippinesCrossref
    Important findings on a pressing topic, but with a need for better explanation in certain areas
    Average rating:
        Rated 3.5 of 5.
    Level of importance:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of validity:
        Rated 3 of 5.
    Level of completeness:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of comprehensibility:
        Rated 3 of 5.
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    Reviewed article

    • Record: found
    • Abstract: found
    • Article: found
    Is Open Access

    Perceptions of Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Factors Affecting the Coastal Marine Ecosystem of Palawan, Philippines

    Understanding local community perceptions of climate change is essential in developing effective risk communication tools and in developing mitigation strategies to reduce the vulnerability of coastal areas. In this study, we examined coastal communities' perceptions of climate change as a coastal threat, as a driver of rising sea levels, and as a factor affecting coral reefs and seagrass beds. The perceptions 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 threat to the coastal marine environment. Sea level rise was perceived by most participants (60%) to cause coastal erosion and affect the coastal 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. Furthermore, local temperature rise, excessive rainfall and declining income were found to be significant risk predictors of climate change impact perceptions. Climate change perceptions were found to vary with household income, education, age group, and geographical location. The results suggest that addressing poverty, improving basic education, and effectively communicating climate change risks can improve knowledge of climate change impacts. Further study on local communities' engagement towards building climate change resiliency, using our results as a reference, is recommended.

      Review information

      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
      climate change knowledge, coastal threat, exposure, experience, impact, policy,Climate change,Policy and law,Environmental policy and practice,Environmental protection

      Review text

      The paper is a very good effort in showcasing how coastal communities in a mainly fishery-dependent region of the Philippines perceive climate change, as it impacts the community integrity, coastal habitats, and livelihoods. The effort is to be lauded for the field approach it adopts and for the level of analyses utilized in explaning the findings. The authors do well also to interpret their findings with other, ongoing events and activities (ex., mangrove planting) and wealth disparities, among othe explanatory factors. 

      Where I find that the paper could be upgraded is via a better explanation on the findings themselves, as these relate to response rates, confidence levels on the total surveys, and related items. For example, 291 in-person surveys represents a high number, but what is that in relation to, and how representative is that of the overall population? There are demographic and economic data collected by the team that could be used to determine sample to population representativeness. This may seem like a quibble, but because the authors use the survey returns to derive conclusions about the communities, it is important that the results show to the extent that the findings represent the larger communities (ex., did anyone reject the survey and if so, then why?). 

      There are also some other findings that the authors present as prima facie and do not investigate further. For example, more women than men in the communities tended to believe that climate change represented an issue, which the authors point out also exists in other areas. However, a more pressing question is why would women feel this way? Similarly, although the authors point out that sunstroke or exposure leads to higher rates of belief in climate change, there is also a generational difference; but one might also state that the increased exposure should also affect younger generations. So, is this a shifting baseline or is it prolonged exposure that is creating the generational shift? These and other questions (ex., differences between the Philippines and the US) are discussed but left somewhat unanswered, whereas the authors could certainly build the case further by looking at the why rather than just the what. 

      Overall, a very good effort that provides an excellent snapshot of coastal communities in the flux of climate change. 


      Thank you for the review. I have already revised the journal article as per your suggestions. It is now available online with a revised title Climate Change Awareness and Risk Perceptions in the Coastal Marine Ecosystem of Palawan, Philippines and DOI: 10.14324/111.444/000150.v2.

      Thanks again and hoping to hear from you soon. 

      2022-09-16 01:05 UTC

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