Coastal Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation in Thailand

Cherith Moses, Kanchana Nakhapakorn, Raymond Ward, Yi Wang, Uma Langulsan, Panee Cheewinsiriwat, C Chamchan, S Boonmanunt, Netsanet Alamirew, John Barlow, Jerome Curoy, Jimi Dudhia, David Martin

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The Thai-coast project aims to improve scientific understanding of the vulnerability of Thailand's shoreline and coastal communities to hydro-meteorological hazards, including storms, floods and coastal erosion, under future climate change scenarios. Coastal erosion and flooding affect more than 11 million people living in Thailand’s coastal zone communities (17% of the country's population). Each year erosion causes Thailand to lose 30 km2 of coastal land (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment). Sea level is predicted to rise by 1 metre in the next 40 -100 years, impacting at least 3,200 km2 of coastal land, through erosion and flooding, at a potential financial cost to Thailand of 3 billion baht [~ £70 million; Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning]. We address an urgent need to enhance the resilience and adaptation potential of coastal communities, applying scientific research to inform more robust and cost-effective governance and institutional arrangements.

The Thai-coast project has established causal links between climate change, erosion and flooding and is using this information to assess natural and social processes’ interactions to enhance coastal community resilience and future sustainability. We focus on two study areas, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province and Krabi Province, selected on the basis of DMCR coastal erosion data and with contrasting natural and socio-economic characteristics. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we integrate climate science, geomorphology, socio-economics, health and wellbeing science and geo-information technology to improve understanding of hydro-meteorological hazard occurrence, their physical and socioeconomic, health and wellbeing impacts on Thailand's coastal zone and the ways in which governance and institutional arrangements mitigate their impact. Examining future scenarios of climate change hydrometeorology, coastal landform and land use change scenarios we have assessed and modelled impacts (erosion, flooding, coastal community vulnerability), and population and community adaptation. Our collaborative team of natural and social scientists, from UK, US and Thai research institutions work closely with Thai Government and UK and Thai industry partners to ensure that results are policy and practice-relevant.

Key findings indicate that erosion and accretion rates are more dramatic on mangrove coastlines (-34.5 and 21.7 m/year) compared with sandy coastlines (-4.1 and 4 m/year). Modelled future climate changes indicate more extended and severe floods in Southern Thailand with the risk of flash floods increasing significantly. Socio-economic resilience is generally higher in more urbanized areas but there are greater variations amongst subdistricts. Different communities within the coastal regions have different levels of resilience and adopt different coping strategies when faced with emergency situations. When physical and socio-economic indices are compared, Krabi Province has a higher level of physical vulnerability than Nakhon Si Thammarat (NST), whilst NST is has a higher level of socio-economic vulnerability than Krabi. When physical and socio-economic factors are combined to generate the Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI), the results show that the two provinces have relatively comparable CVI despite the underlying variability in physical and socio-economic resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
EventEGU General Assembly 2022 - Austria Center Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 23 May 202227 May 2022
Conference number: EGU22-8757


ConferenceEGU General Assembly 2022
Abbreviated titleEGU2022
Internet address


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