Key Stakeholder Assessment of Risks and Opportunities due to Changing Conditions
An assessment of stakeholder perceptions of risks associated with climate change impacts will be done in the early stages of this research. Perceived risk is highly correlated with a person’s choice of decision, and decisions made on adaption to climate change is based primarily upon the amount of risk that is involved with current climate stressors. Decisions made on how to deal with climate change impacts can play a huge role in the success or failure of the region’s economy. The forest products market is the market of focus for this study due to its economic contribution as well as its level of vulnerability in the area. Perception of risk will be compared to actual risk, the presentation of this analysis will hopefully produce more proactive decision making and heightened concern in regards to adaptation by key stakeholders within the industry.
Preliminary Finding from Assessment of Current Business Owners in the AP area
- Issues such as environmental vulnerability, lack of infrastructure, and geographic location are just some of the barriers new markets will face when entering the region. The lack of faith is so prominent that many of the regions youth are leaving to pursue better livelihoods in the city, resulting in a decline in population in the region. While these findings illustrate a grim outlook for economic conditions and new market potential for the region, respondent’s realization of the economic potential from the increased utilization of natural resources and ecosystem services may provide a window of opportunity for sustainable economic growth in the region.
Ecosystem Service Implications
- There has been a growing focus among policy makers and the general public on the importance of ecosystem services including their significant economic value. Payments for ecosystem services have been identified in previous literature as an incentive strategy for the conservation and sustainable management of forested lands. More recently, studies show ecosystem service markets to have the potential to provide good economic value and growth opportunity for forest industry and communities in vulnerable regions, much like the AP peninsula. Combining sustainable management options for ecosystems and the services they provide with flexible market strategies to create a higher level of economic resiliency to changing environmental conditions should be a key consideration for economic stability of the AP region.
- While ecosystem services provide alternatives for already established industries, the increased conservation and preservation of ecosystems in coastal communities will attract the attention of Eco tourism. Ecotourism is one of the fastest growing divisions of the tourism industry. The opportunities from tourism can be harnessed in the AP region given that the peninsula is the main travel corridor for thousands of tourists accessing the outer banks. The proper establishment and management of eco-tourism based businesses could potentially help in investing up to 95% of the revenue gained, back into the local economy.
For more information or questions please contact Priscilla Morris