The Economics of Climate Change Adaptation and Ecosystem Services in the Bahamas: Lessons from San Salvador Island

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May 2022
San Salvador island in the Bahamas is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts due to its limited land space, fragile ecosystems, population and assets exposure, limited human and technological capacity, and susceptibility to the vagaries of international trade and exogenous economic shocks. Higher temperatures, sea-level rise, and coastal flooding linked to extreme weather events are expected to impact crucial ecosystems such as coral reefs, and assets from the tourism sector, especially from the cultural, historical, and environmental heritage. This report provides a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on the economy and ecosystems to provide stakeholders with updated inputs for improved decision-making. First, the report presents an Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) assessment to identify and analyze the main impacts of climate change, estimate potential economic losses, and propose adaptation measures to improve the island's resilience. Second, it presents an Ecosystem-Based Service (EBS) assessment to identify the main ecosystems of the island, evaluate the services they provide, and determine their contribution to the economy of San Salvador.