UNDERSTANDING PERCEPTIONS OF COASTAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURE-BASED COASTAL ADAPTATION: USING COMMUNICATIVE FRAMING IN EXPERIMENTAL FOCUS GROUPS IN NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
MetadataShow full item record
Transitioning to more nature-based adaptation strategies for coastal adaptation, including coastal retreat, calls for a better understanding of how potentially affected residents might view and experience associated changes to their landscape, lifestyles, and physical locations. The purpose of this research was to find out how coastal climate change is experienced in Nova Scotia, to understand local perceptions of the urgency of coastal adaptation, particularly using nature-based adaptation options, and test whether communicative framing could modify those perceptions. We conducted 14 experimental online focus groups across Nova Scotia’s three coasts with 86 coastal residents, who received one of three communication framing treatments based on the climax thinking framework (past, future, and meaning) or a control that shared only information. Results show that participants are experiencing similar climate impacts across coasts and believe that effective adaptation approaches such as nature-based adaptation are necessary to address their coastal risk. Participants receiving the future-framed treatment, which invited participants to discuss what they love about the coast that they want to enable future generations to experience, were most likely to use urgent language when talking about coastal adaptation. The wartime mobilization metaphor used by the meaning framing treatment was also effective but challenging to apply; the past-focused framing that invited participants to view change as a continuum was not effective. The findings offer insights into improvements for coastal adaptation communication and recommendations for coastal policy development.