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Sea Level Rise and the National Security Challenge of Sustainable Urban Adaptation in Doha and Other Arab Coastal Cities

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submitted on 2023-09-10, 11:34 and posted on 2023-09-18, 04:54 authored by Laurent A. Lambert, Cristina D’Alessandro

The warming of the global ocean and the melting of ice caps have been continuously and increasingly rapidly driving the phenomenon of sea level rise (SLR) over the past century, threatening the safety and standards of living of the world’s 800 million inhabitants of coastal cities. Despite renewed commitments to fight the causes of climate change during the COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow, the current policies of the world’s largest polluting countries still put humanity on a dangerous path toward high levels of global warming and SLR for the decades and centuries to come. Based on the latest scientific publications, including the IPCC’s Assessment Report 6, this chapter sheds light on how this phenomenon is expected to affect in a multi-dimensional manner the safety and standards of living of coastal city inhabitants across the Arab region, and especially in the Arabian Gulf sub-region, in the decades and centuries to come. Studying the case of Doha, we highlight several policy challenges and opportunities that could influence the hazards as well as the levels of vulnerability and exposure to which individual Arab coastal cities are exposed to. The authors conclude that collectively fighting the causes of climate change, better planning urban and coastal development, as well as innovating for the climate adaptation of Arab coastal cities should be understood by policymakers, the private sector, and populations alike as a national security challenge that requires urgent individual and collective action.

Other Information

Published in: Sustainable Qatar : Social, Political and Environmental Perspectives
See chapter on publisher's website:



  • English


Springer Singapore

Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This item is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
  • School Of Economics, Administration And Public Policy - DI
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Public Policy - HBKU