Inclusivity & Wellbeing: Coastal Communities in a 3°C World

The second event in the Frontiers of Development series took place from Sunday 15 July - Wednesday 18 July 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and centred on climate change, a 3°C rise in global temperatures and the threats this poses to oceans, water resources and coasts. Approximately 60 leaders from different disciplines and countries came together to discuss the concept of a 3°C world and its associated challenges. This event was hosted in partnership with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office as part of the UK-Brazil Year of Science and Innovation. 

Adapting to a changing and warming world is central to the Sustainable Development Goals. The theme was particularly pertinent in the wake of the Paris Climate Agreement. The United Nations Environment Programme released their Emissions Gap Report in November 2016 which detailed that emissions by 2030 are likely to reach 54-56 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent per year - some way off the Paris target of 42 gigatonnes. You can read the full report below. 

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report 2016

Event Chairs


  • Professor Mark Pelling, Challenge Leader, Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change Portfolio, King's Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience
  • Professor Minhan Dai, Director, State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, China

Symposium sub-themes

At the core of each symposium is three or four multidisciplinary, workshop-style sessions which focus on different sub-themes. Participants are obliged to attend every session to maximise the opportunity to make new contacts and build collaborative relationships. Whilst a session may not directly relate to an individual's research area, it is expected that participants attend all sessions to learn how their work can link in with the work of researchers from other disciplines, in order to address development challenges. 

1. Climate Induced Disaster Mitigation and Resilience

Session Co-Chair: Professor Paulo Artaxo, University of Sao Paulo
Session Co-Chair: Dr Michelle Mycoo, University of the West Indies


  • CSSP Brazil: Explaining the role of climate in extreme flooding events in South AmericaDr Andy Wiltshire, Met Office Hadley Centre 
  • Future of cities, climate change and related disaster risks: are we at crossroads?Dr Benjamin Delalie Dovie, University of Ghana
  • Climate disaster and resilience in cities: policies and challenges.Dr Joana Setzer, London School of Economics


2. Management and Protection of Marine Ecosystems

Session Chair: Dr Monica Muelbert, Universidad Federal de Rio Grande/University of Tasmania


  • Technological innovation or social change? The battle for the seasDr Shona Patterson, Future Earth Coasts
  • Research needs for Coastal and Marine Environments Conservation: a plastics pollutions case studyProfessor Monica Costa Universidad Federal de Pernambuco 3
  • MPAs, Biodiversity and Climate ChangeBeatrice Padovani Ferreira, Universidad Federal de Pernambuco 


3. Sustainable Blue Economy

Session Chair: Dr Karyn Morrissey, University of Exeter


  • Can we create SBE through Renewable Energy?Dr Tom Rogers, University of Coventry 
  • Can we create SBE through Marine Technology?Dan Watson, SafetyNet Technologies 
  • Can we create SBE through Community Led Aquaculture?
    Margaret Gatonye, Aquaculture Association of Kenya


4. Critical Emerging Topics: Marine Plastics

Session Chair: Ellie Mackay, Plastic Tide      

Participants also had the opportunity to hear from two keynote speakers: Professor Carlos Nobre, a WRI Senior Fellow, and Rovani Sigamoney, an Engineering Programme Specialist from UNESCO. 

Innovation Unconference

In conjunction with the symposium, a joint Innovation Unconference was hosted with the Academy’s Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF) Programme. The event took place at the Hilton Hotel Copacabana, shortly after the conclusion of the symposium, and brought together four years of Alumni of the LIF programme from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico as well as participants of the FoD symposium. In addition to the unconference, a networking reception bridged the two events at Rio’s Museum of Tomorrow, with speakers from the British Embassy and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Frontiers of Development seed funding

Seed funding grants worth up to £20,000 each were available to groups of two or more participants of the symposium. Successful project titles and awardees are listed here

How to Get Involved

If you would like to express interest in attending a Frontiers of Development event, or know someone who would like to do so, please visit the How to Get Involved page to fill out an Expression of Interest or Nomination form. 

To get more of a flavour of the event, take a look at our other past symposia or explore #FrontiersDev on Twitter.