Adaptation to ever intensifying climate change is of paramount importance to reduce its impacts, in particular for those at the frontlines of climate change such as the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS). However, a range of constraints make it harder to plan and implement adaptation and thus hinder adaptation progress.

Here, we provide an assessment on regional perceptions of adaptation constraints and avenues to overcome them based on a mixed-method approach, combining an online survey and semi-structured interviews with adaptation experts from Caribbean SIDS.

We find that finance is the largest constraint being faced which closely interacts with information, human capacity and governance constraints throughout the entire adaptation process. Such interacting constraints can lead to vicious cycles profoundly hindering adaptation and therefore need to be addressed in parallel.

Our results highlight how adaptation actors at the national level, in particular national governments, have a key role to play when overcoming constraints for the implementation of adaptation projects at the local level, alongside regional and international organisations.