– a standardised framework for a climate vulnerability and risk assessment
Zebisch, Marc, Schneiderbauer, Stefan, Fritzsche, Kerstin, Bubeck, Philip, Kienberger, Stefan, Kahlenborn, Walter, Schwan, Susanne and Below, Till, (2021). The vulnerability sourcebook and climate impact chains – a standardised framework for a climate vulnerability and risk assessment. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 12(5), 1-25
Purpose – This paper aims to present the “Vulnerability Sourcebook” methodology, a standardised framework for the assessment of climate vulnerability and risk in the context of adaptation planning. The Vulnerability Sourcebook has been developed for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and has been applied in more than twenty countries worldwide.
Design/methodology/approach – It is based on a participative development of so-called climate impact chains, which are an analytical concept to better understand, systemise and prioritise the climate factors as well as environmental and socio-economic factors that drive climate related threats, vulnerabilities and risks in a specific system. Impact chains serve as the backbone for an operational climate vulnerability assessment with indicators based on quantitative approaches (data, models) combined with expert assessments. In this paper, the authors present the concept and applications of the original Vulnerability Sourcebook, published in 2015, which was based on the IPCC AR4 concept of climate vulnerability. In Section 6 of this paper, the authors report how this concept has been adapted to the current IPCC AR5 concept of climate risks.
Findings – The application of the Sourcebook is demonstrated in three case studies in Bolivia, Pakistan and Burundi. The results indicate that particularly the participative development of impact chains helped with generating a common picture on climate vulnerabilities and commitment for adaptation planning within a region. The mixed methods approach (considering quantitative and qualitative information) allows for a flexible application in different contexts. Challenges are mainly the availability of climate (change) and socio-economic data, as well as the transparency of value-based decisions in the process.
Originality/value – The Vulnerability Sourcebook offers a standardised framework for the assessment of climate vulnerability and risk in the context of adaptation planning.
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