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Overview of Methodological Frameworks for Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications from Parties.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of Methodological Frameworks for Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications from Parties."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview of Methodological Frameworks for Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment Consultative Group of Experts on National Communications from Parties not Included in Annex I to the UNFCCC (CGE) Hands-on Training Workshop on Vulnerability and Adaptation forAsian and Pacific Countries 20~24 March 2006 Jakarta, Indonesia Xianfu Lu NCSP, UNDP-UNEP-GEF

2 In the next 40 minutes or so… 1.Key terms: Impacts, Adaptation/adaptive capacity, and Vulnerability 2.Scoping a V&A assessment: key questions to ask and issues to consider 3.Overview of V&A frameworks: options and their application contexts

3 Key terms

4 Key terms: Vulnerability Vulnerability to climate change is the degree to which a system is susceptible to, or unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a function of: oThe character, magnitude, and rate of climate variation to which a system is exposed; oIts Sensitivity; and oIts adaptive capacity

5 Exposure Exposure is what is at risk from climate change, e.g., oPopulation; oNatural resources; oInfrastructure and property It also includes aspects of climate change that an affected system will face, e.g., oSea level rise; oTemperature warming; oPrecipitation change; oIntensified extreme events

6 Sensitivity The degree to which a system is affected, either adversely or beneficially, by a given climate-related stimuli; Direct (e.g., reduction in crop yield caused by increased drought conditions), or indirect (e.g., damage to properties from coastal flooding caused by sea level rise); Generally, primary production systems (e.g., agriculture, forestry) are much more sensitive to climate variations, compared with most secondary and tertiary sectors (e.g., manufacturing and services)

7 Adaptive Capacity The ability of a system to adjust to climate change to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences; Determined by the access to: Wealth, technology, education, institutions, information, infrastructure, “Social capital” The mere possession of adaptive capacity does NOT guarantee that adaptation actually takes place.

8 Vulnerability is determined by these three factors.

9 Impacts of Climate Change … is typically the effect of climate change: For biological systems, it can be changes in productivity, quality, population, or diversity For societal systems, an impact can be a change in income, morbidity, mortality, or other measures of well-being Adverse as well as beneficial

10 Adaptation “… adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities”

11 Adaptation (continued) Two types of adaptation: Autonomous adaptation or reactive adaptation tends to be what people and systems do as impacts of climate change become apparent Anticipatory or proactive adaptation are measures taken to reduce potential risks of future climate change V&A research and adaptation planning are largely addressing issues associated with anticipatory/planned adaptation.

12 Different States of Impacts and Vulnerability

13 Different States of Impacts and Vulnerability (continued) Different definitions might be used to describe different states of impacts and vulnerability. Therefore, it is important to explicitly specify the context of the definition whenever it is used.

14 Scoping a V&A Assessment

15 Some questions to ask… What is of concern? oFood production, water supply, health oConcerns may not be expressed in climate terms, e.g., extreme temperature, but in consequences of climate for people (e.g., excess mortality caused by heat-waves) Who may be affected? How far into the future is of concern? Or is the concern really about current risks (which could be made worse by climate change)?

16 For what purpose is the assessment to be conducted? oEngaging stakeholders (public awareness campaign)? oEnhancing scientific understanding (a piece of scholarship)? oDesigning adaptation strategy or formulating adaptation projects (policy support )? Some questions to ask… (continued)

17 Different purposes require different approaches to V&A assessment.

18 Who is the targeted end-users of the results of your V&A assessment? oLevel of technical details; oTreatment of uncertainties; oFormat for presenting results What kind of output/information is expected from the Assessment? oPublic awareness materials (e.g., climate scenarios and their potential impacts etc.); oKey vulnerabilities (e.g., risk/vulnerability maps); oA national/sectoral adaptation strategy; or oA combination of the above Some questions to ask… (continued)

19 Additional Questions to Ask What resources are available to conduct the study? oMoney oStaff oExpertise How much time is available?

20 These Questions are Key Factors in Determining How the V&A should be conducted. So, You should NOT begin with the methods or models you have in hand, but with these questions. Select methods and models that are most appropriate for your V&A assessment

21 Overview of Vulnerability and Adaptation Frameworks

22 Types of Frameworks Approaches to V&A assessments can be categorized by the subject matter; spatial scale; and chronology of the assessments

23 “Top Down” vs. “Bottom Up” Frameworks

24 “Top-down” Frameworks Focusing on long-term (e.g., 2100 or beyond) implications of climate change Often scenario driven

25 Basic Structure for “Top-down” Frameworks

26 The IPCC “7-Step” Describing the Procedures involved in the “Top-down” Framework Define the problem Select the method Test the method Select scenarios Assess biophysical and socioeconomic impacts Assess autonomous adjustments Evaluate adaptation strategies

27 “Top-down” Frameworks applied in most V&A assessments to date U.S. Country Studies Programme (; National V&A assessments as reported in the Initial National Communications (INCs) of NAI Parties ( ); Assessments reported in the Third Assessment Report of the IPCCC (TAR) (

28 “Bottom-up” Frameworks Addressing near-term concerns Driven by issues identified through stakeholder consultations oAnalysis to be conducted as deemed necessary oApplication of “informal” analytical techniques

29 “Bottom-up” Frameworks UNDP Adaptation Policy Framework (APF); NAPA Guidance; UKCIP Risk, Uncertainty, and Decision-making Framework

30 UNDP Adaptation Policy Framework

31 UNDP Adaptation Policy Framework (continued) Technical papers on: Scoping and designing an adaptation project Engaging stakeholders in the adaptation process Assessing vulnerability for climate adaptation Assessing current climate risks Assessing future climate risks Assessing current and changing socioeconomic conditions Assessing and enhancing adaptive capacity Formulating an adaptation strategy Continuing the adaptation process All these papers are freely available at:

32 NAPA Guidance Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify immediate & urgent needs for adaptation; Synthesizing existing information and knowledge, undertaking a national consultative process, and setting priorities for adaptation projects to address urgent vulnerabilities; Followed an “8-step” process to formulate adaptation programme of action

33 NAPA “8-step” Process

34 UKCIP Risk-Uncertainty-Decision-making (“8-step”) Framework

35 UKCIP Risk-Uncertainty-Decision-making Framework (continued) Identify problem and objectives Establish decision-making criteria Assess risk Identify options Appraise options Make decision Implement decision Monitor, evaluate, and review Source: UKCIP, 2003 []

36 Other Derivations of “Bottom-up” Frameworks VARA (Vulnerability and Response Assessment for Climate Variability and Change ( ) Sustainable livelihoods (

37 Selecting a Framework No particular framework can be recommended without a specific context Different frameworks are appropriate for different needs and have different requirements. What is needed in the long run is a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches, or their elements.

38 A GEF-funded V&A assessment project: AIACC 24 projects in Africa, Asia & Pacific, Latin America & the Caribbean (including 6 projects in the Region: China, Fiji & Cook Islands, Indonesia-Philippines, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Thailand/countries sharing the Mekong River Basin); Assessing vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in multiple sectors ; Applying a wide range of approaches, methods, and tools; A wealth body of resources available at

39 Finally, a few points worth remembering… Projects often take longer and cost more than originally thought (or proposed); You may only get through the first few steps before running out of time or/and funds; So Do what you NEED (not what you want!) early on; and

40 You should NOT begin with the methods or models you have in hand, but with these questions. Select methods and models that are most appropriate for your particular V&A assessment Once again…

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