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Climate change vulnerability, impact and adaptation assessment: Lessons from Latin America

Graciela Metternicht (Institute of Environmental Studies, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Andrea Sabelli (Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Environment Programme, Panama City, Panama)
Jason Spensley (Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Environment Programme, Panama City, Panama)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Article publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a new framework for climate change vulnerability, impact and adaptation (VIA) assessment. Greater attention has been given in recent years to the importance of conducting climate change VIA assessment prior to, or as part of, climate change adaptation strategies and projects. A VIA assessment provides decision-makers and project developers with information on the location and causes of vulnerability based on local knowledge and scientific data, so that effective adaptation responses that are targeted and site-specific can be designed. A challenge facing practitioners in this field is the lack of clear methodologies or agreed frameworks on how to conduct a VIA assessment.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a VIA methodological framework that has been developed through three sub-regional pilot assessments on vulnerability and impacts of climate change, as part of the Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Action on Climate Change in Latin America and The Caribbean.

Findings

While it is recognized that methodologies and tools may differ depending on the unique local context of the study area and sector under analysis, there are key components that every assessment needs to consider.

Originality/value

The framework proposed can assist practitioners to deliver outputs from VIAs that are holistic, and provide the most appropriate type of information required for effective, context-specific adaptation responses.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is funded by the Governments of Spain and Norway through the Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Action on Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean –REGATTA – project administered by UNEP. The authors are grateful to the teams carrying out the VIA analysis presented in this paper, including Instituto Desarrollo, Universidad Nacional de Formosa, the Fundación Cordillera and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. The contents in the manuscript reflect the opinions of the authors and do not constitute the views of the institutions.

Citation

Metternicht, G., Sabelli, A. and Spensley, J. (2014), "Climate change vulnerability, impact and adaptation assessment: Lessons from Latin America", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 442-476. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-06-2013-0076

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited