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Vulnerability and Adaptation. Kristie L. Ebi, Ph.D., MPH Executive Director, WGII TSU PAHO/WHO Workshop on Vulnerability and Adaptation Guidance 20 July 2010. Exposure Vulnerability. Impacts = ƒ. Vulnerability = the degree to which

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vulnerability and adaptation

Vulnerability and Adaptation

Kristie L. Ebi, Ph.D., MPH

Executive Director, WGII TSU

PAHO/WHO Workshop on Vulnerability and Adaptation Guidance

20 July 2010

impacts

Exposure

Vulnerability

Impacts = ƒ

Vulnerability = the degree to which

a system is susceptible to or unable to cope with the adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes

Sensitivity = the degree to which a system is affected by climate variability and change

definitions of vulnerability vary across sectors
Definitions of Vulnerability Vary Across Sectors
  • IPCC definition also states that vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of change and variation to which a system is exposed, its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity
    • This views vulnerability as the expected net damage after all possible adaptation / mitigation and not current situation
  • This definition is from natural hazards research
    • Vulnerability determines adaptive capacity vs adaptive capacity determine vulnerability
multi hazard map of africa
Multi-Hazard Map of Africa

2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction

multi hazard map of asia
Multi-Hazard Map of Asia

2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction

number of drought disasters emdat 1974 2004
Number of Drought DisastersEMDAT (1974-2004)

2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction

people exposed to drought
People Exposed to Drought

2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction

vulnerability
Vulnerability
  • For human systems, vulnerability relates to the consequences of exposure, not to the exposure itself (i.e. people and communities are vulnerable to damage and loss rather than to specific exposures such as flooding)
  • Highly dependent on context and scale
    • Vulnerability changes over spatial and temporal scales
    • Socioeconomic and biophysical dimensions
sri lanka extensive and intensive loss reports 1970 2007
Sri Lanka Extensive and Intensive Loss Reports 1970-2007

2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction

everyone is vulnerable however
Everyone is Vulnerable, However
  • Vulnerability is not evenly distributed
  • Vulnerability to one hazard is often quite different from vulnerability to another
  • Vulnerability varies over time and location
  • Vulnerability can depend on a wide range of socioeconomic and biogeophysical factors and trends
  • National level indicators of vulnerability aggregate across significant differences
slide12

Defining levels of vulnerability for intervention is a social and political process that depends on the question being asked

prerequisites for action
Prerequisites for Action
  • Awareness that a problem exists
  • Understanding of the causes
  • A sense that the problem matters
  • The capability to influence
  • The political will to deal with the problem

Last 1998

future vs current vulnerability
Future vs Current Vulnerability
  • Future and current vulnerability do not necessarily map directly
    • Current climate vs. climate change in the absence of adaptation/ mitigation vs. residual vulnerability
  • Some regions and communities will be particularly affected by changing climate variability, others by gradual changes in climate
  • Identifying emerging vulnerability hot spots depends on projections of development pathways and of climate change impacts
baseline
Baseline

Ebi et al. 2005

slide16
2025

Ebi et al. 2005

slide17
2050

Ebi et al. 2005

tropical cyclones over a 30 year period
Tropical Cyclones Over a 30-Year Period

2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction

slide20

Responding to climate change involves an iterative risk management process that includes both adaptation and mitigation and takes into account climate change damages, co-benefits, sustainability, equity and attitudes to risk

  • IPCC 2007 Synthesis Report
addressing changing risks
Addressing Changing Risks
  • Existing risks
    • Modifying existing strategies and programs
    • Reinstitute effective programs that have been neglected or abandoned
    • Apply win/win or no-regrets strategies
  • New risks
    • Design and implement strategies and programs that take into account a changing climate and changing vulnerabilities
adaptation measures to reduce health outcomes from floods
Adaptation Measures to Reduce Health Outcomes from Floods

Legislative policies: Improve land use planning

Decision support tools: Early warning systems and emergency response plans

Surveillance and monitoring: Alter health data collection systems to monitor for disease outbreaks during and after an extreme event

Infrastructure development: Design infrastructure to withstand projected extreme events

Other: Conduct research on effective approaches to encourage appropriate behavior

prioritizing adaptation options
Prioritizing Adaptation Options
  • Evaluate effectiveness of adaptation options by certainty, timing, severity, and importance of impacts
  • Evaluate effectiveness of adaptation options under the following scenarios
    • Current climate
    • A hotter and drier climate
    • A hotter and wetter climate
    • Hotter with more variable precipitation
what does this mean
What Does This Mean?
  • We look for:
    • Adaptations that make sense anyway
      • And make even more sense considering climate change
      • Policies that reduce vulnerability to climate variability will generally reduce risk to climate change
    • Marginal adjustments and low cost
    • Target of opportunity
    • “No regrets”
slide26

Observed summer (Dec-Feb) rain

Forecast (November- modelled) summer rain

Highest malaria incidence years

Lowest malaria incidence years