Friday, November 11, 2011

Vulnerability analyses: getting back to basics via IIED: If vulnerability analyses are to be truly useful in assessing the impacts of climate change and supporting decisions on adaptation, methods must become standardised, replicable and founded on concepts that can be adapted to different contexts, argues Marcus Moench, president of the Institute of Social and Environmental Transition.

Existing vulnerability analyses are of little use, says Moench. "At best, they reiterate what we already know; at worst, they are used to justify entrenched agendas".

The impacts of climate change can be unexpected, he points out. Droughts in Afghanistan for example, led to malnutrition levels that were highest — not amongst the children of farmers — but among children of shopkeepers and moneylenders who lost income when farmers could not repay loans, and who were not eligible for aid.

Analytical frameworks need to highlight how growing global interactions generate vulnerability. Nepalese villagers may depend on money sent from family living in cities abroad; city dwellers in Manila depend on rice from Vietnam and Thailand; and the rise of urban food prices may have contributed to the unrest in the Middle East in 2011...

A bridge across Sioni Reservoir in South Ossetia, Georgia, shot by Vladimer Shioshvili, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licens

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