Water resources, climate change and human vulnerability (2009)

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This paper focuses on the impact of climate change on water resources and the affect it has on human society. Millions of people are at risk from the impacts of climate change associated with the socio-political dimensions of global change and demographic changes.

A model to link the climate and social sciences is developed in a policy-oriented approach to make a holistic assessment of human vulnerability to climate and other drivers of social change. The Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) uses water as a focus as it is a key factor of human and ecological well-being. Though it is not a new concept, it has been developed to encompass variations within countries and it is not limited to specific communities.

By linking outputs from global climate modeling to the components which make up CVI, possible areas where vulnerability of water resources is likely to impact livelihoods and ecosystem services were identified. In order to examine those most at risk from the impact of climate and global change it is important to look beyond national assessments. On the other end of the scale, by using data at the sub-national level, it is possible to refine the CVI assessment to identify specific risks within a country which is useful for policy making.

The objective of this paper is to show how an intermediate scale of application – between national and community levels- could lead the way to finding an approach that can be applied over wide areas while taking into account spatial variations reflecting different aspects of vulnerability. How can the impacts of climate and other global changes be assessed so that the impacts on people can be understood and appropriate policies therefore developed? The assessment of vulnerability at the appropriate scale is a key step in developing effective adaptation responses and can be focused on development issues and the needs of the poor. This approach can also be extended to other areas affected by climate change such as disease incidence and agro-ecological changes.
Year: 2009
Language: English
In: National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, University of Canberra: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=44496&em=030909&sub=clim,

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 Record created 2011-12-21, last modified 2013-01-17