Agriculture and Development Notes on Climate Change Adaptation1
Vol. 5 No. 2 | Roberto Pedro C. Sandoval, Jr.2 and Hideki Kanamaru3
Though people have already adopted measures to limit the negative effects of climate change, more extensive adaptation is required to reduce vulnerability to climate change. Hence, it is important to assess climate impact and vulnerability as well as the adaptation options employed to increase resilience.
There are generally two types of assessment that can be used to support climate change adaptation:
Climate impact and vulnerability assessment involves the assessment of key changes in climate, climate change impact on different sectors, and vulnerability of livelihoods for strategic planning. Examples of outputs from the conduct of climate impact vulnerability assessment in agriculture include rainfall pattern, amount and area, frequency, intensity and duration of droughts and floods, soil erosion, and soil nutrient cycle.
Climate change adaptation options assessment deals with the assessment of effectiveness of different options in terms of suitability to a specific context. The outcome of this assessment can be in terms of improved water availability from soil and water conservation efforts, improved crop yield with new varieties, or a change in farm management.
The assessment of climate change adaptation options builds on climate impact and vulnerability assessment. It examines the extent to which different adaptation measures may achieve adaptation goals. The result of assessment helps practitioners identify effective adaptation options.
Methods to Measure Vulnerability
Methods to measure vulnerability include dose-response models, integrated assessment models, scenario-based approaches, household surveys, case studies, and open-ended interviews. These methods can be categorized into experimental, modeling, meta-analysis, survey, and ethnographic.
Two Interpretations of Vulnerability
Moreover, there are two interpretations of vulnerability in the context of climate change.
Designing Climate Impact and Vulnerability Assessment
Since climate impact and vulnerability assessments support decision-making processes, they should take into account the following key considerations:
In designing an effective vulnerability assessment, establishing the goal and objectives of adaptation is also essential. The description of the goals of adaptation should be a collaborative endeavor engaging the participation of the different stakeholders.
Essentially, the design of the vulnerability impact assessment is guided by the following questions:
More importantly, Climate Change offices should assist the government at the national and local levels in institutionalizing efforts of assessing vulnerability, impact, and adaptation in the short- and long-term planning issues on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
1 This adaptation note was drawn from the presentation of Dr. Roberto Pedro C. Sandoval, Jr. during the Workshop on Vulnerability, Impact, and Adaptation Assessment for Climate Change: Approaches, Methods, and Tools organized for the United Nations Environment Program Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific by the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) through the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), held on 10–12 July 2013 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
2 Dr. Roberto Pedro C. Sandoval, Jr. is the Climate Change and Food Security Specialist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Philippines.
3 Dr. Hideki Kanamaru is the Climate Impact Officer of FAO. He is one of the lead authors of Module 18 of the Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) Sourcebook, which served as the main reference for this issue.
Detailed content can be found in: FAO. 2013. Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook. http://www.fao.org
Packaged into an Agriculture and Development Note by Evelie Serrano and Mark Vincent Aranas