Tools to assess climate vulnerability can help identify people or places that are most susceptible to potential harm and identify actions that reduce their susceptibility. Such tools have evolved from science-driven impact-based assessments to policy-driven assessments that recommend specific adaptation options.
Over the past decade, tools have been developed for adaptation at the community level to support low-tech participatory processes and locally relevant adaptation strategies.
Climate adaptation tools may be used to address a number of conservation objectives: ref
- Raising awareness of climate change impacts
- Gathering information to support community adaptation efforts
- Assessing vulnerability and resilience of coastal ecosystems and communities to climate impacts; assessing the resilience of infrastructure, agriculture and water resources
- Identifying strategies to enhance the adaptive capacity of vulnerable species and communities
An advantage of community-based approaches is that they allow for broader stakeholder engagement, and recognize the role that local political, cultural, economic, institutional, and technological forces play in shaping people’s ability to anticipate and respond to climate impacts. ref
The following pages describe several community-based climate adaptation tools that can be used by coral reef practitioners to assess the vulnerability of coastal and marine ecosystems including communities.