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Vulnerability: Concepts and applications to
coral reef-dependent regions
(Work in progress)
Allison Perry
partnership  excellence  growth
Vulnerability:
• susceptibility to harm
• a human condition or process resulting from physical,
social, economic, or environmental factors, which
determine the likelihood and scale of damage from the
impact of a given hazard
(UNDP 2004)
partnership  excellence  growth
Approaches to vulnerability
• Risk and hazards
• Coastal populations and flooding
• Human ecology
• Hunger, famines
• Sustainability
• Land use practices
• Climate change
• Impacts on natural resource sectors
partnership  excellence  growth
Vulnerability assessment framework
EXPOSURE
SENSITIVITY
Disturbance or
stress to system
Degree of response
of system to
disturbance or
stress
POTENTIAL IMPACTS
ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
All impacts that may occur without
taking adaptation into account
Ability of system to evolve or
change to accommodate
disturbance or stress
VULNERABILITY
partnership  excellence  growth
Vulnerability assessment framework
EXPOSURE
SENSITIVITY
Disturbance or
stress to system
Degree of response
of system to
disturbance or
stress
RESILIENCE
ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
Ability of system to evolve or
change to accommodate
disturbance or stress
VULNERABILITY
partnership  excellence  growth
Economic vulnerability: climate change and fisheries
partnership  excellence  growth
Economic vulnerability: climate change and fisheries
EXPOSURE
SENSITIVITY
Nature and degree
to which countries
are exposed to
predicted climate
change
Degree to which
economies & people
are likely to be
affected by fisheryrelated changes
POTENTIAL IMPACTS
ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
All impacts that may occur without
taking adaptation into account
Resources and abilities to cope
with climate-related changes
VULNERABILITY
partnership  excellence  growth
Economic vulnerability: climate change and fisheries
Vulnerability
Very low
Low
Moderate
High
No data
Allison et al. (2009)
Allison et al. (2009)
partnership  excellence  growth
Taking vulnerability assessment forward
• Fisheries and climate change:
• Refinements as input data quality improves
• Multiple drivers of change
• Finer-scale assessments – for policy
• National
• Sub-national
• Vulnerability of specific fishery-dependent
systems
partnership  excellence  growth
Threatened coral reefs
partnership  excellence  growth
Reef loss: threats to people
• Reef ecosystem goods and services
• Food, income, employment, coastal protection,
tourism, exports
• Poverty and reef-dependent regions
• 2/3 of coral reef nations are developing countries
• 1/4 of these are Least Developed Countries
• Small island states
• High population densities, limited freshwater
supplies, sensitive economies
partnership  excellence  growth
Vulnerability and reef-dependence: Coral Triangle
•
•
•
•
>120 million people dependent on marine resources for food, livelihoods
Reefs valued at US$ 2.3 billion
Many reefs degraded and under continuing threat
Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI): conservation, sustainable development,
poverty reduction
partnership  excellence  growth
Vulnerability and reef-dependence: Coral Triangle
Philippines
Indonesia
Solomon Islands
• Vulnerability to reef loss (climate change)
• National-scale assessments
• (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines,
Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste)
• Finer-scale assessments
• (Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands)
partnership  excellence  growth
Assessing vulnerability to reef loss
EXPOSURE
SENSITIVITY
Nature and degree
to which coral reefs
are exposed to
stress
Degree to which
people & economies
are likely to be
affected by changes
on reefs
POTENTIAL IMPACTS
ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
All impacts that may occur without taking
adaptation into account
Potential for reef-dependent
communities & nations to cope
with changes on reefs
VULNERABILITY
Assessing vulnerability to reef loss
EXPOSURE
Nature and degree
to which coral reefs
are exposed to
stress
SENSITIVITY
Reef dependence
POTENTIAL IMPACTS
ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
All impacts that may occur without taking
adaptation into account
Resources and abilities to cope
with reef loss
VULNERABILITY
Assessing social vulnerability to reef loss
EXPOSURE
Nature and degree
to which coral reefs
are exposed to
stress
SENSITIVITY
Reef dependence
ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
Resources and abilities to cope
with reef loss
SOCIAL VULNERABILITY
Reef dependence
People more reef-dependent where reefs represent greater:
1. Share of economic activity
•
•
Contribution to individual/household income
Contribution to community/regional/national economy
2. Source of employment
•
•
Number/proportion of people with reef-dependent livelihoods
Ranking of reef-related livelihood activities
3. Source of nutrients
•
•
Proportion of dietary protein from reef-associated sources
Quantity of reef-associated food consumed
partnership  excellence  growth
Complexities of reef dependence
• Variation in types of reef reliance
• Continuous vs. seasonal
• Safety net during times of hardship
• Critical to survival vs. non-essential
• Other reef services
• Coastal protection
• Cultural value
partnership  excellence  growth
Adaptive capacity
Generic (Human development) indicators
•
•
•
•
Economy (poverty, inequality, debts)
Health (life expectancy, child mortality)
Education (literacy, school enrolment)
Governance (e.g. stability, effectiveness, corruption)
Context-specific indicators
• Governance (MPAs, LMMAs)
• Alternative natural resources (other fisheries,
agriculture, freshwater availability)
• Remittances
• Infrastructure (e.g. roads)
• Isolation (e.g. proximity to urban centres, markets)
partnership  excellence  growth
Project status
Data hunting and compilation
• National-scale
• Reef-associated coastal populations, fisheries, dietary
consumption
• HDIs, MPAs, roads, agricultural land availability, water
resources, remittances
• Finer-scale
• Reef dependence:
– Indonesia (~ 25 sites)
– Philippines (~ 30 sites)
– Solomon Islands (~ 5 sites)
partnership  excellence  growth
Methodological challenges: Data limitations
• Varying measures of reef-dependence
• Fishers: fishing households, boats, gear
• Livelihoods: # households, total activities, activity rankings
• Production: catch, revenues
• Trade-offs between spatial coverage and
comparability (across sites, across countries)
• Spatial scale:
Local
National
Reef-associated income
Reef-associated employment
Reef-associated livelihoods
Reef-derived catch
Dietary dependence
Health
Education
Governance
Remittances
partnership  excellence  growth
Methodological challenges: Data limitations
• Varying measures of reef-dependence
• Fishers: fishing households, boats, gear
• Livelihoods: # households, total activities, activity rankings
• Production: catch, revenues
• Trade-offs between spatial coverage and
comparability (across sites, across countries)
• Spatial scale
• Data availability at specific scales
• Linking national and finer-scale assessments
• Reef-relevance
• Balancing generic and context-specific indicators
» e.g. Philippines fish consumption data
partnership  excellence  growth
Beyond the Coral Triangle…
• Reefs at Risk Revisited – Global assessment of
vulnerability to reef degradation and loss
• Begins June 2009
partnership  excellence  growth
partnership  excellence  growth
Social vulnerability assessment
Goals:
1.
2.
Awareness raising: reef dependence and associated vulnerability
Help to reduce vulnerability by:
• Identifying the specific drivers of vulnerability in reef-dependent
regions
•
3.
Highlighting where particular policy, development, and
management measures may be most appropriate
Establish baseline measures of vulnerability against which to monitor
future changes
partnership  excellence  growth