Indicators for social and economic coping capacity—moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity

Indicators for social and economic coping capacity—moving toward a working definition of... This paper offers a practically motivated method for evaluating systems’ abilities to handle external stress. The method is designed to assess the potential contributions of various adaptation options to improving systems’ coping capacities by focusing attention directly on the underlying determinants of adaptive capacity. The method should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate diverse applications whose contexts are location specific and path dependent without imposing the straightjacket constraints of a “one size fits all” cookbook approach. Nonetheless, the method should produce unitless indicators that can be employed to judge the relative vulnerabilities of diverse systems to multiple stresses and to their potential interactions. An artificial application is employed to describe the development of the method and to illustrate how it might be applied. Some empirical evidence is offered to underscore the significance of the determinants of adaptive capacity in determining vulnerability; these are the determinants upon which the method is constructed. The method is, finally, applied directly to expert judgments of six different adaptations that could reduce vulnerability in the Netherlands to increased flooding along the Rhine River. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Environmental Change Elsevier

Indicators for social and economic coping capacity—moving toward a working definition of adaptive capacity

Global Environmental Change, Volume 12 (1) – Apr 1, 2002

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN
0959-3780
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0959-3780(01)00026-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper offers a practically motivated method for evaluating systems’ abilities to handle external stress. The method is designed to assess the potential contributions of various adaptation options to improving systems’ coping capacities by focusing attention directly on the underlying determinants of adaptive capacity. The method should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate diverse applications whose contexts are location specific and path dependent without imposing the straightjacket constraints of a “one size fits all” cookbook approach. Nonetheless, the method should produce unitless indicators that can be employed to judge the relative vulnerabilities of diverse systems to multiple stresses and to their potential interactions. An artificial application is employed to describe the development of the method and to illustrate how it might be applied. Some empirical evidence is offered to underscore the significance of the determinants of adaptive capacity in determining vulnerability; these are the determinants upon which the method is constructed. The method is, finally, applied directly to expert judgments of six different adaptations that could reduce vulnerability in the Netherlands to increased flooding along the Rhine River.

Journal

Global Environmental ChangeElsevier

Published: Apr 1, 2002

References

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