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Monday, March 2, 2009

Vulnerability Mapping in Southeast Asia

The Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia of the International Development Research Centre has published a report entitled Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Southeast Asia.

While the report utilises a range of now common techniques for assembling vulnerability estimates, it doesn't provide insight into how such information should (or will) be used. Identifying the "most vulnerable" regions in a part of the world that is vulnerable as a general rule (with or without climate change) would seem to be of little utility, particularly without information on the local context. Now that various sub-national scale vulnerability indicators have been developed, what should be done and where? In any case, here's the abstract:

This paper provides information on the sub-national areas (regions/districts/provinces) most vulnerable to climate change impacts in Southeast Asia. This assessment was carried out by overlaying climate hazard maps, sensitivity maps, and adaptive capacity maps following the vulnerability assessment framework of the United Nations’ Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The study used data on the spatial distribution of various climate-related hazards in 530 sub-national areas of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Based on this mapping assessment, all the regions of the Philippines; the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam; almost all the regions of Cambodia; North and East Lao PDR; the Bangkok region of Thailand; and West Sumatra, South Sumatra, West Java, and East Java of Indonesia are among the most vulnerable regions in Southeast Asia.

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