Increasing adaptive capacity through vulnerability assessments
Vulnerability assessments are necessary to ensure local communities adequately cope and adapt to both extreme events and climate change impacts. For many institutions working on climate change and disaster management, the high level of vulnerability for communities can come as a wake-up call. A vulnerability assessment requires a comprehensive evaluation of the impacts of climate change and disasters on all human, financial and social and political assets. Human assets express the quality of human resources including education and capacity, communication and information exchange. Financial assets consist of per capita community investment budgets in the national budget and financial sustainability of community-based organizations. Finally, Social and political assets focus the relationship between business and government institutions, traditional cultural and familial bonds, local network/associations and the ability to influence policy decisions. Undertaking a vulnerability assessment involves revisiting current strategies to coping with extreme weather events to also include considerations of the impact on food security, environmental sustainability, and poverty reduction.