“Climate change adaptation”, “building resilience” and “vulnerability and risk reduction” are noble words, but do we really know what is meant by these terms and how to assess their respective progress? This book seeks to address these questions.
The world has recently experienced disasters of a magnitude rarely seen before: the cascading disaster in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti, and floods in Pakistan and Australia are a few prominent examples. These major disasters underline the fact that many communities and world regions are still vulnerable to extreme events and natural hazards. Additionally, creeping changes, such as sea level rise, are emerging pressures in the context of climate change. These changes are very likely to seriously affect livelihoods in many regions. The dynamic and complex interaction between vulnerable communities, and climate- and non-climate-related, sudden-onset and creeping hazards will most likely increase the risk of crises and disasters in the future.
Following the popularity of the first edition, this volume has been completely revised and fully updated. This new edition includes the dimension of adaptation to climate change and new risks resulting from climate change. It combines practical examples from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe with theoretical and conceptual frameworks. It is key reading for all those interested in improving risk reduction and adaptation strategies to extreme events and gradual changes in the context of climate change and natural hazards.
Jörn Birkmann is an Academic Officer and Head of the Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management and Adaptive Planning Section at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS).
Introduction , Jakob Rhyner
Part I: Basic principles and theoretical basis
Measuring vulnerability to promote disaster-resilient societies and to enhance adaptation: Conceptual frameworks and definitions, Jörn Birkmann
Data, indicators and criteria for measuring vulnerability: Theoretical bases and requirements, Jörn Birkmann
Part II: Vulnerability and environmental change
Part III: Global, national and sub-national assessment approaches
Part IV: Local vulnerability assessment
Part V: Institutional capacities, public sector vulnerability and dynamics of vulnerability
Conclusion, Jörn Birkmann
Components of Risk: A comparative glossary, Katharina Marre
“This completely revised book is an excellent and very positive addition to the scientific literature on disaster risk reduction. The strategic connections with climate change adaptation are very timely and comprehensive.”
— Gordon McBean, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, University of Western Ontario and Chair, Science Committee, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Programme
“Jörn Birkmann has assembled a coherent volume that reports on the state of thinking and implementing vulnerability assessments worldwide and also critically examines the assessment tools implemented. This book should be the regular companion for all those whose work demands knowledge of vulnerability.”
— John Handmer, Geographer and Director of the Centre for Risk and Community Safety, RMIT University, Melbourne