Communities and change in the anthropocene: understanding social-ecological vulnerability and planning adaptations to multiple interacting exposures

Bennett, Nathan James, Blythe, Jessica, Tyler, Stephen, and Ban, Natalie C. (2016) Communities and change in the anthropocene: understanding social-ecological vulnerability and planning adaptations to multiple interacting exposures. Regional Environmental Change, 16 (4). pp. 907-926.

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Abstract

The majority of vulnerability and adaptation scholarship, policies and programs focus exclusively on climate change or global environmental change. Yet, individuals, communities and sectors experience a broad array of multi-scalar and multi-temporal, social, political, economic and environmental changes to which they are vulnerable and must adapt. While extensive theoretical-and increasingly empirical-work suggests the need to explore multiple exposures, a clear conceptual framework which would facilitate analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to multiple interacting socioeconomic and biophysical changes is lacking. This review and synthesis paper aims to fill this gap through presenting a conceptual framework for integrating multiple exposures into vulnerability analysis and adaptation planning. To support applications of the framework and facilitate assessments and comparative analyses of community vulnerability, we develop a comprehensive typology of drivers and exposures experienced by coastal communities. Our results reveal essential elements of a pragmatic approach for local-scale vulnerability analysis and for planning appropriate adaptations within the context of multiple interacting exposures. We also identify methodologies for characterizing exposures and impacts, exploring interactions and identifying and prioritizing responses. This review focuses on coastal communities; however, we believe the framework, typology and approach will be useful for understanding vulnerability and planning adaptation to multiple exposures in various social-ecological contexts.

Item ID: 44060
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1436-378X
Keywords: social-ecological systems, vulnerability, adaptation, exposure, adaptive capacity, coastal communities, drivers of change
Additional Information:

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Funders: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Projects and Grants: SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Liber Ero Fellowship
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 07:34
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 100%
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