ASSESSING VULNERABILITIES AS A STEP TOWARD CLIMATE CHANGE INDUCED HAZARD PREPAREDNESS
Free (open access)
Volume 7 (2017), Issue 2
137 - 146
HARDY PUNDT, ANDREA HEILMANN & MARTIN SCHEINERT
Increasingly, the consequences of climate change are recognized not only on a national, but also on the regional and local levels. More and more local administrations ask if and which measures should be implemented to be prepared concerning climate change induced hazards, such as flooding, soil erosion, or drought and heat periods in rural and/or urban environments.
Within the framework of a project carried out between 2013 and 2016, a local climate change adaptation strategy has been developed in a pilot region in middle Europe. Taking into account as many stakeholders, or actors from different sectors as possible, measures to adapt to climate change were defined based on the previous assessment of specific vulnerabilities. However, vulnerability assessment has been supported by the analysis of vast amount of spatial datasets using online geographic information services that were implemented as part of the project. Based on such technologies, as well as a web-based open forum, actors and the public were enabled to participate actively in the vulnerability assessment and especially concerning the definition of climate change adaptation measures. The participation process under explicit consideration of diverse relevant actors has lead to improved acceptance, and therefore more sustainable decisions about measures.
The benefits resulting from using open participation tools, including geographic information technologies and communication support, to identify and evaluate vulnerabilities will be discussed. This is linked to the goals of a follow-up project that starts in 2017, called ‘BebeR’, in which a special focus is on soil erosion due to increasing heavy rainfall events accompanied by flooding. The computer based support during the prioritization and implementation of measures to mitigate potential threats will be considered and conclusions be drawn.
climate change adaptation, GIS, hazard preparedness, participation, vulnerability