Mc neeleyadmwg april52013_4.5.13


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  • ADMWG to date:About 43 people who have asked to participate to date. They are an interdisciplinary mix of researchers from federal agencies and our university consortium First conference call in January and Two webinars to date – 1. Olga Wilhelmi from NCAR on VA; 2. Leslie Richardson from USGS, Policy Analysis and Science Assistance group of the ASPN Tool – Assessing Socio-economic Planning Needs. Both recorded and will be available on our website. This week on Wednesday we had our first face-to-face plus virtual meeting at the National Adaptation Forum in Denver. Dennis and I plus 22 participants – 8 via webinar and 14 in person. Picked up a couple new working group members. Several case study presentations, including my own research in the Yampa-White Basins region, Betsy Neely’s research in the Gunnison, and brief overviews by Lisa Dilling and Dan Williams, which we will hear more about today, and Bob Gough on some tribal issues in the region and discussion. all recorded will also be available on our websiteSome of what I am presenting today is what I spoke about at NAF, but at NAF I presented on the NCA Adaptation chapter as well as my own research, which I am not doing here (there are now two webinars on my research that are already or soon will be available on our website). I am focusing more on the analytical landscape so to speak for doing integrated SES VA for Adaptation
  • At NAF this week there were a plethora of conceptual and analytical frameworks, approaches, scenario processes and tools presented. Many different ways to think about vulnerability and adaptation, but in general this NCA figure represents the usual steps in a adaptation process, starting with identifying risks and vulnerabilities, etc…. What we found in our assessment of adaptation nascent-wide is there is a lot happening in the first and second stages, but not much into the implementation….Scanning the Horizons framework, follows a similar process,however, the VA in section 2 focuses on ecosystems vulnerability and the NCA is more human-focused. What we are trying to do with this working group is integrate them. And what is really important to remember is the difficulty of planning to implementation and neatly cycling successfully through these stages, and the reasons underpinning this are fundamentally social science questions
  • Quite a bit of literature on‘Top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches used to inform climate adaptation policy, most of which happens at a local or regional scaleAnalytical approach for physical or biophysical assessment of vulnerability largely top down and approaches for social vulnerability largely bottom up. Ideally they should both inform climate adaptation, and this is what we are trying to bridge with this effort hereDessai, S., & Hulme, M. (2004). Does climate adaptation policy need probabilities? Climate Policy, 4(2), 107–128.
  • Widely cited paper and approach used for integrated SES VA Smitand wandel 2006 – talks about the importance of identifying vulnerability with stakeholders themselves, along with their own capacity to respond, cope, prepare for past, current and future climate disturbancesAlso importance of understanding historical and current VA as a baseline before you can truly start to get at future VA
  • Analytical framework for understanding social-ecological systems vulnerability from climate disturbances, in this case drought and water scarcity
  • Each framing prioritizes the production of different types of knowledge, and emphasizes different types of responses to climate change “Contextual vulnerability, in contrast, is based on a processual and multidimensional view of climate–society interactions. Both climate variability and change are considered to occur in the context of political, institutional, economic and social structures and changes, which interact dynamically with contextual conditions associated with a particular ‘exposure unit’.”
  • O’Brien, K., Eriksen, S., Nygaard, L. P., & Schjolden, A. (2007). Why different interpretations of vulnerability matter in climate change discourses. Climate Policy, 7(1), 73–88. Retrieved from
  • Sometimes don’t always have the resources, capacity, and time to do a full blown VA. So, at the very least some questions that need to be asked and pooling best available data and knowledge for a rapid baseline SES VA….Adapted from netwater protocol for river basin VA
  • Much more complicated version of a livelihoods framework for analysis of VAScoones, I. (1998). Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: A Framework for Analysis (p. 22).
  • This approach has a focus on the decision or response space for adaptationOsbahr, H., Twyman, C., Adger, W. N., & Thomas, D. S. G. (2010). Evaluating Successful Livelihood Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change in Southern Africa. Ecology and Society, 15(2). Retrieved from
  • So, to summarize these different frameworks and approaches I have discussed:--To date I have observed a suite of types of integrated SES research needed for the NCCSC. And this depends a lot on which federal agency and topic are the focus of the research. NPS in some cases will have different needs than BLM or FWS. --Not exhaustive list. --Sometimes, they will be multi-agency, overlapping projects that could benefit from multiple approaches. But just to start to bucket some types….and they are by no means mutually exclusive
  • First tenant of the NCCSC credo is to not reinvent the wheel, so starting with Synthesis of projects in the region, several of which you will hear about today. I am compiling a database and would like to think about this as a possible co-authored publication on this synthesis with the folks here
  • #4 --- This is both a practical, process question and an intellectual question given the often time very different realities worldviews of researchers and managers
  • Mc neeleyadmwg april52013_4.5.13

    1. 1. Shannon McNeeleyNorth Central Climate Science CenterNatural Resources Ecology Lab, NESB A309Colorado State UniversityFort Collins, Colorado 80523shannon.mcneeley@colostate.edu970-491-1852Social-ecological Systems Vulnerability andAdaptive Capacity AssessmentApril 5, 2013
    2. 2. The ProcessNational Climate Assessment Scanning the Horizons
    3. 3. ‘Top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approachesused to inform climate adaptation policyDessai, S., & Hulme, M. (2004). Does climate adaptation policy need probabilities? Climate Policy, 4(2), 107–128.
    4. 4. Participatory VA Approach
    5. 5. Vulnerability framework for a socio-ecological system adapted fromTurner et al., 2003 in Sonwa et al 2012.
    6. 6. Outcome versus Context VulnerabilityO’Brien, K., Eriksen, S., Nygaard, L. P., & Schjolden, A. (2007). Why different interpretations ofvulnerability matter in climate change discourses. Climate Policy, 7(1), 73–88
    7. 7. Diagnostic tool for identifying interpretations ofvulnerabilityO’Brien, K., Eriksen, S., Nygaard, L. P., & Schjolden, A. (2007). Why different interpretations ofvulnerability matter in climate change discourses. Climate Policy, 7(1), 73–88
    8. 8. Protocol for a Rapid BaselineVulnerability AssessmentA vulnerability assessment (VA) provides a baseline ofexposure and resilience to stresses. For a social-ecologicalsystem, it provides a first inventory of questions such as:• Who, what, when (timing/seasonality), and where (at whatscale) are the exposure units?• What climate hazards and stresses are they exposed to?• How resilient are the exposure units to current stresses?• What has been the impact of historical episodes, such asdroughts and floods?• Are the exposure units and stresses changing? In whatways?• What indicators capture current and future vulnerability?
    9. 9. Rapid VA• What adaptive capacities do they have?• What are barriers to realizing thosecapacities?• How can barriers be overcome?• What opportunities exist to build capacity andability to utilize the capacity?
    10. 10. Determinants of Adaptive CapacityDeterminantHuman capital Knowledge, education levels, health, labor, risk perceptionsNatural capital Clean water, healthy forests, productive soilPhysical capital Infrastructure (buildings, pipelines, roads), energy supply and deliverySocial and political capital Strong social relationships, civil society, communicationFinancial capital Income and wealth distributions, economic inclusion, insurance, creditInstitutional capital Density of institutional relationships, mechanisms for deliberation andnegotiation, regional planning, flexible rules and regsInformation and technology Technology transfer and data exchange, early warning systemsSource: Adapted from Eakin and Lemos 2006, based on Smit and Pilosofova 2001and Yohe and Tol 2001
    11. 11. Scoones 1998
    12. 12. Decision SpaceOsbahr et al 2010
    13. 13. Types of SES Adaptation and DecisionMaking Research• SES V/AC Livelihoods• Public stakeholder, policy maker, planner, decision maker climateknowledge, risk perceptions, behaviors• Multi-jurisdictional governance, institutions, and collaborative NRM• Decision analysis, processes, learning– Scenario planning– Adaptive management– Examine adaptive capacity and available strategies by understandingexisting planning processes (e.g., FWS Comprehensive ConservationPlan, BLM or NPS Resource Management Plans)
    14. 14. North Central Region VA Projects
    15. 15. Some questions for us today and beyond…1. How do we effectively bridge intellectual researchframeworks and approaches?2. What should our regional research priorities be?3. What is our process as a regional network of practice?4. How do we effectively bridge research to managers andpractitioners?5. What are the goals, milestones, and measures for oursuccess?