The vulnerability of Australian rural communities to climate variability and change: Part I—Conceptualising and measuring vulnerability

R. Nelson, P. Kokic, S. Crimp, H.B. Meinke, S.M. Howden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vulnerability is a term frequently used to describe the potential threat to rural communities posed by climate variability and change. Despite growing use of the term, analytical measures of vulnerability that are useful for prioritising and evaluating policy responses are yet to evolve. Demand for research capable of prioritising adaptation responses has evolved rapidly with an increasing awareness of climate change and its potential impacts on rural communities. Research into the climate-related vulnerability of Australian rural communities is only just beginning to emerge. Current research is dominated by hazard/impact modelling, drawing on a heritage of managing the risks posed by seasonal climate variability. There is a natural tendency to use the same risk management approach to understand the emergent nature of vulnerability. In this paper, we explore the consequences for policy advice of imperfectly examining vulnerability through the lens of an impact/hazard modelling approach to risk management. In a second paper in this series, we show how hazard/impact modelling can be complemented with more holistic measures of adaptive capacity to provide quantitative insights into the vulnerability of Australian rural communities to climate variability and change
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-17
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • social-ecological systems
  • incomes-transforming advice
  • adaptive capacity
  • drought policy
  • farm incomes
  • adaptation
  • resilience
  • perspective
  • governance
  • framework

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