CR 40:187-198 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00805

Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change of rural inhabitants in the central coastal plain of El Salvador

Martha Y. Aguilar1,*, Tomas R. Pacheco2, Jaime M. Tobar3, Julio C. Quiñónez4

1Office of the Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Km. 5, Calle a Santa Tecla, Colonia y Calle Las Mercedes, instalaciones del ISTA, edificio del MARN, San Salvador, El Salvador
2Meteorology Service, National Service of Land Studies—SNET, Km. 5, Calle a Santa Tecla, Colonia y Calle Las Mercedes, instalaciones del ISTA, edificio de SNET, San Salvador, El Salvador
3Calle La Jacaranda, No. 11-B, Colonia Maquilishuat, San Salvador, El Salvador
4Colonia Toluca Sur Poniente, Av. El Rocío No.104, San Salvador, El Salvador

ABSTRACT: This paper develops and implements an integrated method to assess climate vulnerability in a socio-natural system by identifying and linking the natural and socio-economic factors that increase such vulnerability. With these insights, the method assists in developing effective strategies and measures to increase the system’s resilience and adaptability to the adverse impacts of climate variability and change. In order to detect and address the interactions between natural and socio-economic dynamics, the climate vulnerability of the socio-natural system, later referred to as study area, is considered based on the concept of a complex adaptive system and is characterized through its natural, economic and socio-cultural local environments. A climate vulnerability index (CVI) is defined as a function dependent on 3 sub-indices, namely: climate exposure, resilience and adaptability, and the related second-order variables. The method was developed to be applied in the following steps: (1) characterization of the natural and socio-economic dynamics; (2) integrated assessment of socio-economic, environmental and climatic baseline and future conditions, through use of an indicator system, related sub-indices and the CVI; and (3) comparative analysis of current and future CVI values, to be used for guidance in adaptation efforts.


KEY WORDS: Socio-natural system · Complex adaptive system · Resilience · Adaptability


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Cite this article as: Aguilar MY, Pacheco TR, Tobar JM, Quiñónez JC (2009) Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change of rural inhabitants in the central coastal plain of El Salvador. Clim Res 40:187-198. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00805

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