Resilience decision-making tool
The effects of climate change – including more frequent and severe heatwaves, wildfires, floods and droughts – are hurting people and setting economies back, often by decades. At the individual level, there is a disproportionate burden of climate impacts on women and vulnerable groups. Further, climate change also has a damaging effect on natural ecosystems, but steps to reduce climate risks do not always reverse that damage—these vital systems need to be considered as part of adaptation decision-making.
Leaders at both national and local levels need a timely, effective affordable and accessible way to understand their communities’ exposure to climate-related risks. Existing methods of understanding climate-related impacts and deciding how to mitigate climate-related risks are time-consuming, not widely available, and fail to consider the effects of climate adaptation on social vulnerability and biodiversity.
The Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (AARFRC) will create a decision support tool designed to help users understand their exposure to climate-related threats and the most effective measures to strengthen resilience against these threats – considering, for the first time, biodiversity, gender equity, and social vulnerability alongside the financial costs of measures.
In partnership with ETH Zurich’s Weather and Climate Risks Group, AARFRC is adapting the widely-used Economics of Climate Adaption (ECA) method. The new Resilience Decision-making Tool will allow communities and governments to make more informed decisions with expedited comparisons of cost and risk reduction potential. This web-based, user-friendly tool will measure a community’s exposure to multiple hazards, incorporating development and climate scenarios to evaluate risk to climate-related threats. The tool will calculate avoided damages to built capital from climate adaptation interventions like new evacuation policies, coastal protection measures or urban extreme heat risk reduction actions. The tool will allow users to compare those calculated avoided damages, or benefits, to the costs of interventions, while also accounting for the impacts that interventions may have on biodiversity, women, and vulnerable populations.
GOALS AND EXPECTED IMPACT
AARFRC will scale the distribution and use of the Resilience Decision-making Tool through their current, formal partnerships with groups including CCRIF SPC, the 22-country member risk pool based in the Caribbean, The Global Island Partnership, a network of more than 30 islands around the world promoting resilient island communities, and the Global Resilient Cities Network, made up of 86 cities—as well as with individual local governments ranging from the city of Chennai, India to Miami-Dade County, Florida. By working with these partners, AARFRC expects to reach 250 million people with interventions guided by the new tool.
In addition, the tool has great potential to inform the practices of global financial institutions as the world is increasingly forced to adapt to climate change.
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