The Vulnerability Assessment Tool is also available in a version supporting interactive group sessions with stakeholders. This version is not available online but needs to be used on a local client (see Make Your Own).
Learn more about the tool “Vulnerablity Assessment (GROUPMODE)” here
Assessing the vulnerability of ecosystem services under climate change calls, inter alia, for full consideration of climate variability and uncertainty, high degree of stakeholder involvement, integration of ecological and social dimensions, and a focus on adaptation strategies. This is well in line with the holistic systems view advocated by emerging management paradigms such as sustainable forest management (SFM). Several conceptual approaches to vulnerability are reported in the literature (e.g. Füssel and Klein 2006, Luers 2005). For the AFM ToolBox we have used the approach as introduced by Seidl et al. (2011). The vulnerability surface is conceptualized over a rectangular space defined by the dimensions sensitivity and exposure of the system (x-dimension) as well as the systems state regarding adaptive capacity (y-dimension) (Figure 4). Both dimensions are characterized by a set of indicators. The sensitivity indicators represent a set of ecosystem services and are directly retrieved from the DataBase for each available management alternative. For sensitivity indicators the difference between indicator value under baseline climate and the respective value under climate change conditions is used to assess the impacts of a changing climate. The indicators for adaptive capacity are qualitative. The user has to assess the relevance of each indicator on a scale of of 3-5 predefined qualitative ordinal categories depending on the analysed problem setting (i.e. none to negligible/ moderate/ strong for “institutional support”).
Figure 1. Conceptual representation of the vulnerability surface. The total perceived impact is aggregated from impacts on indicators that are available from forest ecosystem simulations. Values on the y-axis (adaptive capacity) are derived from user input.
The two-dimensional vulnerability surface can be collapsed to a one-dimensional sensitivity index and thus the need to provide user input on adaptive capacity is dropped. To evaluate the sensitivity indicators on a dimensionless scale [0-1] thresholds for recognition and tolerance of an impact must be defined for all indicators. In the manager variant these thresholds are fixed while the analyst variant of the Vulnerability Assessment Tool allows access to advanced features of the tool where thresholds and underlying preference functions which transfer the original measurement scale of the sensitivity indicators into a dimensionless index [0-1] can be adjusted according to specific stakeholder needs. Applying additive value functions from multi-criteria methodology the indicators can be aggregated at the level of ecosystem services, or across all involved services to yield an overall “multifunctional” vulnerability index. For details we refer to Seidl et al. (2011) and Lexer and Seidl (2009).
Lexer, M.J., Seidl, R. 2009. Addressing biodiversity in a stakeholder-driven climate change vulnerability assessment of forest management. Forest Ecology & Management 258, 158-167.Luers, A.L. 2005. The surface of vulnerability: an analytical framework for examining environmentalchange. Glob Environ Change 15:214–223
Seidl, R., Rammer, W., Lexer, M.J. 2011. Climate change vulnerability of sustainable forest management in the Eastern Alps.Climatic Change 106:225–254
Füssel, H.M., Klein, R.J.T. 2006. Climate change vulnerability assessments: an evolution of conceptual thinking. Clim Change 75:301–329
The “Group mode” version of the vulnerability assessment tool provides in general the same functionalities as the the BASIC
version. In addition it provides the “group mode”: In this special setup, a group of stakeholder work together with the tool in a group setting.
The “group mode” requires special preparation (creation of group users, …) and is not supported by default.
If you are interested in this group mode component, please contact Manfred J. Lexer (email@example.com) or Werner Rammer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A group session is led by a moderator team that provides also additional context information
Users working with the tool in a group session
The collected preferences within the group can be viewed interactively.