The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository
Warning ePrints Soton is experiencing an issue with some file downloads not being available. We are working hard to fix this. Please bear with us.

Modelling socio-economic vulnerability to floods:comparison of methods developed for European and Asian case studies

Modelling socio-economic vulnerability to floods:comparison of methods developed for European and Asian case studies
Modelling socio-economic vulnerability to floods:comparison of methods developed for European and Asian case studies
Within a twinning framework supported by the FP6 research project BRAHMATWINN, an approach has been developed to effectively model and map vulnerability to floods in the Brahmaputra/Assam (India) and Salzach River Catchment, Austria. The intention of the research is to assess the socio-economic component of risk through a joint conceptual level vulnerability approach. The approach reflects the wider objective and conceptualizations of the IPCC (International Panel for Climate Change) framework. Within this framework vulnerability is defined as a function of adaptive capacity and sensitivity. As sensitivity and adaptive capacity are multi-dimensional constructs a wide range of possible input parameters are potentially of relevance and there is a need to be pragmatic about the datasets available and the subsequent selection of indicators. To enhance the range for parameter selection, the research methodology utilises census and household survey as well as land use/land cover data to derive and assess vulnerability. For both test site areas, appropriate indicators have been chosen from these sources and represented in sub-domains based upon literature and in-field interviews and substantial workshops with local experts. In both test sites linear combination and regionalisation algorithms have been applied to provide appropriate weighting to the chosen indicators resulting in vulnerability maps that reflect the perceptions of the stakeholders. Spatial units have been identified which represent common characteristics of vulnerability. A valuable outcome of the twinning approach has been the delineation of two clear paradigms in the thinking of the production and utilization of vulnerability maps. In the European context vulnerability is strongly characterised through assets, whereas in Assam the focus lies on the defining characteristics of poverty at the community level. In the Asian context, where the poorer communities might typically be associated with low asset it is possible that a map of asset vulnerability is the inverse of a vulnerability map based upon community vulnerability. As such this highlights the importance of considering how a vulnerability map will be utilised in a decision making/planning context. In the frame of the FP6 research project BRAHMATWINN (Twinning European and South Asian River Basins to enhance capacity and implement adaptive management approaches) an approach has been developed to model vulnerability to floods in Assam (India) and the Salzach River catchment, Austria. The overall objective of BRAHMATWINN is to enhance and improve capacity to carry out a harmonised integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach as addressed by the European Water Initiative in headwater river systems of alpine mountain massifs in respect to impacts from likely climate change, and to transfer professional IWRM expertise, approaches and tools based on case studies carried out in twinning European and Asian river basins. Specifically, the project intends to delineate 'Water Resource Response Units' (WRRUs) which intend to meet the objective of analyzing the driving forces, pressures, state, impact, and response of system components, deriving from the natural and human environment regarding the vulnerability to impact by climate change in "what-if?" scenarios. In the first instance, a conceptual approach and consensus has been achieved in defining vulnerability. In case study areas in each catchment, Assam in the Upper Brahmaputra River Basin, and the Salzach River in the Upper Danube River Basin, the vulnerability has been modelled and mapped. Whilst adopting the broad conceptual framework common to both case studies, Assam has a dominantly rural poverty context suggesting a focus that views the lack of asset as the root cause of low adaptive capacity but with sensitivity defined upon limitations to the asset base. In the European setting the indicators for measuring vulnerability have a strong focus on asset based approaches whilst also integrating the socio-economic characteristic of the population. The Asian approach shares with the European case study a stakeholder consultation phase in order to provide a relative weighting for the selected indicators and consciously accepts the subjectivity of the output as a representation of the opinions of the consulted group. The model results such as the spatial quantification of socio-economic vulnerability should feed into the modelling of WRRUs (Water Resource Response Units) and additionally allow decision-makers in the region to identify vulnerable areas and possible means of intervention. Within this paper we compare both methodological approaches within the modelling of socio-economic vulnerabilities and raise issues on requirements and limitations.
University of Southampton
Kienberger, Stefan
1c5a2451-6ef0-40ed-a525-416db312bbe5
Johnson, Fiifi Amoako
e348fd15-9fe2-472f-a701-2980b8cec4d5
Zeil, Peter
a6a055c4-da80-4325-89bd-cb5c5878dd9a
Hutton, Craig
9102617b-caf7-4538-9414-c29e72f5fe2e
Lang, Stephan
96a30b21-9924-4676-ab4f-ea36923e1afa
Clark, Mike
6e0ead84-d526-494d-b2b4-0cda0bac22a1
Kienberger, Stefan
1c5a2451-6ef0-40ed-a525-416db312bbe5
Johnson, Fiifi Amoako
e348fd15-9fe2-472f-a701-2980b8cec4d5
Zeil, Peter
a6a055c4-da80-4325-89bd-cb5c5878dd9a
Hutton, Craig
9102617b-caf7-4538-9414-c29e72f5fe2e
Lang, Stephan
96a30b21-9924-4676-ab4f-ea36923e1afa
Clark, Mike
6e0ead84-d526-494d-b2b4-0cda0bac22a1

Kienberger, Stefan, Johnson, Fiifi Amoako, Zeil, Peter, Hutton, Craig, Lang, Stephan and Clark, Mike (2014) Modelling socio-economic vulnerability to floods:comparison of methods developed for European and Asian case studies Southampton, GB. University of Southampton 9pp. (doi:10.1596/1813-9450-3793).

Record type: Monograph (Project Report)

Abstract

Within a twinning framework supported by the FP6 research project BRAHMATWINN, an approach has been developed to effectively model and map vulnerability to floods in the Brahmaputra/Assam (India) and Salzach River Catchment, Austria. The intention of the research is to assess the socio-economic component of risk through a joint conceptual level vulnerability approach. The approach reflects the wider objective and conceptualizations of the IPCC (International Panel for Climate Change) framework. Within this framework vulnerability is defined as a function of adaptive capacity and sensitivity. As sensitivity and adaptive capacity are multi-dimensional constructs a wide range of possible input parameters are potentially of relevance and there is a need to be pragmatic about the datasets available and the subsequent selection of indicators. To enhance the range for parameter selection, the research methodology utilises census and household survey as well as land use/land cover data to derive and assess vulnerability. For both test site areas, appropriate indicators have been chosen from these sources and represented in sub-domains based upon literature and in-field interviews and substantial workshops with local experts. In both test sites linear combination and regionalisation algorithms have been applied to provide appropriate weighting to the chosen indicators resulting in vulnerability maps that reflect the perceptions of the stakeholders. Spatial units have been identified which represent common characteristics of vulnerability. A valuable outcome of the twinning approach has been the delineation of two clear paradigms in the thinking of the production and utilization of vulnerability maps. In the European context vulnerability is strongly characterised through assets, whereas in Assam the focus lies on the defining characteristics of poverty at the community level. In the Asian context, where the poorer communities might typically be associated with low asset it is possible that a map of asset vulnerability is the inverse of a vulnerability map based upon community vulnerability. As such this highlights the importance of considering how a vulnerability map will be utilised in a decision making/planning context. In the frame of the FP6 research project BRAHMATWINN (Twinning European and South Asian River Basins to enhance capacity and implement adaptive management approaches) an approach has been developed to model vulnerability to floods in Assam (India) and the Salzach River catchment, Austria. The overall objective of BRAHMATWINN is to enhance and improve capacity to carry out a harmonised integrated water resources management (IWRM) approach as addressed by the European Water Initiative in headwater river systems of alpine mountain massifs in respect to impacts from likely climate change, and to transfer professional IWRM expertise, approaches and tools based on case studies carried out in twinning European and Asian river basins. Specifically, the project intends to delineate 'Water Resource Response Units' (WRRUs) which intend to meet the objective of analyzing the driving forces, pressures, state, impact, and response of system components, deriving from the natural and human environment regarding the vulnerability to impact by climate change in "what-if?" scenarios. In the first instance, a conceptual approach and consensus has been achieved in defining vulnerability. In case study areas in each catchment, Assam in the Upper Brahmaputra River Basin, and the Salzach River in the Upper Danube River Basin, the vulnerability has been modelled and mapped. Whilst adopting the broad conceptual framework common to both case studies, Assam has a dominantly rural poverty context suggesting a focus that views the lack of asset as the root cause of low adaptive capacity but with sensitivity defined upon limitations to the asset base. In the European setting the indicators for measuring vulnerability have a strong focus on asset based approaches whilst also integrating the socio-economic characteristic of the population. The Asian approach shares with the European case study a stakeholder consultation phase in order to provide a relative weighting for the selected indicators and consciously accepts the subjectivity of the output as a representation of the opinions of the consulted group. The model results such as the spatial quantification of socio-economic vulnerability should feed into the modelling of WRRUs (Water Resource Response Units) and additionally allow decision-makers in the region to identify vulnerable areas and possible means of intervention. Within this paper we compare both methodological approaches within the modelling of socio-economic vulnerabilities and raise issues on requirements and limitations.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

Published date: 2014
Organisations: Social Sciences, Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 373967
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/373967
PURE UUID: 668637ee-d169-4b77-98ed-c3f048b4e858
ORCID for Craig Hutton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5896-756X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jan 2015 15:14
Last modified: 09 Nov 2021 03:02

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Stefan Kienberger
Author: Fiifi Amoako Johnson
Author: Peter Zeil
Author: Craig Hutton ORCID iD
Author: Stephan Lang
Author: Mike Clark

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×