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The emerging need for multi-model analysis has driven the creation of adaptation toolboxes, which both describe the steps to be undertaken for an adaptation risk management process as well as provide access and information on available methods and models to use in such an analysis. The number of tools and guidelines pertaining to climate change has skyrocketed, driven mostly by international aid agencies and NGOs, yet, there still is to be widespread use of a suite or toolbox of different methods. Instead, there are a myriad number of different tools that each performs well in some niche, with individual strengths (IISD 2007). MEDIATION incorporates a toolbox of methods and models for use in CCIAV studies, which integrates closely with the integrated methodology. In this way the project aims to create both a means of guiding a user through an adaptation assessment, and provide exemplary tools or recommend methods to be used, based on individual requirements.

Multiple Entrypoints to Climate Change Adaptation

An important facet of new risk management methodologies is the emphasis on combining the qualities of both top down and bottom up approaches. Initially, adaptation was examined from a top-down perspective; as climate change was seen to be a global issue, the focus was from a global level, using global climate models to estimate impacts on a system, which Burton et al (2002) assert results in an inadequate assessment of current risk and current and future vulnerability and adaptive capacity at smaller spatial scales, as higher level analyses of impacts are unable to properly incorporate complex properties of different human-environment systems. The use of scenarios and downscaling are seen as inadequate, as they usually result in simplified versions of local climate without taking into account factors which could substantially affect the localized impacts. Adaptive capacity is simplified to being a function of available technology and knowledge, another inadequate oversimplification, leading to the search for a more adequate method to represent local adaptive capacity.

Many indicators of social vulnerability and adaptive capacity are functions of social, cultural, and institutional characteristics, at small, localized levels, which can be lost in the large-scale analysis of a top-down methodology. Bottom-up analysis is much better equipped to characterize the nuanced details of this interaction at such small resolutions, through improved understanding of the local human-environment interactions (Jones and Preston 2011). After these concepts are understood, top-down analyses and downscaling can be introduced to improve estimates of the risks faced.

This emphasis on a combination of top-down and bottom-up methods brings about the first stages of an exemplary cyclical or iterative risk management process; identifying possible risks, estimating impacts, and evaluating risks based on local vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Following these initial steps, the next goal is to determine which adaption options are the most effective, through identification and appraisal of options. After implementing chosen options begins the phase of re-assessing and monitoring risks based on the adaption steps taken.

How to use

The PROVIA / MEDIATION Toolbox provides three types of content:

  • Toolbox descriptive pages: textual information, available for all categories of the Toolbox.
  • Toolbox short descriptions: a short description of a method, tool, guidance document etc. Provides short descriptive text and hyperlinks or references for additional information. This information is provided in tabular form on the respective Descriptive pages;
  • Toolbox detail pages: a more detailed description of a method or tool. Where available, links to Toolbox detail pages are provided on the respective Toolbox descriptive pages.
You can access the Toolbox content in alternative ways:
  1. all three types of content can be accessed using the Toolbox category system. Simply use the black category boxes on top of this page to browse through the available categories.
  2. the Toolbox overview table lists the available Toolbox short descriptions and Toolbox detail pages by name and provides short cuts to the respective Toolbox descriptive pages (available here).
  3. In addition, the available Toolbox detail pages can be filtered by various categories (available here).

Toolbox overview table

Overview on the the available Toolbox short descriptions and Toolbox detail pages with links to the respective Toolbox descriptive pages.

Detail page filter

Filter the available Toolbox detail pages by various categories.