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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change


Parties to the UNFCCC are obligated by the Convention and various decisions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess their national-level impacts of climate change and their efforts to adapt to these impacts as inputs for their national communications. Parties need to select from a daunting array of potentially applicable methods and tools for making these assessments, and from various sources of information concerning their use. New methods and tools are constantly being developed and the application of those that are already in use is steadily being refined. There is therefore a need for a centralized source of information that can be maintained and regularly updated.

Background on methods and tools under the UNFCCC

The UNFCCC Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change is a web-based resource that provides key information on available frameworks, methods and tools, and their special features. It is designed to assist Parties and other potential users in selecting the most appropriate methodology for assessments of impacts and vulnerability, and preparing for adaptation to climate change.  The Compendium was developed in 1999 and updated in 2003, 2005 and most recently in 2008.

Compendium of 2008


The 2008 revision of the compendium was undertaken as part of the Nairobi work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Among its activities the work programme seeks to:

  • Promote the development and dissemination of methodologies and tools for impact and vulnerability assessments, such as rapid assessments and bottom-up approaches, including as they apply to sustainable development
  • Promote the development and dissemination of methods and tools for assessment and improvement of adaptation planning, measures and actions, and integration with sustainable development.

The revision draws on information provided by Parties and organizations on existing and emerging assessment methodologies and tools; and views on lessons learned from their application; opportunities, gaps, needs, constraints and barriers; possible ways to develop and better disseminate methods and tools; and training opportunities. 

The compendium can be downloaded either as a pdf-icon complete report (4935 kB) or by section below:

1. pdf-icon Introduction (354 kB)

2. pdf-icon Complete Frameworks and Supporting Toolkits (416 kB)

3. pdf-icon Cross-Cutting Issues and Multisector Approaches (2139 kB) , includes

  • Development and Application of Scenarios
  • General tools
  • Climate downscaling techniques
  • Socioeconomic scenarios
  • Stakeholder Approaches
  • Other Multisector Tools

4. pdf-icon Sector-Specific Tools (2560 kB) , includes 

  • Agriculture Sector Tools
  • Water Sector Tools
  • Coastal Resources Tools
  • Human Health Sector Tools
  • Terrestrial Vegetation Sector Tools

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