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


Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change in Multiple Regions and Sectors (AIACC)
Description AIACC is a global initiative to advance scientific understanding of climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation options in developing countries. AIACC aims to fill gaps in the current understanding of vulnerability and opportunities for adaptation by funding, training, and mentoring developing country scientists to undertake multisector, multicountry research of priority to developing countries.

AIACC takes an approach to assessment that is research driven and focused on building capacity. While it does not prescribe an explicit framework for undertaking vulnerability and adaptation assessments it does offer a toolkit for researchers that are useful in the design of projects, as well as the tenets of a general approach. The toolkit also gives also information and links on climate models, agriculture models, water resources, ecosystems models.

The AIACC regional studies are diverse in their objectives, scientific methods, and the sectors and systems to be investigated, but they share a common second generation assessment approach that places understanding vulnerability at the center of the assessment, engages stakeholders in the assessment process, and gives priority to strengthening the information base for making decisions about adaptation to climate change.
Appropriate Use
The 24 AIACC studies (funded to date) are best used as a source of lessons concerning the process or elements of the process of assessing vulnerability and adaptation options in particular sectors and regions. The AIACC web page can also be consulted for a listing of tools and methods that might be of use in designing such an assessment.
Scope All sectors, all regions.
Key Output Adaptation options to reduce vulnerability and risk.
Key Input Stakeholder generated information about exposure, vulnerabilities, changes, risks, and driving forces.
Key Tools
Stakeholder analysis, sustainable livelihoods and indicators, decision support systems, multicriteria analysis, cost-benefit analysis, among others (see http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/aiacc/toolkit.html).
Ease of Use Depends on specific application.
Training Required Depends on design of particular assessment and tools employed.
Training Available A formal series of workshops (on scenarios and on V&A) has been held for the benefit of project participants with several meetings scheduled for the near future (http://www.aiaccproject.org/meetings/meetings.html). Proceedings of past meetings can provide a useful source of information about AIACC projects and approaches. Mentoring and networking also comprise important components of the process.

Regional networks will have the capacity to support continuing investigations and can be an important source of technical support (http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/aiacc/resources/network2.jsp and http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/aiacc/synthesis.html). There are also a newsletter and “AIACC Working Papers” to present information on the different project. The AIACC Technical Committee provides guidance on project design, assessment methods, scenario development, and use and training to AIACC projects.
Computer Requirements Depends on design of particular assessment and tools employed.
Documentation http://www.aiaccproject.org/
Applications Applications across a wide range of regions, countries, sectors, systems, and groups. There is a web-based information network to share information from the AIACC regional assessments (http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/aiacc/, and a synthesis of AIACC projects (. See also http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/aiacc/synthesis.html)
Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance Sara Beresford, AIACC Project Coordinator; Tel: 202.462.2213; e-mail: sberesford@agu.org,

Neil Leary, Science Director of AIACC; e-mail: nleary@agu.org, or general inquiries to aiacc@agu.org.

The project is managed by the AIACC Science Director and Project Coordinator and overseen by the AIACC Implementing Committee. The AIACC Technical Committee, including a Scenarios Advisory Group, provides guidance on project design, assessment methods, scenario development and use, training, and selection of projects.
Cost Depends on design of particular assessment.
References A listing of AIACC reports and publications can be accessed at: http://www.aiaccproject.org/publications_reports/Pub_Reports.html.

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