Multiscale Approaches for the Assessment and Monitoring of Social and Ecological Resilience to Drought

Alisher Mirzabaev, Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano, Renuka Srinivasan, Katrin Ehlert, Xiaoxia Jia, Ali Karnib, Rattan Lal, Bunafsha Mislimshoeva, Nijavalli H. Ravindranath, Armando López Santos, Lisa Schipper, Robert Stefanski, Ana Vuković, Huiwen Zhang
Posted on: 10/10/2023 - Updated on: 1/04/2024

Posted by

CAKE Team

Published

Abstract

Human influence has increased the frequency and intensity of droughts on global and local scales. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers drought to be the costliest of natural hazards. The impacts of droughts are mitigated by the resilience of ecosystems and societies. A society’s resilience to drought depends on maintaining and developing its natural, economic, physical, human, and social capital with the help of enabling policies and institutions and through the sustainable governance of natural resources.

The objective of this report is to provide science-based evidence on approaches for assessing and monitoring ecological and social resilience to drought, especially for vulnerable populations and ecosystems, while considering the effect of climate change on drought risk and based on a review of existing literature. Its aim is to empower policy makers and practitioners to bring drought into existing efforts to assess and monitor resilience to climate change.

The report also provides a comprehensive review and analysis of available indicators and approaches for assessing and monitoring drought resilience, so that monitoring approaches can be established at multiple scales. It offers a roadmap for countries to help in the selection of the most appropriate indicators and recommends actions for promoting the assessment and monitoring of drought resilience.

This is the first review and analysis of available indicators and approaches for assessing and monitoring drought resilience conducted for the UNCCD with the purpose of informing national and international processes.

Key Messages:

  1. The report identifies indicators to measure ecological and social resilience to drought (associated with maintaining or improving natural, economic, social, human, and physical capital) along with corresponding frameworks and methods for conducting drought resilience assessments.
  2. The report identifies a shortlist of common indicators and methods already agreed at the global level and in use by many countries for assessing the effects of droughts and changes attributable to sustainable land management (SLM).
  3. The report identifies a wide range of resilience measurement and assessment tools and frameworks already available. Countries or responsible institutions can select and adapt their preferred assessment tools to measure progress toward their particular desired drought assessment goals as well as progress toward other sustainable development priorities, including reducing land degradation, addressing climate change, and protecting biodiversity.
  4. The report outlines methods for presenting the findings of drought resilience assessments using a resilience index that scores ecological and social resilience to drought into one of five levels.
  5. The report identifies additional actions needed to improve the effectiveness and use of monitoring and assessing ecological and social resilience to drought. Technical exchange amongst stakeholders at national, subnational, and local levels to identify current capacities and gaps is critically important for improving the use of drought resilience assessment indicators.

Citation

A. Reichhuber, M. Svoboda, C. King-Okumu, A. Mirzabaev, S.M. Vicente-Serrano, R. Srinivasan, K. Ehlert, X. Jia, A. Karnib, R. Lal, B. Mislimshoeva, N.H. Ravindranath, A. López Santos, L. Schipper, R. Stefanski, A. Vuković, H. Zhang. 2022. Multiscale Approaches for the Assessment and Monitoring of Social and Ecological Resilience to Drought. A Report of the Science-Policy Interface. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Bonn, Germany.

Affiliated Organizations

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements. 

Related Resources

Sector Addressed
Agriculture
Conservation / Restoration
Disaster Risk Management
Policy
Public Health
Water Resources
Wildlife
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