Pala Band of Mission Indians Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Pala Band of Mission Indians
Posted on: 12/28/2020 - Updated on: 1/05/2021

Posted by

Kathryn Braddock



The Pala Band of Mission Indians has assessed its vulnerability to climate change, which is summarized in this report. Climate change refers to long-term changes in usual or expected weather patterns resulting from an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. To determine Pala’s climate change vulnerability, this process entailed review of literature, data, staff knowledge, and community observations to determine to what extent Pala may be exposed to various climate changes now and in the future. This report concludes that the following exposures (and sub-bulleted secondary exposures) present the most significant and interrelated risks for Pala. The report is organized by these four exposure areas:

1. Elevated temperature

  • Worsened air ozone levels
  • Food insecurity
  • Vector changes

2. Wildfire

  • Worsened particulate matter in air (smoke)
  • Water insecurity
  • Vector changes

3. Storms and Flooding

  • Worsened indoor mold in air
  • Water insecurity
  • Vector changes

4. Drought

  • Water insecurity
  • Worsened dust and fungus particles and allergens in air

This review also revealed the potential impacts resulting from such exposures, and the community characteristics that make Pala more sensitive or more adaptable to these impacts. The impacts are organized into three categories: 1) those that affect Pala’s Health & Social Environment, 2) those that affect its Natural Environment, and 3) those that affect its Built Environment. This analysis concludes that the impacts listed are of highest concern for Pala in the foreseeable future. The report provides details about each of these impacts as they relate to each of the four exposure areas outlined above.

These impacts are anticipated to threaten a variety of Pala’s community assets and values, ranging from water resources to human health and tribal sovereignty. The findings presented in this report are intended to increase Pala’s awarenessof how the Tribe is likely to be affected by climate change. This information is needed for Pala to consider potential actions to address or adapt to any of the threats posed by climate change, which is typically done through the development of an adaptation plan. Pala has also developed an adaptation plan based on the findings of this Vulnerability Assessment.

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