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Indicators for assessing the vulnerability of Ujung Kulon National Park

Submitted by Emilia Pramova 21st February 2012 13:44


The highly endangered Javan rhino. Photo courtesy Ujung Kulon National Park and WWF. National Geographic.

Climate change will increase the pressure on the park’s biodiversity, and especially the Javan rhino. Socio-economic threats will also increase as climate change affects the livelihoods of local communities living around the park. It is thus necessary to approach vulnerability and adaptation through an integrated socio-ecological systems perspective, even in the conservation sector.

Under the EU funded Tropical Forests and Climate Change Adaptation project (TroFCCA), CIFOR researchers employed a multi-level participatory process to develop indicators for the assessment of the park’s vulnerability. The process generated principles, criteria and indicators (PCIs) relevant for the coupled socio-ecological system. PCIs were found useful for communicating vulnerability and for multi-stakeholder dialogues on vulnerability to climate change.

A generic set of three principles was used for assessing vulnerability and developing criteria & indicators:

  1. Ecosystem exposure to climate change;
  2. Sensitivity of human systems to ecosystem services loss;
  3. Adaptive capacity of social systems.

Indicators related to exposure and sensitivity of natural systems (e.g. precipitation change, availability of mud-ponds for Rhino), social sensitivity and adaptive capacity (e.g. dependency on climate-sensitive resources and activities, presence of diverse livelihood opportunities), social and ecological vulnerability in relation to local and national governance systems (e.g. presence and state of social and community organizations) etc.

Adaptation measures were also defined, such as increasing the ecosystem benefits derived by local communities from the national park, while simultaneously decreasing the socio-economic pressures on the park’s biodiversity.

For more information, contact Hety Herawati