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An Index to Determine Vulnerability of Communities in a Coastal Zone: A Case Study of Baler, Aurora, Philippines


A coastal community vulnerability index (CCVI) was constructed to evaluate the vulnerability of coastal communities (Buhangin, Pingit, Reserva, Sabang, and Zabali) in the municipality of Baler, Aurora, Philippines. This index was composed of weighted averages of seven vulnerability factors namely geographical, economic and livelihood, food security, environmental, policy and institutional, demographic, and capital good. Factor values were computed based on scores that described range of conditions that influence communities’ susceptibility to hazard effects. Among the factors evaluated, economic and livelihood, policy and institutional and food security contributed to CCVI across communities. Only small variations on CCVI values (i.e., 0.47–0.53) were observed as factor values cancelled out one another during combination process. Overall, Sabang received the highest CCVI, which was contributed mainly by geographical and demographic factors. This technique to determine factors that influenced communities’ vulnerability can provide information for local governments in enhancing policies on risk mitigation and adaptation.

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This research was funded by a Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship. The authors would like to acknowledge Professors Michio Kishi and Noriyuki Tanaka for their valuable insights and suggestions, and Hokkaido University's Sustainable Low Carbon Society Project, Aurora State College of Technology and Aurora Marine Research Development Institute for logistics and manpower support.

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Correspondence to Pedcris M. Orencio.

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Orencio, P.M., Fujii, M. An Index to Determine Vulnerability of Communities in a Coastal Zone: A Case Study of Baler, Aurora, Philippines. AMBIO 42, 61–71 (2013).

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