Vulnerability Assessments for Ecosystem-based Adaptation: Lessons from the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve in Peru

  • Pablo DourojeanniEmail author
  • Edith Fernandez-Baca
  • Silvia Giada
  • James Leslie
  • Karen Podvin
  • Florencia Zapata


The development of Vulnerability Assessments (VA) to climate change is a rapidly evolving activity within the broader climate adaptation planning process. As such it is receiving significant attention from the communities of adaptation researchers and practitioners. It is uncommon to carry out more than one VA in the same place and at the same time thus this case study presents a unique opportunity to compare the application of three different Vulnerability Assessment approaches that were carried out simultaneously in the same location: the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve in Peru, during the period of 2012 through 2013. All three approaches shared the goal of identifying Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) measures based on the ecological and social vulnerabilities the VAs helped to identify in the target area. Each approach, however, was different in terms of methodologies and conceptual foundation. The following case study describes the application of a participatory VA approach, a model-based VA approach and a deductive VA approach, using a set of descriptors in a custom designed matrix. We also present a narrative description of each approach to explain in more detail the process undertaken by each Vulnerability Assessment. Key lessons learned are that EbA measures require abundant information (pertaining to climate, ecosystems, biodiversity, land use practices, livelihoods, etc). As a result, interaction between scientific knowledge and traditional (local) knowledge is vital. Of importance, all three approaches rendered useful and pertinent results and surprisingly recommended very similar adaptation measures. Nevertheless, the participatory approach was the only one that did not require additional studies to implement measures following the Vulnerability Assessment. The three approaches also proved to be advantageous for application at different scales. While the participatory approach turned out to be most useful at the community level, the model-based approach and the deductive approach delivered information at a broader scope that served to better understand vulnerability for the entire ecosystem target area.


Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Vulnerability Assessment Peru 



The authors would like to acknowledge the valuable contributions of all the persons that contributed directly or indirectly to the culmination of this research. In this sense it is our duty to deeply thank the researcher of the three original vulnerability assessments (VA) described in the chapter. For the participatory VA we would like to thank the scientific coordinator of the research team, Jorge Recharte and his team, comprised both of local campesinos and academic researchers. For the Model based VA we want to thank the Fundación para el Desarrollo Agrario (FDA) of the Universidad Agraria la Molina and the subsidiary research units that undertook the research. For the Deductive VA we want to thank Cordula Epple of UNEP-WCMC and her colleagues for guiding that work. We also want to acknowledge the contribution of Aneli Gomez and Woodro Andia, field coordinators of the EbA Mountain project. Last but not least we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Tine Rossing for the invaluable and detailed comments to the final draft of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Dourojeanni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edith Fernandez-Baca
    • 1
  • Silvia Giada
    • 2
  • James Leslie
    • 1
  • Karen Podvin
    • 3
  • Florencia Zapata
    • 4
  1. 1.UNDPLimaPeru
  2. 2.UNEP-ROLACPanama CityPanama
  3. 3.IUCNLimaPeru
  4. 4.TMI Andean ProgramLimaPeru

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