The mapmakers, in comjunction with a project led by the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) based in Singapore, focused on 592 sub-national provinces or districts in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Guided by an assessment framework developed by the United Nations? Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, they designed three preliminary maps, each illustrating a different category of climate-related information:
- Exposure is the risk, based on the historical record, of extreme events such as tropical cyclones, floods, landslides, droughts, and sea level rise.
- Sensitivity has two components. Human sensitivity is directly related to population density; that is, the more people who live in a region, the more vulnerable it will be to climate change. Ecological sensitivity is directly related to biodiversity, measured by the percentage of protected areas in the region.
- Adaptive capacity is a measure of local human resilience, and is a function of socio-economic factors such as income, literacy, life expectancy, poverty, and inequality, as well as of technology and infrastructure.
EEPSEA plans to update the map by taking account of new information and to refine it by using different assumptions and scenarios. Also, EEPSEA proposes to help selected local governments apply some of the study?s recommendations to their own situations. In particular, it will train them to conduct their own economic research and vulnerability assessments, and to create their own local maps. The goal is to empower communities by providing them with the tools to inform, educate, and build understanding of the effects of climate change.