Risk Framework

Risk and Vulnerability Framework

The risk and vulnerability framework used in SARVA has been adapted from the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Report (Field et al. 2014) and the CSIR’s GreenBook (van Niekerk et al. 2019) and has emerged from an extensive amount of research in the last few years on vulnerability in the context of climate change and efforts in aligning with the disaster risk reduction field. 

Risk results from the interaction of vulnerability, exposure, and hazard and refers to the likelihood of an adverse impact from an event. These components of risk are exacerbated by global change drivers (external pressures). A highly vulnerable system would be one that is very sensitive to modest changes (e.g. increases in heat waves), where the sensitivity includes the potential for substantial harmful effects, and for which the ability to adapt is severely constrained. Risks should be considered a priority when there is a high probability of a hazardous event occurring or high vulnerability of societies, systems exposed, or both. Impacts result from the interaction of hazards with the vulnerability of human and natural systems. The risk of adverse event is reduced by interventions such as adaptation, disaster risk reduction and good governance.

This framework acknowledges that risk (and vulnerability) is inherently dynamic. Risk and vulnerability is the result of the interaction of hazard with the physical environment, social circumstances, national governance and international politics and changes over time in response to socio-economic process and global change drivers. 

Risk results from the interaction of vulnerability, exposure, and hazard and refers to the likelihood of an adverse impact from an event.​

Exposure

Exposure refers to the presence of people, livelihoods, species or ecosystems, environmental functions, services, and resources, infrastructure, or economic, social, or cultural assets in places and settings that could be adversely affected.

VULNERABILITY

Vulnerability is the propensity or predisposition to be adversely affected and includes elements of sensitivity and adaptive capacity.

RISK

Risk refers to the likelihood of an adverse impact from an event. Risk is often represented as the probability of occurrence of hazardous events or trends multiplied by the impacts if these events or trends occur

References

  • Field, C.B., Barros, V.R., Mach, K. & Mastrandrea, M. 2014, “Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability”, Working Group II Contribution to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report-Technical Summary, , pp. 1-76.
  • van Niekerk, Willemien, le Roux, Alize, & Pieterse, Amy. (2019). CSIR launches novel online climate risk profiling and adaptation tool: The Green Book. South African Journal of Science, 115(5-6), 1-3. https://dx.doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2019/6238