Development of a prioritization tool for climate change adaptation measures in the forestry sector – A Nicaraguan case study
Developing countries are predicted to have to face most of the impacts from climate change. Adversely, their mitigation potential is comparably lower than that of developed countries. Consequently, adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change is of great importance to them.
Though, as developing countries frequently face limited financial resources for adaptation, the selection of respective measures and their ranking for implementation are critical processes to achieve the most from the invested means. There is a need for decision-makers, at the governmental and non-governmental level, to have tools for the selection and prioritization of adaptation measures that can address their financial resources and socio-economic conditions. Also, such an instrument has to be easy to apply and adaptable to local conditions.
Among sectors, forestry belongs to the most vulnerable; it offers great potential for mitigation as well for adaptation. Therefore, this study proposes a prioritization tool for adaptation measures in the forestry sector, taking into account its unique environmental, socio-economic and institutional aspects. Conceptually, the work is organized around three main steps: (i) the identification of potential adaptation measures, (ii) a catalog of criteria and indicators for the evaluation of those measures and (iii) a Multi-Criteria Analysis for the prioritization of the identified and evaluated measures. As a main method the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is used as the basis for the development of the prioritization tool.
The Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua is used as an empirical basis for this study. In the process, four different adaptation measures have been evaluated according to a list of criteria and indicators taking into account the conditions found in the study area. These were then prioritized using the AHP method. As a result, a ranking among the adaptation measures according to the adaptation needs of the biosphere reserve was obtained. “Conservation, reforestation and natural regeneration” resulted as the first choice among the adaptation measure for that case.
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