About 40 experts in resilience, livelihoods and damage due to climate change came from Bangladesh, Colombia, Fiji, India, Germany, Netherlands, Philippines, Romania, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, United States of America and the United Kingdom for the fourth Resilience Academy Capstone Conference in Washington, D.C. USA from 16-20 October. This year’s theme ‘Linking Livelihood Resilience and Loss & Damage’ is an emerging topic in climate change negotiations, research, policy and implementation of climate change action. The conference provided a platform for connecting communities of experts in various academic disciplines, practitioners, policy analysts and journalists. It was organized by the Munich Re Foundation, together with the Institute for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh (ICCCAD), the Institute for Environment and Human Safety at the University of the United Nations (UNU-EHS) and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars (WWCIS)-Washington D.C., Diana Contreras, GEM Social Vulnerability and Resilience (SVR) team leader presented a case study: The fight of the Wayuu Community against the Drought in La Guajira – Colombia at the conference’s drought thematic session. The presentation focused on the consequences of the drought from 2012 to 2016 due to the El Niño phenomenon and unsustainable water management in the region experienced by the indigenous community Wayuu. Diana further demonstrated how the indicators and tools that were originally collected and designed to estimate social vulnerability (SV) due to earthquakes could be used to estimate SV due to climate change hazards such as drought. Based on the GEM’s tools used for the study, alternative sources of livelihood for the Wayuu indigenous community were identified as climate change adaptive capacity measures. “GEM believes in openness and transparency so all the social variables used in this analysis are publicly available for the scientific community at GEM’s Openquake platform website,” Diana emphasized at the end of the presentation. She further added that models for estimating SV in a given area could be developed using GEM’s Integrated Risk Modeling Toolkit (IRMT) accessible from the QGIS plugin library.
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