Building block 1: Gender-differentiated vulnerability assessment

This vulnerability assessment methodology allows for the accurate targeting of nature-based solutions to critical areas of need in cities and sectors of the population. It specifically includes a gender focus to ensure that adaptation efforts take into account how climate change affects women differently than men, given their varying roles in society. The vulnerability studies allow identifying the areas of greatest danger from weather-related events (such as landslides, floods, etc.) based on the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of the analyzed territory. They are carried out through participatory processes with communities and key stakeholders and climatic scenarios that integrate climatic, environmental and socioeconomic variables at the same time. The analysis also allows estimating the risk of loss of ecosystem services and therefore the potential needs for adaptation to climate change. This exercise is the basis for designing and implementing nature-based solutions to strengthen the resilience of communities in urban and peri-urban systems. Finally, this process builds a sense of co-ownership and relationships for partnerships to carry out the project.

One of the main conditions needed for this building block’s success is the inclusion and approval of local communities and key stakeholders within those communities and their respective governments. Additionally, strong sources of climate and hydrological data facilitate this analysis process greatly.

A key aspect of this block is access to data. For example, Mexico has abundant meteorological and hydrological data while El Salvador does not. This allowed for a much more thorough climate change scenario in the former case. In terms of the consultation process, capturing perceived risk, in addition to modeled risks, is key for developing targeted activities where they are most needed. In that process, including women through the gender-differentiated approach also contributes to better targeted adaptation efforts by successfully identifying socially vulnerable populations. During this vulnerability assessment, capacity building is essential to ensure that communities and policy makers can interpret and use the assessments subsequently.