A climate change vulnerability framework for Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo National Natural Park, Colombia

Assessing the vulnerability of resources to the potential impacts from climate change is critical in implementing management strategies aimed at resource conservation. A conceptual framework of climate change vulnerability was developed for Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo National Natural Park (PNNCRSB), Colombia, a park designated to protect coastal and marine ecosystems. Climate change vulnerability scores were developed based on resource-specific sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity to climate change factors (sea surface and air temperature, precipitation, ocean acidification, and inundation from sea level rise and extreme events). Exposure scores were based on exceedances of thresholds, or when applicable, inundation. Scores were calculated for 10 m2 grid cells every 5 yr between 2010 and 2100 under ‘optimistic’ and ‘pessimistic’ climate change scenarios. Sea turtle nesting beaches, coastal and interior lagoons, corals and bird habitat are the natural resources with the highest vulnerability scores. Among socioeconomic resources, recreational beaches and low-lying roads are among the most vulnerable. Based on the 2100 pessimistic scenario, adaptive capacity contributed the most to the vulnerability score (range: 34-55% contribution), followed by sensitivity (range: 27-41%) and exposure (range: 14-37%). Based on elevation alone, coastal and interior lagoons, mangroves and sea turtle nesting beaches in low-lying areas are among the most susceptible resources to inundation, which ranged from -0.7 to -172 m2 yr-1 and from -3.7 to -473 m2 yr-1 for the optimistic and pessimist scenarios, respectively. While this climate change vulnerability framework for PNNCRSB may aid in the prioritization of mitigation and conservation strategies within the park, an understanding of the approach, including its limitations and uncertainties, is recommended.

Bejarano A. C., Toline C. A., Horsman J. L., Zarza-González E. & Cogollo K., 2016. A climate change vulnerability framework for Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo National Natural Park, Colombia. Climate Research 70:1-18. Article (subscription required).

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