This glossary provides common definitions of the terms used frequently in the clearinghouse. It was compiled by selecting the most relevant terms from various reports, including the IPCC's 4th assessment reports of the differnt working groups (Working Group I, II and III) and the UN ISIDR.
Numerous terms and concepts are introduced in climate assessment reports, adaptation plans and dialogs by the climate community at large. Definitions of terms and concepts differ between organisations and policy processes (see e.g. the overviews made for the OECD, the Climate Changes Spatial Planning Program or the disaster reduction community). In addition, terms are not always used consistently across a report or study. Especially concepts like risk, vulnerability and scenarios are used in different and sometimes confusing ways. Thus you may find different usage of terms across the data sources provided through the clearinghouse. This glossary is based on the definitions of key adaptation terms and concepts used by the climate change community. Given the need to promote a common understanding among stakeholders and the potential (financial) implications of diverging definitions, it is advised to work toward common definitions, at least for a core set of terms and concepts, when engaging in adaptation policy development.