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CARAVAN : Climate change: a regional assessment of vulnerability and adaptive capacity for the Nordic countries


The main aim of CARAVAN was to undertake a comparison of approaches for estimating regional vulnerability to climate change in the Nordic region. Vulnerability is a function of exposure to climate change, sensitivity to its effects and adaptive capacity for coping with the effects. These elements were examined in the project, with indicators being developed in collaboration with regional stakeholders for future periods out to 2050. The indicators can be combined in various ways to describe vulnerability using an interactive mapping tool. Indices of vulnerability can be derived at municipality scale and mapped across the Nordic region. This was a pilot project, with initial efforts directed towards a Nordic-wide analysis of the agricultural sector. However, since the work is closely related to ongoing or proposed studies of vulnerability in individual partner countries, CARAVAN has also been able to draw on experiences from those projects to refine and extend the analysis. In particular, the primary outcome of this work is an interactive tool for assisting stakeholder groups to design more in depth assessments of local and regional vulnerability. While the mapping of biophysical and social indicators at a sub-national scale across three countries presents methodological challenges, it also reveals focal points (i.e. regions, sectors or communities) that may have difficulties in meeting the challenge of climate change through high exposure, enhanced sensitivity, limited adaptive capacity, or a combination thereof. Once identified, these focal points can then be analyzed in bottom-up processes to assess the need for policy interventions to enhance adaptive capacity and to examine the possible barriers in implementing such measures. Further development of the CARAVAN web interface is ongoing as part of the European Commission-funded Seventh Framework Programme MEDIATION (Methodology for Effective Decision-making on Impacts and AdaptaTION) project, January 2010 – July 2013. CARAVAN is one of two case studies for the northern Europe region in MEDIATION.

Project information

Finnish Environment Institute (FI)

Finnish Environment Institute (FI), University of Oslo (NO), University of Linköping (SE)

Source of funding
CIRCLE ERA-Net, Academy of Finland, Research Council of Norway, Swedish Env

Reference information



Adaptive capacity, Exposure, Indicators, Mapping tool, Sensitivity, Vulnerability



Climate impacts

Extreme Temperatures, Sea Level Rise


Sector Policies, Adaptation Measures and Actions, Observations and Scenarios, Vulnerability Assessment



Geographic characterization


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