CRiSTAL User’s Manual

Climate variability is one of many stresses faced by local communities. Climate change may further alter climate variability over time by increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, by creating gradual changes in average climate conditions, or by generating new climate hazards. While climate variability and change may not always be the most important stresses affecting a specific community, they should always be considered when designing and implementing a development project, particularly in communities characterized by climate-sensitive and/or natural resource-dependent livelihoods. Indeed, any activity that does not account for present and future potential climate risks may inadvertently increase a community’s exposure and vulnerability. For example, a food security project may encourage dependence on a particular agricultural technology or crop species that may be negatively affected by climate change, thereby increasing local vulnerability in the longer term. Without a tool to systematically assess the impacts of a project on some of the local determinants of vulnerability and exposure, it is difficult for project planners and managers to design activities that foster adaptation to climate variability and change. The Community-based Risk Screening Tool – Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL) seeks to address this gap.

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