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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 173794, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/173794
Research Article

Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability at the Local Level: A Case Study on the Dniester River Basin (Moldova)

1Eco-TIRAS International Environmental Association, 11A Teatrala Street, 2012 Chisinau, Moldova
2University of Bucharest, Interdisciplinary Center of Advanced Researches on Territorial Dynamics, 4-12 Regina Elisabeta Boulevard, 030018 Bucharest, Romania
3Institute of Ecology and Geography, Moldavian Academy of Sciences, 1 Academiei Street, 2028 Chisinau, Moldova
4United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Palace des Nations, 8-14 Avenue de Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
5ZOI Environment Network, International Environment House II, 9, Chemin de Balexert, Châtelaine, 1219 Geneva, Switzerland

Received 28 March 2013; Accepted 17 April 2013

Academic Editors: F. L. Goncalves and K. Hickey

Copyright © 2013 Roman Corobov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Vulnerability to climate change of the Moldavian part of the Dniester river was assessed as the function of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of its basin’s natural and socioeconomic systems. As a spatial “scale” of the assessment, Moldova’s administrative-territorial units (ATUs) were selected. The exposure assessment was based on the climatic analysis of baseline (1971–2000) temperature and precipitation and projections of their changes in 2021–2050, separately for cold and warm periods. The sensitivity assessment included physiographical and socioeconomic characteristics, described by a set of specific indicators. The adaptive capacity was expressed by general economic and agricultural indicators, taking into consideration the medical provision and housing conditions. Through a ranking approach, the relative vulnerability of each ATU was calculated by summing its sensitivity and adaptive capacity ranks; the latter were obtained as combinations of their primary indicator ranks, arranged in an increasing and decreasing order, respectively. Due to lack of sound knowledge on these components' importance in overall assessment of vulnerability, their weights were taken as conventionally equal. Mapping of vulnerability revealed that ATUs neighboring to municipalities are the most vulnerable and need special attention in climate change adaptation. The basin’s “hotspots” were discussed with public participation.