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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364972

Research Project: Response of Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Watersheds to Changes in Water Availability, Land Use, Management, and Climate

Location: Water Management and Systems Research

Title: DPSIR-ESA vulnerability assessment (Deva) framework: Synthesis, foundational overview, and expert case studies

Author
item ANANDHI, AVUDAI - Florida A & M University
item Douglas-Mankin, Kyle
item SRIVASTAVA, PUNEET - Auburn University
item AIKEN, ROBERT - Kansas State University
item SENAY, GABRIEL - Us Geological Survey (USGS)
item LEUNG, LAI-YUNG - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
item CHAUBEY, INDRAJEET - Purdue University

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/2020
Publication Date: 7/21/2020
Citation: Anandhi, A., Douglas-Mankin, K.R., Srivastava, P., Aiken, R.M., Leung, L., Chaubey, I., Senay, G. 2020. DPSIR-ESA vulnerability assessment (Deva) framework: Synthesis, foundational overview, and expert case studies. Transactions of the ASABE. 63(3):741-752. https://doi.org/10.13031/trans.13516.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13031/trans.13516

Interpretive Summary: Land resources are central to understanding the relationship between humans and their environment. Understanding the vulnerability of land resources to changes in land management or climate is critical to developing sustainable land management strategies. Vulnerability assessments are complex. Here we propose a novel framework for vulnerability assessments of land resources that combines the driver–pressure–state–impact–response (DPSIR) framework adopted by the European Environment Agency to describe interactions between society and the environment, and the exposure-sensitivity-adaptive capacity (ESA) framework used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to assess impacts of climate change. The DPSIR-ESA Vulnerability Assessment (DEVA) framework includes the following elements: 1) Definition of the target system (Land resource), 2) Description of internal characteristics of the target system (State), 3) Description of target system vulnerability indicators (Adaptive capacity, Sensitivity), 4) Description of stressor characteristics (Drivers, Pressures), 5) Description of stressor vulnerability indicators (Exposure), 6) Description of target system response to stressors (Impacts), and 7) Description of modifications to target systems or stressors (Responses). The DEVA framework was refined during invited presentations and follow-up discussions from a series of Special Sessions with leading experts at two successive ASABE Annual International Meetings. Six case studies drawn from the sessions elaborate upon the DEVA framework and provide concrete examples of the key concepts. The DEVA approach gives engineers, planners, and analysts a new framework to apply a broad array of useful tools toward assessment of land resource system vulnerability.

Technical Abstract: Land resources are central to understanding the relationship between humans and their environment. Broadly defined, a land resource includes the environmental resources of climate, water, soil, landforms, forests, pastures, and wildlife on which agriculture, forestry, and other land uses depend within some system boundary. Understanding the vulnerability of land resources to changes in land management or climate forcing is critical to developing sustainable land management strategies. Vulnerability assessments are complex given the multiple uses of the assessments, the multi-disciplinary nature of the problem, limited understanding, dynamic structure of vulnerability, scale issues, and problems when devising vulnerability indicators. Here we propose a novel conceptual framework for vulnerability assessments of land resources that combines the driver–pressure–state–impact–response (DPSIR) framework adopted by the European Environment Agency to describe interactions between society and the environment, and the exposure-sensitivity-adaptive capacity (ESA) framework used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to assess impacts of climate change. The DPSIR-ESA Vulnerability Assessment (DEVA) framework operationalizes the process of assessing vulnerability of a target system to external stressors. The DEVA framework includes the following elements: 1) Definition of the target system (Land resource), 2) Description of internal characteristics of the target system (State), 3) Description of target system vulnerability indicators (Adaptive capacity, Sensitivity), 4) Description of stressor characteristics (Drivers, Pressures), 5) Description of stressor vulnerability indicators (Exposure), 6) Description of target system response to stressors (Impacts), and 7) Description of modifications to target systems or stressors (Responses). The DEVA framework was refined during invited presentations and follow-up discussions from a series of Special Sessions with leading experts at two successive ASABE Annual International Meetings. Six case studies drawn from the sessions elaborate upon the DEVA framework and provide concrete examples of the key concepts. The DEVA approach gives engineers, planners, and analysts a new framework to apply a broad array of useful tools toward assessment of land resource system vulnerability.