Adaptive Capacity Index (ACI)
The Arctic Water Resources Vulnerability Index (AWRVI) is a good example of an ACI – one focused on adaptation to changing water resources in Arctic communities.
An Adaptive Capacity Index (ACI) is a systematic synthesis of key social, biological and physical indicators that allow for targeted yet coordinated responses to occur under changing conditions for the purpose of sustaining desired livelihoods and well-being.
- use indicators reflecting key components of the coupled SES, as articulated by the community.
- are a powerful tool to use when rapid or significant environmental and social changes occur.
- help communities respond to change by quantifying variables that are identified as important for a community’s well-being.
The Bering ACI (BACI) is being co-developed by community members and the CONAS PIs to avoid a key concern of ours: that many ACIs are “brought to” communities from a purely academic/theoretical perspective.
Ultimately, ACIs can be used:
- as early warning systems to anticipate and plan responses without sacrificing critical components of culture and identity.
- as short-term adaptation measures that operate at the local to regional scale.
- to integrate inputs from multiple geophysical data sources.
- to provide communities with the ability to detect undesirable trajectories prior to their onset.