Vulnerability to environmental change

The material is presented in the form of powerpoint presentations for 6 sections. Activities to accompany the slides are presented here. The slides form the basis of presenting the theory and linking it to key literature. Examples are provided in many places of how the theory is applied in case studies, often from work that the lecturer has been involved in and relevant to the southern African region. It is suggested that teachers who use this material in other contexts draw on local examples to support the theoretical discussions. Course objectives: 1. understand theoretical concepts of vulnerability 2. overview of what methods to use to assess vulnerability 3. understanding of the concept and application of adaptation to climate change. This 4 week module on vulnerability to environmental change is part of a third year course called Sustainability and the Environment (EGS 3021F) in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science , University of Cape Town. The course introduces the concept of vulnerability and explores its origin, drawing on three different conceptual approaches namely Risk/hazard, Political economy/ecology and Ecological resilience. It then looks at different methods for undertaking vulnerability assessments. Building on the theory and method sections it focuses on why the concept of vulnerability is important in the field of environmental change with a focus on climate change. The international process of assessing the science is explored followed by material addressing adaptation to climate change and examples of vulnerability and adaptation in practice in South Africa.