The manual is for people and organisations wishing to better understand the issue of environmental vulnerability and resilience as a basis for ensuring sustainable development through the application of the Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI). This manual provides a guide on how to generate EVI values for countries and for specific management areas and will be of value to non-profit organisations, community development and economic development organisations, and state and local government officials.
The purpose of this manual is to increase understanding of environmental vulnerability and resilience issues primarily at the national level. It provides a tool for initiating or furthering projects that focus on specific environmental management issues. It is hoped that those who use this manual, will be able to develop an understanding of environmental vulnerability and resilience, the Environmental Vulnerability Index, how to generate an EVI and apply the results obtained.
To be able to calculate an EVI requires the compilation of relevant environmental vulnerability data for the 50 indicators. Once compiled then this data must be used to calculate each indicator. As the indicators are heterogeneous, include variables for which responses are numerical, qualitative and on different scales (linear, non-linear, or with different ranges) they are mapped onto a 1 – 7 vulnerability scale. Where data is not available, no value is given for the indicator and the denominator of the average adjusted down by one value. Where an indicator is considered ‘non- applicable’ in a country (such as volcanic eruptions in Tuvalu which has no volcanoes), the lowest vulnerability score of 1 is attributed to that indicator. The vulnerability scores for each indicator are then accumulated either into categories or sub-indices and the average calculated. An overall average of all indicators is calculated to generate the country EVI. The EVI is accumulated into three sub-indices:
The 50 EVI indicators are also divided up in the issue categories for use as required:
Agriculture and fisheries
Human health aspects
Exposure to natural disasters
Vulnerability scores for each EVI indicator are then presented graphically. The profile gives an immediate visual representation of what the most important vulnerability issues are for the environment. Clearly this provides a simple tool for identifying the most significant vulnerability issues and helps to explain priority issues to the non-scientist.