Skip common site navigation and headers
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Exposure Research
Begin Hierarchical Links EPA Home > Research & Development > Exposure Research > Publications/Presentations > End Hierarchical Links

 

Regional Vulnerability: A Conceptual Framework

spacer
spacer
Abstract:Regional vulnerability assessment, or ReVA, is an approach to place-based ecological risk assessment that is currently under development by the Office of Research and Development of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The assessment is done at the scale of EPA regions and builds on data collected for the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) of the EPA. The pilot ReVA is being developed for the U.S. mid-Atlantic region to identify those ecosystems, together with the ecological goods and services they provide, that are most vulnerable to being lost in the next 20 years. The project is currently exploring different conceptual approaches to integrated assessment. In this article, we give an operational approach to estimating ecosystem vulnerability and discuss important issues arising from it. The first issue is estimating vulnerability at the regional scale as opposed to the more familiar local scale. The second issue is integrating information about different sorts of risks in order to prioritize them at the regional scale. The challenge of integration is considerable because of the possibility of synergistic (mutually reinforcing) interactions between different environmental stresses. Synergistic effects are often too poorly known to include, yet potentially too important to ignore. Vulnerability at the regional scale may provide a pragmatic, middle-road approach to this problem by highlighting and characterizing geographic areas that are expected to change the most in the future. The goal is not exact predictions, but a first-cut early warning system to identify and prioritize the risks of undesirable environmental changes over the next few decades.
spacer
Citation:Boughton, D. A., E. R. Smith, and R. V. O'neill. Regional Vulnerability: A Conceptual Framework. ECOSYSTEM HEALTH 5(4):312-320, (1999).
spacer
spacer
Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
spacer
Division: Environmental Sciences Division
spacer
Branch: Landscape Characterization Branch (RTP)
spacer
Product Type: Journal
spacer
Published: 12/19/1999
spacer
Related Entries:
spacer
Bullet Item Regional Scale Comparative Risk Assessment
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
spacer
spacer
spacer

 

ORD Home | Search EPA | Search NERL | Search EIMS | Contacts | Help

 
Begin Site Footer

EPA Home | Privacy and Security Notice | Contact Us

Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
URL: http://cfpub.epa.gov