This resource kit presents a compilation of information on critical climate-stress moments in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. The information is based on a literature review on critical-climate stress moments in agriculture and health due to heat stress and discusses critical moments emerging from downstream and upstream floods.
‘Critical climate-stress moments’ (hereafter referred to as critical moments) are defined as those moments when households, communities, and the livelihood systems they depend on, are especially vulnerable to climate and weather-related risks and hazards. These risks and hazards may include heat waves, cold spells, floods, droughts, riverbank-erosion, and hail storms. Critical moments are a combination of context-specific socio-economic and biophysical conditions, in which climate-stresses are particularly likely to be risky and adverse to a particular household or community and the system they depend on. A ‘moment’ may be days, weeks or even months, depending on the driver.
This resource kit aims to increase understanding about critical moments of households in terms of timing and context-specific climatic, socio-economic, and biophysical causes. Insights into critical moments will be used to tailor climate modelling and scenarios and will support the identification and prioritisation of adaptation strategies that target the most vulnerable moments. The critical moment assessment methodology is likely to add value to the existing family of vulnerability assessments because of its potential to deepen understanding of the complex interaction of climate, biophysical and socio-economic drivers resulting in critical moments, the impact of these stresses on people’s livelihood and its promise to develop tailored adaptation strategies.