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Adaptive Capacity Index (ACI)

CRC LogoAn 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.

Community-based ACIs:

  • 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.

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.

Adaptive Capacity Index for Village in Gambell Alaska

Center for Resilient Communities

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University of Idaho
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Phone: (208) 885-4409

Fax: (208) 885-9428


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