Keywords: assessment, Central America, climate change, decision making, Honduras, indicators, sustainability, environmental vulnerability, social vulnerability, economic vulnerability, sustainable development, policy making, Hurricane Mitch
Sustainability and vulnerability indicators for decision making: lessons learned from Honduras
The goal of this paper is to show, in practice, how to define and use indicators to provide and communicate information for policy-making and decision-making to reduce environmental, social, and economic vulnerability and increase sustainability. The information should allow the definition of strategies regionally, the elaboration of policies nationally, and the application of actions locally to move from blaming 'climatic uncertainty' to 'plan' possible impacts, 'adapt' to adverse consequences, 'prevent' negative effects and 'mitigate' direct and underling causes. Analysis from Honduras on pre- and post- Hurricane Mitch (October 1998) environmental, social and economic conditions and vulnerability, and evaluations of optional response strategies, are presented as examples of how to produce meaningful information to close the gap between research and action.