The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Emily Boyd

Emily Boyd

Professor, Docent

Emily Boyd

Regional clusters of vulnerability show the need for transboundary cooperation


  • Joern Birkmann
  • Daniel Feldmeyer
  • Joanna M. McMillan
  • William Solecki
  • Edmond Totin
  • Debra Roberts
  • Christopher Trisos
  • Ali Jamshed
  • Emily Boyd
  • David Wrathall

Summary, in English

Reducing vulnerability is essential for adaptation to climate change. Compared to approaches that examine vulnerability to a specific hazard, our analysis offers an alternative perspective that conceptualizes vulnerability to climate change as a phenomenon that is independent of any specific type of hazard but relevant to multiple hazards. Vulnerability is thus a product of structural inequality and systemic in nature. Based on two established index systems, we perform global analyses of specific phenomena - such as poverty, access to basic infrastructure services and forced migration - that influence and determine vulnerability. Our statistical and spatial analyses reveal an emerging pattern of climate vulnerability within regional clusters and shows that vulnerability is a transboundary issue, crossing political, sectorial and geographical borders and impacting shared resources. The spatial statistical hotspot analysis of vulnerability underscores that hotspots, for example of high vulnerability, state fragility, low biodiversity protection or forced migration, emerge in multi-country clusters. This aspect has often been overlooked, most attention to-date having been given to the positioning of individual countries within vulnerability rankings. In hotspots such as in the Sahel, East and Central Africa, as well as in Southern Asia and Central America, vulnerability is interwoven with high levels of state fragility, making adaptation solutions more complex. The recognition of the regional clusters and the transboundary nature of vulnerability calls for new research and action on how to strengthen transboundary approaches for vulnerability reduction, potentially enhancing prospects for successful adaptation.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year





Environmental Research Letters





Document type

Journal article


IOP Publishing


  • Environmental Sciences


  • adaptation
  • regional vulnerability
  • transboundary




  • ISSN: 1748-9318