Social and Climate Vulnerability Framework Project


The Climate Change Social Vulnerability Framework project supports the Commission’s Permitted Interaction Group’s request to answer the question: “what are the marginalized and vulnerable communities in Hawaiʻi?” 

The Commission Coordinator,  and the Commission’s Climate Ready Hawaiʻi VISTA team have partnered with consultants from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH) to lay the groundwork for a statewide climate change social vulnerability framework. Existing frameworks such as the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) help to identify vulnerable communities but lack data that can be used to identify climate vulnerabilities specific to Hawaiʻi residents. This project reviews best practices in vulnerability data and indicators related to climate change, identifies social and economic vulnerability indicators relevant to Hawaiʻi, and aims to recommend climate change vulnerability assessment priorities.  

A hui was established to gather feedback from governmental and community organizational stakeholders who possess expertise and/or connection to vulnerable communities and utilize these frameworks to support their research and projects.  

A briefing paper An Overview of Various Social Vulnerability Tools for a Climate Ready Hawaiʻi details existing geospatial social vulnerability, Oʻahu-specific climate vulnerability, poverty, and energy burden index tools to provide necessary background information to project partners.   

Disclaimer: This information is intended to be used as a guide and resource for general informational purposes only.  Neither the State of Hawai‘i nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific projects, or organizations does not constitute or imply  endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the State of Hawai‘i government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the State of Hawai‘i government or any agency thereof. 


Mahalo nui loa to Makena Coffman, Suwan Shen, and Maja Schjervheim from our UH Mānoa Team at the UH Institute for Sustainability and Resilience for their expertise and guidance throughout this project’s development.