Understanding the influence of social variables on a beneficiary´s vulnerability to environmental change might improves the design of policies of mitigation and adaptation to global, regional and local environmental change. In the context of socio-ecological systems, there is a wide variety of conceptual and methodological approaches for the assessment of social vulnerability in face of environmental change. However, there is a need for making these approaches more operational. Among the aspects that have been pointed out in previous literature as current research needs are (i) the identification of variables that are determinant for the construction of a vulnerability index, (ii) the analysis of the problems derived from the availability of information for the vulnerability evaluation, (iii) spatial representation of a vulnerability index and (iv) the design of strategies to identify the responses of different types of beneficiaries at local scale. This paper proposes an index of the social system´s vulnerability to changes in ecosystem services provision as well as a methodological proposal for its evaluation at local scales.
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