Silvia Berenice Fischer

Research themes
  • Environmental and climate change
  • Agriculture, land use, climate change
Research countries
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
Funding institutions

Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Research partners

Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

Thesis title

Risk and vulnerability to extreme weather events: the case of urban and peri-urban agriculture in São Paulo city

Thesis abstract

Cities are highly prone to the impacts of extreme weather events, specific impacts are expected to increase the vulnerability of urban agricultural systems and reinforce factors affecting them like rising demand for food and the decrease on yields due to the changes on rainfall patterns and extreme temperatures, conflicts over scarce resources (land tenure, water, biofuels, etc.), and chronic poverty.


In this sense, an evidence-based assessment is essential in each urban center for effective adaptation action. This includes local risk and vulnerability assessments, information, and data with which to consider current and future risk and adaptation and development options. Vulnerability assessments to extreme weather are viewed as an essential first step in developing adaptation policies.


São Paulo is south-America's largest metropolitan region, and has been experiencing severe water shortages since 2010, raising concerns about the future of water supply. Fresh water reservoirs reached its lowest levels during 2013/2014, due to the lack of rain accompanied by a heat wave, reaching the warmest summer in 55 years in 2015.


This study adopts the “Multi-hazard Risk Assessment Framework for the West Sudanian Savanna Zone” to the context of urban and peri-urban agricultural systems. The framework aims to capture the interactions between hydro-climatic stressors, shocks, and risks, from a socio-ecological perspective while identifying actual coping and adaptation actions at multiple temporal and spatial scales.


Through a mix-methods approach, this research aims to assess the extreme weather events vulnerability of urban and peri-urban agriculture in São Paulo city and the current adaptation strategies. Through the development of a set of indicators to operationalize the risk and vulnerability assessment framework and by identifying the adaptation strategies available to enhance resilience and reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events.


Supervisors of
doctoral work

Prof.Dr. Wiltrud Terlau

Prof.Dr. Jan Börner

There are no publications of this person.

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
and Downloads

Junior Researcher One Health

Ecology and Natural Resources Management