Focusing on the human dimensions of change, Chapter 7 of GEO-4 defines several “archetypes of vulnerability” and uses them to identify opportunities for tackling vulnerability and increasing human wellbeing while protecting the environment. Very different patterns of vulnerability are found in different regions of the world – in industrialised and developing countries, and urban and rural areas.

The archetype approach allows policymakers to place their particular situations within a broader context, encouraging connections to be made between regional and global issues and facilitating possible solutions.