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The definitions below refer to Adaptation to Climate Change.
The RESIN project  gives the following definition:
Impact chains permit the structuring of cause - effect relationships between drivers and/or inhibitors affecting the vulnerability of a system (see: sensitivity, exposure, adaptive capacity). Impact chains allow for a visualisation of interrelations and feedbacks, help to identify the key impacts, on which level they occur and allow visualising which climate signals may lead to them. They further help to clarify and/or validate the objectives and the scope of the vulnerability assessment and are a useful tool to involve stakeholders. 
Please note that this definition follows an earlier Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conceptual framework, which has since been revised.
Other International Definitions
- ↑ http://www.resin-cities.eu/
- ↑ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. 2014. The Vulnerability Sourcebook: Concept and Guidelines for Standardised Vulnerability Assessments. GIZ, Bonn and Eschborn, Germany.