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Resilience to Climate Change. Overview of Module 4.1:. Definition of Resilience Resilience, Adaptive Capacity, and Coping Capacity Resilience as a Climate Change Adaptation Goal. Defining “Resilience”.

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Overview of Module 4.1:

Definition of Resilience

Resilience, Adaptive Capacity, and Coping Capacity

Resilience as a Climate Change Adaptation Goal


Defining “Resilience”

“RESILIENCE” is often LOOSELY DEFINED and APPLIED, and interpretations of resilience VARY among academic institutions and practitioners.

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE is the CAPACITY of a community to ADAPT to and INFLUENCE the course of environmental, social, and economic CHANGE.


Social-Ecological Systems – networks of built, natural and human resources that provide important services or activities within a community

  • RESILIENCE of social-ecological systems is often described as a combination of THREE CHARACTERISTICS:

  • the magnitude of SHOCK that the system can ABSORB while remaining within a given state;

  • the degree to which the system is capable of SELF ORGANIZATION;

  • and the degree to which the system can build CAPACITY for LEARNING and ADAPTATION (Folke et al. 2002)


Common characteristics of resilient systems
Common Characteristics of Resilient Systems human resources that provide important services or activities within a community

• REDUNDANCY - ensure that failure of one component does not cause the entire system to fail

• DIVERSITY - multiple components versus a central node to protect against a site specific threat

• EFFICIENCY- positive ratio of energy supplied to energy delivered by a dynamic system

• AUTONOMY - capability to operate independent of outside control

• STRENGTH - power to resist a hazard force or attack

• INTERDEPENDENCE- integrated system components to support each other

• ADAPTABILITY - capacity to learn from experience and the flexibility to change

• COLLABORATION - multiple opportunities and incentives for broad stakeholder participation (Godschalk 2003)


Will the community improve or decline
Will the Community Improve or Decline? human resources that provide important services or activities within a community


Bounce back human resources that provide important services or activities within a community

Learning/adaptation

Absorb shock


resilience human resources that provide important services or activities within a community

is the flip side of

vulnerability


If we focus on needs and vulnerabilities, we remain locked in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)


Why is community resilience important
Why is community resilience important? in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)


Vulnerability increasing in coastal areas
Vulnerability Increasing in Coastal Areas in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)

  • Population INCREASE

  • MORE Infrastructure

  • Disasters are UNDERMINING years of development efforts

  • Climate change is making it WORSE


U.S. Coastal Population Growth in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)

  • Coastal Counties comprise 17% of US land area and account for 52% of total population (139 million people)

  • Projected increase by 26 million between now and 2015

  • Many of these people have not experienced a coastal hazard

Does your area have population growth issues in high-hazard areas? What hazards are you dealing with?


Need for community resilience
Need for Community Resilience? in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)

  • National Governments DECENTRALIZING to Communities

  • Avoid Hazards becoming DISASTERS

  • Interventions must build off of EXISTING SOCIAL networks and local capacities to avoid dependency

  • Resilience applies to economic and social shocks as well


  • Resilience and adaptive capacity
    “RESILIENCE” and “ADAPTIVE CAPACITY” in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)

    • Sometimes used INTERCHANGEABLY

    • Adaptive Capacity is an ASPECT of Resilience

    • ADAPTIVE CAPACITY – ability to CHANGE in a way that makes it BETTER EQUIPPED to MANAGE its exposure and/or sensitivity to climatic influences


    Adaptive capacity and coping capacity
    “ADAPTIVE CAPACITY” and “COPING CAPACITY in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)

    • BOTH represent a system’s ability to ACCOMMODATE changes and impacts

    • COPING CAPACITY – more related to an extreme event

    • ADAPTIVE CAPACITY – includes CURRENT coping capacity and ability to EXPAND its FUTURE coping capacity


    Resilience as a climate change adaptation goal
    Resilience as a Climate Change Adaptation Goal in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)

    • RESILIENCE shifts POLICIES from those that aspire to CONTROL CHANGE in systems assumed to be stable, to MANAGING the CAPACITY of social-ecological systems to COPE with, ADAPT to, and SHAPE change.


    Opportunities and barriers to resilience
    Opportunities and Barriers to Resilience in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)


    Common barriers
    Common Barriers in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)

    • Denial/Disbelief. Climate change is not occurring.

    • The “so what?” problem of scale. Mis-interpretation of the magnitude of the change (it’s only a couple of degrees…)

    • The “perfect information” problem. There is too much uncertainty to take action; I’ll wait for better information.

    • Issue fatigue. I have to deal with X,Y, and Z yesterday, and you want me to do this too?

    • The “after I’ve retired” problem. The long-term nature of the problem is beyond the time horizon for many decision makers.

    • “In my back yard” syndrome. Can you tell me exactly how climate change will affect my specific watershed, coastline, forest?


    Common barriers1
    Common Barriers in the logic of repetitive responses that fail to nurture the capacities for resilience contained deep within every community. (IFRC 2004)

    • “My hands are tied” problem:

      • Lack of internal and/or external support for acting on climate change.

      • Regulatory restrictions prohibiting the use of new information on climate change

      • Lack of staff/fiscal/technical resources for planning

    • Difficulties dealing with probabilistic information. How do you start basing multi-million dollar decisions on probabilities with relatively large uncertainties?

    • The risk taking problem. You don’t get punished for following existing guidelines.

    • The “no one’s asking” problem. I am not hearing anyone from the public asking about climate change impacts in meetings, discussions, etc.


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