Strengthening socio-ecological resilience through disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation: Identifying gaps in an uncertain world

William M. Collier, Kasey R. Jacobs, Alark Saxena, Julianne Baker-Gallegos, Matthew Carroll, Gary W. Yohe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Global environmental change and climate change are rapidly altering the world's socio-ecological systems and affecting human populations at multiple scales. Important manifestations of these changes are hazard and disaster events. The emerging fields of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction provide significant opportunities to avoid and/or reduce many of the negative consequences associated with such events. Reviewing current attempts to link these two fields, we suggest an urgent need for a holistic and dynamic systems approach, focusing on socio-ecological resilience as a primary objective for adaptation and risk reduction. Furthermore, we propose two mechanisms for transformative change in these fields: (1) the use of iterative risk management as a primary instrument for adaptive decision making, and (2) the establishment of 'boundary organizations' and institutional changes that increase the transfer of knowledge between not only science and policy, but also science, policy and practice. There is immediate demand for participatory scholarly research to address the needs and concerns of practitioners on the ground. As a framework for these concepts, we see a dynamic systems approach to socio-ecological resilience as a means to deal with the inherent uncertainty associated with climate change and hazard events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-186
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Hazards
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adaptive management
  • Boundary organizations
  • Dynamic systems theory
  • Knowledge networks
  • Uncertainty
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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