Adaptation to environmental change: Contributions of a resilience framework

Nelson, Donald, Adger, W Neil and Brown, Katrina (2007) Adaptation to environmental change: Contributions of a resilience framework. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 32. pp. 395-419.

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Adaptation is a process of deliberate change in anticipation of or in reaction to external stimuli and stress. The dominant research tradition on adaptation to environmental change primarily takes an actor-centered view, focusing on the agency of social actors to respond to specific environmental stimuli and emphasizing the reduction of vulnerabilities. The resilience approach is systems orientated, takes a more dynamic view, and sees adaptive capacity as a core feature of resilient social-ecological systems. The two approaches converge in identifying necessary components of adaptation. We argue that resilience provides a useful framework to analyze adaptation processes and to identify appropriate policy responses. We distinguish between incremental adjustments and transformative action and demonstrate that the sources of resilience for taking adaptive action are common across scales. These are the inherent system characteristics that absorb perturbations without losing function, networks and social capital that allow autonomous action, and resources that promote institutional learning.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Rosie Cullington
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2011 11:02
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 10:30
DOI: 10.1146/

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