Resilience implications of policy responses to climate change

Adger, W. Neil, Brown, Katrina, Nelson, Donald R., Berkes, Fikret, Eakin, Hallie, Folke, Carl, Galvin, Kathleen, Gunderson, Lance, Goulden, Marisa, O'Brien, Karen, Ruitenbeek, Jack and Thompkins, Emma L. (2011) Resilience implications of policy responses to climate change. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2 (5). pp. 757-766. ISSN 1757-7780

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Abstract

This article examines whether some response strategies to climate variability and change have the potential to undermine long-term resilience of social–ecological systems. We define the parameters of a resilience approach, suggesting that resilience is characterized by the ability to absorb perturbations without changing overall system function, the ability to adapt within the resources of the system itself, and the ability to learn, innovate, and change. We evaluate nine current regional climate change policy responses and examine governance, sensitivity to feedbacks, and problem framing to evaluate impacts on characteristics of a resilient system. We find that some responses, such as the increase in harvest rates to deal with pine beetle infestations in Canada and expansion of biofuels globally, have the potential to undermine long-term resilience of resource systems. Other responses, such as decentralized water planning in Brazil and tropical storm disaster management in Caribbean islands, have the potential to increase long-term resilience. We argue that there are multiple sources of resilience in most systems and hence policy should identify such sources and strengthen capacities to adapt and learn.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Julie Frith
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2012 10:16
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2020 23:43
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/38205
DOI: 10.1002/wcc.133

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