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Bahadur, Aditya, Ibrahim, Maggie and Tanner, Thomas (2013) 'Characterising resilience: unpacking the concept for tackling climate change and development.' Climate and Development, 5 (1). pp. 55-65.

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The term ‘resilience’ is increasingly used in the context of discussion, policies and programming around climate change adaptation1 This paper works with the following definition of climate change adaptation, ‘is a process by which strategies to moderate, cope with and take advantage of the consequences of climatic events are enhanced, developed, and implemented’ (Levina & Tirpak, 2006). View all notes (‘adaptation’) and disaster risk reduction2 Disaster risk reduction is ‘a systematic approach to identifying, assessing and reducing the risks of disaster. It aims to reduce socio-economic vulnerabilities to disaster as well as dealing with the environmental and other hazards that trigger them’ (Wisner, Blaikie, Cannon, & Davis, 2004 Wisner, B., Blakie, P., Cannon, T. and Davis, I. 2004. At risk: Natural hazards, people's vulnerability and disasters, London: Routledge. [Google Scholar] ). View all notes . It has become particularly popular to describe the intersection between these two fields and those of poverty and development, and ‘climate resilient development’ is rapidly becoming a catch-all for tackling climate change impacts in a development context. This paper reviews academic use of the concept of ‘resilience’ in social, ecological and socio-ecological systems and its application to the climate, disaster and development nexus. From this review, we distil 10 key characteristics of resilience: high diversity; effective governance and institutions; the ability to work with uncertainty and change; community involvement and the inclusion of local knowledge; preparedness and planning for disturbances; high social and economic equity; robust social values and structures, acknowledging non-equilibrium dynamics, continual and effective learning and the adoption of a cross-scalar perspective. Finally, we highlight knowledge gaps and suggest directions for further research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: resilience, adaptation, disaster risk reduction, climate resilient development, socio-ecological systems
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 17565537
Copyright Statement: © 2013 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Climate and Development on 28 Jan 2013, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2019 13:24

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