Can Resilience Thinking Inform Resilience Investments? Learning from Resilience Principles for Disaster Risk Reduction
2.1. Framing Resilience
- Resilience of what (and for whom): communities (this can also refer to a constellation of inter-connected communities within a given region, e.g., urban communities).
- Resilience to what: natural hazards that are exacerbated by climate change impacts and can be alleviated through a range of DCR activities (droughts, tropical cyclones, floods, landslides, heat waves, fires, extreme precipitation).
- Resilience interventions: climate adaptation and mitigation activities linked with DRR projects implemented at company, community or municipality level.
- Resilience investment: funding or finance that is provided for implementing resilience interventions.
2.2. Motivations for and Barriers to Investment in Resilience
4. Are Resilience Principles Aligned with Resilience Investments?
4.1. Resilience Principles
- Maintain diversity and redundancy: Diversity and redundancy provide options for responding to uncertainty and surprise. Systems with many different components (e.g., species, landscape types, knowledge systems or institutions) are generally more resilient than systems with few components. Redundancy provides “insurance” within a system by allowing some components to compensate for the loss or failure of others. Redundancy is even more valuable if the components providing the redundancy are themselves diverse, and thus react differently to disturbance.
- Manage connectivity: Connectivity is the structure and strength of ecological and social interactions. High levels of connectivity can facilitate recovery after a disturbance, but can also increase the potential for disturbances (such as disease) to spread across the entire system so that all components of the system are impacted. Connectivity can therefore both enhance and reduce the resilience of social-ecological systems and the ecosystem services they produce, and thus needs to be well managed.
- Manage slow variables and feedback: SES tend to exist in different configurations of regimes, each of which provides a unique set of ecosystem services. Changes in the underlying slow variables govern shifts in the system from one regime to another (such as when a clear lake becomes polluted). Managing slow variables and feedbacks is often crucial to keep social-ecological systems “configured” and functioning in ways that produce essential ecosystem services that people depend on. Shifts into a different configuration or regime can be extremely difficult to reverse.
- Foster complex adaptive systems thinking: Complex adaptive systems (CAS) thinking is a mental model for interpreting the world that appreciates the complexity of SES. Acknowledging that social-ecological systems are based on a complex and unpredictable web of connections and interdependencies is often essential for designing management actions that can foster resilience.
- Encourage learning: Because knowledge of SES is always partial and incomplete, learning and experimentation through adaptive and collaborative management is an important mechanism for building resilience in social-ecological systems. Learning ensures that different types and sources of knowledge are valued and considered when developing solutions, and leads to greater willingness to experiment and take risks.
- Broaden participation: Participation, or the active engagement of relevant stakeholders in the management and governance process, can support transparency, enable knowledge sharing, build trust, create a shared understanding and uncover perspectives that may not be acquired through other scientific processes. Participation can also promote understanding of system dynamics and facilitate collective action to implement or respond to SES change.
- Promote polycentric governance systems: Polycentricity is a governance system comprising multiple autonomous governing bodies, which interact with one another both horizontally and vertically. Collaboration across institutions and scales improves connectivity and learning across scales and cultures. Well-connected governance structures can swiftly deal with change and disturbance because they are addressed by those with the greatest agency and capacity to respond in a particular place and time.
4.2. Investing in Resilience
|Preparedness or Response Stage||DCR Interventions|
|Reduce Hazards and Exposure||Awareness||Disaster loss accounting systems; building institutional capacity; risk assessment and identification; early warning and prediction systems; advocacy, education and awareness raising; climate change modelling; seasonal climate forecast models; climate change allowances for structures.|
|Prevention||Land-use planning; catchment & ecosystem management; community relocation; contingency planning; hazard zoning & hot spot mapping; water demand management and efficiency; rain & groundwater harvesting/storage systems; structural and non-structural flood controls (grey and green, i.e., mangrove planting, forest & wetland management); disaster proof livelihoods against unpredictable disasters and changing climates.|
|Preparing/Reduction||Preparing evacuation plans; incentive mechanisms for individual actions to reduce exposure; preparing evacuation plans; improved agricultural and pastoralist techniques and diversification; strengthen alternative and resilient livelihoods.|
|Respond and Repair||Response||Establishing branch disaster response teams; tracking displacement during crises; managing evacuations to reduce impacts of disasters; evacuation planning; relief supplies.|
|Repair||Post disaster planning; post-disaster livelihoods support and recovery.|
4.3. Applying Resilience Thinking to Resilience Investing
|Investors||Risk—Reward Requirements||Potential Instruments and Specific Options for Resilience Investments.||Addressing Resilience Principles and Financing Requirements|
|Towards Commercialisation and Scale||Charities, Foundations, NGOs, CSOs||No expectation of recovery of principle||Technical seed funding for disaster action plans in collaboration with private sector investees.||Structure resilience-supporting assets that can be matched with revenue-generating mechanisms.|
|Development Finance Institutions||Risk finance/guarantees for climate resilience bonds.||Create general replicable models from individual projects with multi-stakeholder buy-in to leverage larger scales of investment.|
|Investment & Asset Managers||Post disaster credit schemes: micro-insurance funds (i.e., Alliance Trust).||Monitoring and evaluation frameworks must support the involvement and integration of actors and institutions across scales, so that they match scales of problems and solutions.|
|Commercial Banks||Low risk||Mobile/ICT business solutions for early warning programmes.||Give consideration to interlinkages, connectivity and causal relationships between system drivers to avoid superficial and myopic outcomes that are harmful in the medium to long term.|
|Institutional Investors (e.g., Pension Funds, Insurance)||Investors in climate resilience bonds, green infrastructure.||Match yield and maturity requirements, without taking a reductionist approach to CAS properties, e.g., recognising high levels of interconnectedness, potential for non-linear change, and inherent uncertainty and surprise.|
4.4. Potential Implications for Scaling Resilience Investments
5. Potential Limitations and Conclusions
Conflicts of Interest
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Clarvis, M.H.; Bohensky, E.; Yarime, M. Can Resilience Thinking Inform Resilience Investments? Learning from Resilience Principles for Disaster Risk Reduction. Sustainability 2015, 7, 9048-9066. https://doi.org/10.3390/su7079048
Clarvis MH, Bohensky E, Yarime M. Can Resilience Thinking Inform Resilience Investments? Learning from Resilience Principles for Disaster Risk Reduction. Sustainability. 2015; 7(7):9048-9066. https://doi.org/10.3390/su7079048Chicago/Turabian Style
Clarvis, Margot Hill, Erin Bohensky, and Masaru Yarime. 2015. "Can Resilience Thinking Inform Resilience Investments? Learning from Resilience Principles for Disaster Risk Reduction" Sustainability 7, no. 7: 9048-9066. https://doi.org/10.3390/su7079048