The original idea for the meeting came from Johan Rockström who recognised that there were problems of communication between the two areas of vulnerability and resilience research, whilst also recognising the potential for synergy between the two fields. Essentially the workshop sought to address two clear disconnects: one, between resilience and vulnerability researchers; and two, between research, and policy and practice.
Advance a new and comprehensive understanding of how resilience and vulnerability concepts interlink and offer synergies;
Improve synthesis of ongoing case studies that bring a resilience and vulnerability approach to pressing development problems;
Improve the translation of resilience and...
Johan sees the resilience and vulnerability communities as representing mature research areas, many now think of them as complementary to each others; flip sides, not polar opposites. Where they overlap, as in the diagram in Figure 2, the mutual areas of complementarity can be best applied to sustainable development.
One potential outcome to consider from this workshop is a co-authored synthesis that identifies which elements are in common and which areas can be taken forward together.
Should acknowledge Roger Kasperson who said that we have to translate vulnerability and resilience into understandable outcomes for implementation. We are not making it...
Gina presented two studies of Limpopo province South Africa, one through a vulnerability lens (Sekhukhune) and the other through a resilience lens (Bushbuckridge).
Gina contrasted the two studies in the Limpopo province. In the vulnerability study the starting point was with the stresses that people themselves perceive as important. In the resilience study it started from expert understandings of resilience. The vulnerability study drew upon a mix of methods: livelihood surveys, individual interviews, focus groups, stated preference surveys, videos, interviews at municipal and district levels, and agent based models.
The issues that people identified as important stresses at a local...
Atiq sought to inject more experiential and practice-based reflections into the discussion on resilience within the overall paradigm of disaster risk management. He focused on coastal hazards, both episodic and chronic, and the interactions with climate change. Climate change is likely to contribute to an increase in the frequency and intensity of coastal hazards, including an increase in mega disasters in the Asia Pacific region.
Through mis-management of coastal zones (overexploitation, unplanned development, increasing pollution, weak institutional arrangements) there is increasing exposure of communities to hazards and limited capacity to address hazard risks; this, together with the dismantling of coastal...
Questions generated by the day’s presentations and discussions were clustered around four topics for small group discussion:
The starting point for the discussion was identifying the commonalities in resilience and vulnerability. On the issue of communicating gaps in uncertainty to policy makers, we can communicate useful ideas, translate interdisciplinary ideas in the context of problems, and can draw upon boundary organisations in resilience and vulnerability community and policy community.
Institutional set up usually does not allow for social learning which crosses scales and timeframes, and here resilience concepts can contribute. This can be set into practice if agencies at international...
Fiona summarised some key points coming out of the previous day’s discussions and raised some questions for consideration. She began by repeating a point made earlier that, the urgency of the problems demand that we focus on what works – are these concepts (resilience, vulnerability, adaptation) the most appropriate? We need to consider these as part of a larger conceptual toolkit.
The two research communities have come a long way in terms of understanding each other, but there is still a big gap between our understanding and that of policy and practioner communities.
How can we close the gap between...
Richard’s presentation links to the issue of researcher-policy maker relations, and a case where the end user came to the researchers wanting to know ‘who is the particularly vulnerable?’ in exact numbers.
Purposes of vulnerability assessment:
Improve understanding of the dynamics of a system
Identify hotspots for further analysis
Raise awareness of the problem causing vulnerability
Inform plans and decisions to reduce vulnerability
Compare and prioritise between vulnerable systems and locations
UNFCCC International Climate Policy identifies the need to support the particularly vulnerable
The developed country Parties ... shall ... assist the developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to...
Considering implementing policy in collaboration with stakeholders raises the question as to whether there is a conflict and is there a need to devolve? Also discussed two hidden assumptions in our discussion: that we should get involved and that science should have a privileged voice. How do we deal with this? Recognised that we need something new. We need new strategies to engage with policy and need to be designing new tools.
Sander: interesting developments in the business community where this is much interest, brains and money. Do we need to engage more closely here? What are the ethical implications?...
Fiona: Where are the key areas of convergence we have identified in the meeting?
Jochen: It makes sense to conceptualise the communities and the concepts of resilience and vulnerability as separate. A lot of things are going on in the resilience community which have nothing necessarily to do with how it is defined or its theoretical problems. I had a learning experience of this and would like to explore things further
Jörn: There is still a strong tradition on ecosystem elements in resilience, and others in vulnerability emphasise particular methods and the social side. The documentation and linkage process shows...