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Modeling resilience to climate change in space and time

TitleModeling resilience to climate change in space and time
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSimonovic SP
Conference NameDailyMeteo.org/2014
Date Published06/2014
PublisherFaculty of Civil Engineering, University of Belgrade
Conference LocationBelgrade
Abstract

There are practical links between flood risk management, climate change adaptation and sustainable development leading to reduction of flood risk and re-enforcing resilience as a new development paradigm. There has been a noticeable change in flood management approaches, moving from disaster vulnerability to disaster resilience; the latter viewed as a more proactive and positive expression of community engagement with flood risk management. As flood hazard is increasing, at the same time it erodes resilience, therefore climate change has a magnifying effect on the flood risk. In the past, standard disaster management planning emphasized the documentation of roles, responsibilities and procedures. Increasingly, these plans consider arrangements for prevention, mitigation, preparedness and recovery, as well as response. However, over the last ten years substantial progress has been made in establishing the role of resilience in sustainable development. Multiple case studies around the world reveal links between attributes of resilience and the capacity of complex systems to absorb disturbance while still being able to maintain a certain level of functioning. Building on emergency planning experience, there is a need to focus more on action-based resilience planning to strengthen local capacity and capability, with greater emphasis on community engagement and a better understanding of the diversity, needs, strengths and vulnerabilities within communities. Floods do not impact everyone in the same way. It is clear that the problems associated with sustainable human wellbeing in calls for a paradigm shift. Use of resilience as an appropriate matrix for investigation arises from the integral consideration of overlap between: (a) physical environment (built and natural); (b) social dynamics; (c) metabolic flows; and (d) governance networks. This paper provides an original systems framework for quantification of resilience. The framework is based on the definition of resilience as the ability of physical and social systems to absorb disturbance while still being able to continue functioning. The disturbance depends on spatial and temporal perspectives and direct interaction between impacts of disturbance (social, health, economic, and other) and adaptive capacity of the system to absorb disturbance.

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