Resilience Discussed at Climate Week + Info on Resilience Planning

Resilience was one of the topics at the recent UN Climate Summit (click here for some more info) and the buzzword is generating hubbub elsewhere too. A piece by looks at the pitfalls of resilience planning, what works and what can go wrong.

The piece states, “hazard-resilient investments can range from enforced building codes, to early warning systems, to community-level waste management – all crucial for buffering societies against disasters.” The article continued, “…resilience planning which does not include a range of actors - from vulnerable communities to big companies - can fail to accomplish anything new, warned a critique by the Humanitarian Policy Group at the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI).”

Simon Levine, a livelihoods and vulnerability specialist with ODI told IRIN News: “There is a danger that we go on and think we are building resilience when really we are ignoring the most vulnerable. In coming up with a whole new language and framework, we forget the basics.”

One of the take-aways here is to do with relocations.

Relocating populations affected by a disaster can result in many issues, according to the article. For example, people might be relocated to areas they have never lived in, or in the case of Sri Lanka, after the 2004 tsunami, people were evacuated from risky coastal areas – for the purpose of “resilient urban planning” – and yet hotels were late built in the same spot.

In some cases, relocation – and all the things that go along with uprooting people – can be avoided altogether. In Jakarta, Indonesia, for example, a sanitation project helps install affordable septic tanks in areas that are densely populated.

For more on the pitfalls of resilience planning, see the original article (link below). Here’s a round-up of the take-aways from the piece:

  • Know what doesn’t work or what can be problematic – such as the complexities of relocation, the importance of relocating to feasible areas and making sure people are being relocated for the right reasons.
  • Governing bodies in resilience efforts need to be accountable and fair.
  • Relocation can sometimes be avoided by taking other measures – such as the septic tanks in Jakarta.
  • Is everyone being given a voice? Are diverse community perspectives being expressed? Listen to both men and women, when carrying out resilience initiatives.


For the original article, click here: