What is climate resilience and why is it important? Find out more about how people around the world are adapting to the rapidly changing climate and protecting their lives and livelihoods from future challenges.
What is climate resilience?
Climate change is associated with both rapid-onset events such as floods, hurricanes or wildfires and slow-onset events such as sea level rise or desertification.
Climate resilience is the ability of social, economic and environmental systems to withstand these impacts so that they can thrive in spite of the impact.
As many communities and natural environments around the world already suffer climate change impacts, it has become a major priority to take actions that reduce vulnerability to these impacts, especially by taking actions to increase their capacity to enact climate change adaptation.
We define resilience as the ability of a system, community, or society to pursue its social, ecological, and economic development and growth objectives, while managing its disaster risk over time in a mutually reinforcing way. This captures the essential forward-looking component of resilience; we do not want people to be resilient while denying their aspirations to improve their wellbeing.
Why is climate resilience important?
Climate change has triggered an increase in extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. It’s also causing long-term changes to weather patterns that are destroying livelihoods.
As the effects of climate change become increasingly tangible, vulnerable and hazard-prone communities face growing, complex, and worsening challenges.
Who most needs climate resilience?
Climate resilience is especially critical in countries that are most vulnerable to climate change and are already feeling the impacts on a daily basis.
Poorer areas are often hardest hit. Poverty forces people into disaster-prone areas where making a living is almost impossible. And it means they’re ill-equipped to adapt to the changing climate, leaving them even more vulnerable to future disasters.
What is Practical Action doing?
We’re helping people adapt to existing changes and prepare for future ones. We work closely with communities to develop simple, practical solutions that can help minimise the ways in which floods, droughts and extreme weather affect their lives and opportunities.
Our key areas of focus:
- Advising people on how to adapt their lives to a changing climate
- Working with communities to put systems in place to predict natural hazards and prepare plans to minimise their impact
- Promoting environmentally sound technologies for low carbon and climate resilient development.
Our teams around the world are seeing with their own eyes the impact of climate change on people in poor areas. But we’re also demonstrating that ingenuity can help them adapt and thrive.
More about our climate resilience work
Resilience that protects
We’re working with people to predict and prepare for natural hazards, to minimise the impact on their lives and livelihoods and reduce the risk of disasters.