Assessing community resilience to climate change
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Settlements and communities in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are highly vulnerable to climate change and face an uncertain social, economic and environmental future. The concept of community resilience is gaining momentum as stakeholders and institutions seek to better understand the social, economic and governance factors which affect community capacity to adapt in the face of climate change. This paper defines a framework to benchmark community resilience and applies it to a case study in the Wet Tropics in tropical Queensland within the GBR catchment. It finds that rural, indigenous and some urban populations are highly vulnerable and sensitive to climate change, particularly in terms of economic vitality, community knowledge, aspirations and capacity for adaptation. Without early and substantive action, this could result in declining social and economic wellbeing and natural resource health. Capacity to manage the possible shocks associated with the impacts of climate change and extreme climatic events is emerging and needs to be carefully fostered and further developed to achieve broader community resilience outcomes. Better information about what actions, policies and arrangements build community resilience and mobilise adaptive capacity in the face of climate change is needed.
12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia, 9-13 July 2012
Copyright remains with the authors 2012. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this conference please refer to the conference’s website or contact the authors.
Land Use and Environmental Planning