PEDRR Lecture on " Unpacking resilience in the post-HFA: Reducing Vulnerability to Disasters" on 11 October

07 October 2013 | Article

The Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR) would like to invite you to a lunch-hour discussion to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction this Friday, 11 October, at MIE-2 at 11:30-13:00. Light refreshments will be served.  

The second of the quarterly PEDRR series will debate the meaning and practise of resilience and it's relevance for disaster risk reduction policy, by drawing on ecosystem science and natural resource management.

The notion of ‘climate risks’, disasters and building ‘resilience’ has clearly dominated the international development agenda in the 21st century. Resilience for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate changeadaptation (CCA) would seem to offer the hope that sustainable development once did, with resilience viewed as a binding force, linking development, humanitarian efforts, CCA and DRR. Enhancing resilience connotes a positive outlook in addressing multiple development challenges, in contrast to, for example, the more negative connotation associated with “vulnerability reduction”, often used in the field of disaster management.

Yet, despite increased popularity of the term ‘resilience’, there is limited theoretical and practical
understanding, and there are often multiple, contradictory definitions of resilience. With millions worth of
international development assistance invested already into building resilience, there is little guidance or
benchmarks available that describe what resilience is, how to increase it, or when resilience has been
achieved.

We are at a unique crossroad. International dialogue has begun to negotiate a new global agreement on DRR when the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) expires in 2015, at the same time as the post-2015 sustainable development agenda as well as the new global climate change agreement are being elaborated. What meaning should resilience take in the post-2015 HFA, and how can science and practice inform this debate?
How can major drivers of under-development, vulnerability to disasters, and climate change impacts be effectively tackled under a resilience framework?

This seminar intends to stimulate discussion and debate on the meaning of resilience by drawing from ecosystems science and experience from the environmental and natural resource management sector. It will examine the role of environment in reducing vulnerability to disasters and climate change and its policy relevance in building resilience.