What is Resilience and why 2:1?
Resilience has to do with the capacity of an organism, individual, community, ecosystem or indeed the entire biosphere to recover from shocks and continue with viable life. Thinking of this in human terms means thinking of how individuals, families, communities, cities, regions and nations deal with shifts, shocks, catastrophes, disasters, and long-term changes in ways that enable the whole to survive and then to prosper again.
Think of a community that experiences severe flooding. The initial response is a disaster response – house and feed people, provide medical care. Then comes recovery of goods, shelter and perhaps even infrastructure along with rebuilding. But for long term survival the community now needs to sit down and think deeply about what caused the flood – extreme and unusual precipitation, erosion upstream, loss of forests on hillsides, and any other causes.
There can be any number of reasons but resilience demands that the factors that caused or contributed to the shock be addressed. What if poor planning caused the problem? What if homes were allowed to be built on a floodplain? Resilience means addressing that issue and perhaps removing homes from the floodplain and rehabilitating the ecosystem there to protect against future flooding. Resilience requires thought and planning especially in the age of climate change.
Climate change is well underway and with it comes many more challenges for communities of all sizes. Climate change affects all of us and everything we are and do. All of us will have to think deeply, together and separately about resilience and the future.