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Pathways and reasons for change

In many ways the past 2-3 years seem to provide a tipping point in awareness of the need to readjust the way we live, and rebalance that with the requirements of the planet to provide the climate, food and other ecosystem services that we rely on. While most attention was paid to the message outlining the "need to change" (see the Earth clock), many of the authors of these reports also provided pathways forward. In most cases these included an acknowledgement of the need for learning-based processes for engagement and decision-making.

As the Stern report acknowledged, development itself is the most effective way to promote adaptation to global change issues, because development increases resilience and reduces vulnerabilities. The report went on to point out that some of the required measures for strengthening adaptation include: i) ensuring access to high-quality information about the impacts of change and carrying out vulnerability assessment; ii)increasing the resilience of livelihoods and infrastructure using existing knowledge and coping strategies; iii) improving governance, including a transparent and accountable policy and decision-making process and an active civil society; and iv) empowering communities so that they participate in assessments and feed their knowledge into the process at crucial points. More information on how to implement and measure these processes are outlined in the resources linked to from this site. These can be accessed using the navigation system on the left.

Direct links to some of these reports, and others that provide a sense of perspective of what we might want from well-balanced social, ecological and economic systems are provided below.