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Community resilience and adaptation

Resilient communities are capable of bouncing back from adverse situations. They can do this by actively influencing and preparing for economic, social and environmental change. When times are bad they can call upon the myriad of resouces that make them a healthy community. A high level of social capital means that they have access to good information and communication networks in times of difficulty, and can call upon a wide range of resources. The papers and reports linked to here recognise resilience as being people-centered, and highlight the importance of thinking about the social actors involved and their agency - social dynamics, power and politics.

A number of other papers that extend this ideas of community resilience to adapt to change through self-organization and learning can be found from related pages on the site. For example, other key pages look at adaptation and social learning. The main index on the left points to related topic areas that can support the achievement of these ideas in practice.

A number of other sections in the site follow-on naturally from a consideration of resilience. Two useful tools for resilience-building in complex socio-ecological systems are structured scenarios and adaptation and adaptive management. People use scenarios to envision alternative futures and the pathways by which they might be reached. By envisioning a range of alternative futures and actions that might achieve or avoid certain outcomes, communities can identify and choose resilience-building policies. Active adaptive management can be used as an approach that views policy as a set of experiments designed to reveal processes that build or sustain resilience. It requires, and facilitates, a social context with flexible and open institutions and multi-level governance systems that allows for social learning.