The Resilience Academy (a united Nations University and Munich-Re Foundation initiative)
In the most vulnerable regions of our planet, the impacts of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts threaten lives and livelihoods. The most affected regions include large deltas, small islands, and exposed coastal regions, as well as arid and semiarid lands, and areas affected by glacier and permafrost melt. People on the frontlines of climate change, in many cases, will face aggravated baseline risks, extremes and slow-onset effects, which include coastal inundation, catastrophic floods, and extended drought conditions. These stresses have the potential to render spaces effectively unproductive and uninhabitable. A central question for practice, policy, and research revolves around the resilience of peoples whose livelihoods systems and settlements are threatened by these overwhelming extremes. The Resilience Academy provides a platform for connecting communities of expertise (early phase practitioners, academics, and policy analysts), examining livelihood resilience in the face of local and regional realities, and co-creating concepts to foster resilience. A first session of the Resilience Academy was held in September 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Around 25 scholars from across the world were selected to participate. This 1st Resilience Academy explored the following core questions with leading experts from academia, policy and practice:
- What tools exist for risk assessment and identification of climate hot spots?
- How can adaptive capacity and resilience in rural and urban livelihood systems be defined and measured?
- What are the main contributors and impediments to climate resilience, theory and in practice?
- What strategies are available for peoples facing overwhelming extremes?
- What can be done to enhance the adaptive capacity and resilience to the climate stressors they face today and in the future?
The dialogue between academia, policy and practice was at the heart of the Academy, with opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement, time to think and collaborate on specific topics and practical interaction. A second session of the Resilience Academy is scheduled in Munich, Germany, in August 2014. It is expected to move forward with the research agenda, which includes the preparation of several academic papers, the formulation of research proposals and the publication of a policy brief on livelihood resilience.
For more information, see www.ehs.unu.edu/article/read/call-for-applications-the-resilience-academy-exploring