RESIN Resources


RESIN State of the Art Report (2) 

Resilience, Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Concepts, Definitions and Application



H. Nassopoulos, M. Ehret, M. Vuillet, J-M Cariolet, M. Colomobert, Y. Diab




Executive Summary

In 2050, 66% of world’s population will live in urban areas. Given that currently cities have the highest socioeconomic activities concentration, CC becomes an extra challenge to be handled through adaptation strategies development and resilience strengthening. Here, you will find a review of climate change adaptation (ACC), resilience and disaster risk reduction (DRR) definitions, to identify the most appropriate ones within the frame of the RESIN project.

Following our review, risk, a major issue of concern since its beginning, can be defined following the 5th IPCC report, as the potential for consequences, where something of value is at stake and where the outcome is uncertain. ACC, an issue of concern notably since the Rio conference in 1992, can be defined as a process that comprises implementation of actions to withstand CC impacts and ensure the same level of performance for infrastructures. DRR research communities, since the Yokohama report in 1994, have focused upon reducing risks through systematic efforts to reduce the causal factors that result in disasters. Reducing exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events are all examples of disaster risk reduction. Last, resilience is a much vaguer concept and its definition has evolved – and is still evolving – over the years. Resilience thinking has gained momentum since the Katrina disaster in 2005 (Johnson, 2006). According to the DRR Huogo Protocol in 2005 and the UN conference on DRR, resilience can be defined as the ability to function, survive and thrive to any stress. It should also include the ability to maintain critical infrastructures’ operations/ functions in the face of crises, to skillfully prepare for, respond to, and manage a crisis or disruption. Finally, it should include the ability to return to and/or reconstitute quickly normal operations and possibly bounce back to better ones.

This review understands ACC and DRR as a set of actions and recommendations. Resilience, on the other hand, is recognized as a paradigm concept. A glossary is provided in Section 7 with suggested definitions for the RESIN project.