The effects of climate change are beginning to be felt around the world with rising temperatures, changing precipitation levels, more frequent and severe storms and longer more intensive droughts threatening human life and livelihoods and damaging property and infrastructure. As such, society in all countries – both developing and developed – need to increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change, where resilience is the ability of a system to absorb stresses and adapt in ways that improve the overall sustainability of the system; enabling it to be better prepared for future climate change impacts.
In this context, a climate resilient society is one that is: reflective (learns from experiences); robust (both people and infrastructure can withstand the impacts of extreme conditions); forward-thinking (with plans made to ensure systems function during extreme events); flexible (so systems and plans can change, evolve or adopt alternative strategies); resourceful (to respond quickly to extreme events); inclusive (so all communities including the vulnerable are involved in planning); and integrated (so people, systems, decision-making and investments are mutually supportive of common goals).
The Climate Resilient Societies Major Reference Work includes chapters covering a range of themes that provide readers with an invaluable overview on how various levels of government have attempted to create climate resilient societies. In particular, each chapter, under its respective theme, will address how a government, or series of governments, at various levels in non-OECD and/or OECD countries, have implemented innovative climate resilient policies that seek synergies across strategies, choices and actions, in an attempt to build a climate resilient society. Each chapter will address one specific sub-theme out of the population of themes covered in the Major Reference Work: Water, Energy, Agriculture and Food Built environment and Infrastructure, Transport, Human health, Society, and Disaster.