Exploring the concept of resilience as a useful framework of analysis for how society can cope with the threat of climate change and human induced hazards.

The risks and vulnerabilities exposed by climate change and human induced and slow-onset disasters are on the rise globally, and the impacts are severe and widespread: extensive loss of life, particularly among vulnerable members of a community; economic losses, hindering development goals; destruction of the built and natural environment, further increasing vulnerability; and, widespread disruption to local institutions and livelihoods, disempowering the local community. Rising population and infrastructures, particularly in urban areas, has significantly increased disaster risk, amplified the degree of uncertainty, challenged emergency arrangements and raised issues regarding their appropriateness.

BushfireBushfires. Image by Mark Roy. Aceh reconstruction 2005Aceh Reconstruction, Image by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

What is becoming equally apparent, however, is the importance of resilience - not only in the structures that humans design and build, but in the way society perceives, copes with, and reshapes lives after the worst has happened: to use change to better cope with the unknown.

Despite resilience having been widely adopted in research, policy and practice to describe the way in which they would like to reduce our society's susceptibility to the threat posed by such hazards, there is little consensus regarding what resilience is, what it means to society, and perhaps most importantly, how societies might achieve greater resilience in the face of increasing threats from natural and human induced hazards.

The 5th International Conference on Building Resilience will explore the concept of resilience as a useful framework of analysis for how society can cope with the threat of hazards, helping to understand the attributes that enable physical, socio-cultural, politico-economic and natural systems to adapt, by resistance or changing in order to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning.

Haiti post earthquake
Haiti post earthquake. Image by Colin Crowley.
Flood damage in Manila 2012
Flood damage in Manila, 2012. Image by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

We welcome contributions from industry practitioners, researchers and academics. The themes of the conference include, but are not limited to:

  1. Resilience
    1. Conceptual understanding of resilience
    2. Overall systems resilience
    3. Measurement of resilience
  2. Built environment
    1. Structural mitigation
    2. Infrastructure
    3. Sustainable development
    4. Shelter and housing
  3. Communication
    1. Community engagement and participation
    2. Inter-disciplinary working and partnerships
    3. Digital media
    4. Knowledge management
  4. Disaster risk
    1. Multi-hazard scenarios
    2. Risk assessment, monitoring and evacuation
  5. Slow-onset disaster
    1. Conceptual understanding of slow-onset disasters
    2. Climate change impacts and slow-onset disasters
    3. Risk assessment and monitoring of slow-onset disasters
    4. Social impacts of slow-onset disasters
  6. Healthcare facilities, infrastructure and system resilience planning
    1. Emergency planning and disaster response
    2. Community resilience planning for emergency preparedness
    3. Social determinants of health
    4. Health and wellbeing of disadvantaged and socio-economically excluded populations
    5. Health system resiliency planning
  7. Social resilience
    1. Livelihoods
    2. Social protection and vulnerability
    3. Social support processes
    4. People, displacement and security
  8. Governance
    1. Local government and disaster risk reduction
    2. National planning
    3. Role of NGOs
    4. Evidence based policy making
  9. Education
    1. Capacity building
    2. Lifelong learning