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Human resilience to climate change and disasters

Project details

How do we reduce the impact of extreme events today whilst preparing ourselves for the impacts of climate change? What are our options and how do we decide which is the best approach to take? This project will investigate these questions, among others, to help inform the important decisions regarding adaptation and risk reduction that are being made at global, national and local levels.

The project will examine human resilience to climate change and weather-related disasters. It will focus on the role of nature in increasing human resilience to extreme weather and climate change, but will also consider other adaptation and risk reduction methods. More details about the project can be found in the project scope (PDF).


Extreme weather events affect millions of people around the world every year. These events lead not only to loss of life but have considerable economic costs and can undermine peoples' livelihoods, hindering development. The global climate is changing with possible implications for the intensity and frequency of these weather-related hazards. Demographic changes also mean that peoples’ exposure and vulnerability to these hazards is growing. Measures to adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risks are essential for ensuring human wellbeing, both now and in the future; and such measures are being discussed and implemented at international level.

Given the range of adaptation and risk reduction options available, effective evidence-based adaptation decision-making is vital.  As an example of this, this project will examine the degree to which nature can protect people and increase our resilience to climate change.  Such nature-based approaches are thought to be cost-effective, low regret options and, as such, are gaining increasing attention internationally. This project will be a critical evaluation of these approaches, in comparison to and in conjunction with other adaptation and risk reduction measures.

Working Group

The project is led by a Working Group of scientific and policy experts. Professor Georgina Mace CBE FRS is chair of the Working Group.

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Human resilience to climate change and disasters

Final report
will be published in late 2014

Call for evidence
Closed November 2013

Statement for UN Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
published May 2013

Project details
announced April 2013

Blog posts

Read and respond to blog posts about resilience to climate change on our In Verba blog.

Contact us

To contact the project team please email