Linking vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience science to practice: Pathways, players, and partnerships

Coleen Vogel, Susanne C. Moser, Roger E. Kasperson, Geoffrey D. Dabelko
2007 Global Environmental Change  
Vulnerability, adaptation and resilience are concepts that are finding increasing currency in several fields of research as well as in various policy and practitioner communities engaged in global environmental change science, climate change, sustainability science, disaster risk-reduction and famine interventions. As scientists and practitioners increasingly work together in this arena a number of questions are emerging: What is credible, salient and legitimate knowledge, how is this knowledge
more » ... generated and how is it used in decision making? Drawing on important science in this field, and including a case study from southern Africa, we suggest an alternative mode of interaction to the usual one-way interaction between science and practice often used. In this alternative approach, different experts, risk-bearers, and local communities are involved and knowledge and practice is contested, co-produced and reflected upon. Despite some successes in the use and negotiation of such knowledge for 'real' world issues, a number of problems persist that require further investigation including the difficulties of developing consensus on the methodologies used by a range of stakeholders usually across a wide region (as the case study of southern Africa shows, particularly in determining and identifying vulnerable groups, sectors, and systems); slow delivery of products that could enhance resilience to change that reflects not only a lack of data, and need for scientific credibility, but also the time-consuming process of coming to a negotiated understanding in science-practice interactions and, finally, the need to clarify the role of 'external' agencies, stakeholders, and scientists at the outset of the dialogue process and subsequent interactions. Such factors, we argue, all hinder the use of vulnerability and resilience 'knowledge' that is being generated and will require much more detailed investigation by both producers and users of such knowledge. r
doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2007.05.002 fatcat:hqy366fv4vhmpkvby2dfbfaizu