Friday, 18 August 2017

Community and Resilience

Community and resilience
Community and resilience

Floods and droughts, that fail harvest, causing landslides and extreme rainfalls, are considered as the most frequent disasters nowadays. On one hand, the disasters were expedited by classic hindrance, particularly governance and environmental management failures. On the other hand, the emerging of individual actions aiming to deal with climate change are critical step contributing to the successes of climate change adaptation.

Anticipation of flooding such as building dikes, infiltration and water absorption, elevating houses,  are adaptation actions that can be done both individually and in a community group. The awareness to the climate change impacts has been shown by the civil society group and private sector through corporate social responsibility (CSR) program and helped facilitating the lack of awareness  and funding problems.

The understanding is knowing not only the meaning of climate change and why it happens, but also how to assess vulnerable sector in a particular area or region. The adaptation options complexity depends on various individual interests in community. The individual adaptation options are related to the economic, social, and environmental interests as part of resilience sources in dealing with various threat and climate change.

The critical point of individual direct involvement among community is that it will build and affect climate change adaptation strategy. Public knowledge will affect the decision maker, political elites, and environmental activist who often argue each other on adaptation strategy. The value of local knowledge, that has been deep-rooted among community and still applied in most areas, particularly in taking care of environment and ecosystems as part of life values, can strengthen community adaptation strategy in climate change management. There are many examples where local knowledge can help coastal community in coping with the increase of sea level threatening their stilt houses and floating houses. Similar things are still well applied in many areas in Indonesia in spite of the current development pattern that is as threatening.

Climate change impact is also development threat. In terms of micro basis, it has been threatening community economic resilience and will be a part of country’s macro economy problem in the future. Community adaptation, that has been done, also becomes a part of macro economy resilience. Therefore, adaptive capacity, that has to be prioritized in policy negotiation and planning at the national level needs to be done carefully. Yet, one thing that cannot be denied is that climate-driven disasters are happening.

(Author: Ari Mochamad, Climate Change Adaptation Governance Advisor USAID APIK)

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