The Mbongolwane wetland ecosystem, and its associated ecosystem services, holds great potential to generate economic benefits that can contribute to...Read More
Adaption and Resilience
The natural environment provides the conditions we need for life on Earth, and natural ecosystems provide services and benefits that directly affect people. The ability of the environment and its ecosystems to provide a stable and secure living environment is being undermined by global and local changes to these ecosystems and degradation of the environment.
While environmental change has continuously taken place over billions of years, it is the scale, magnitude and speed at which this change is now occurring, and the consequences for sustainability, that is of concern.
The threats associated with environmental change are driving changes in governance and the way the world views the environment. Decisions about how to manage the environment and distribute the benefits from ecosystems will have significant implications for the future condition of ecosystems and the livelihoods of people. Adaptation and resilience building are also important approaches to responding to this change.
Adaptation is the adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected changes. Adaptation is required to reduce the risks and hazards associated with environmental change and to increase long term resilience of socio-ecological systems. Adaptation therefore needs to be built into all aspects of decision making, planning and management to build the long term resilience of socio-ecological systems, rather than only to improve our short term ability to cope with environmental change.
Resilience is the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain functionality and vitality in response to the impacts of change. Resilience building is needed at various levels including individuals, households, communities, and regions.
We aim to enhance adaptation capacity and resilience of socio-ecological systems by developing appropriate responses to the drivers of environmental change to mitigate vulnerability. This is achieved through the following strategic services:
- Risk and vulnerability assessments, including GIS-based vulnerability mapping
- Developing ecosystems- and community-based adaptation strategies and interventions to build resilience and address vulnerability
- Enhancing the understanding of socio-ecological system interactions to identify complex cause and effect relationships, and the implications of trade-offs for human well-being and ecosystem resilience
- Building capacity to incorporate adaptation into development planning at community, district and national levels
- Designing innovative tools and incentives for investment in, and financing of, adaptation and resilience building
- Mainstreaming adaptation and resilience into planning and policy
- Incorporating natural capital and ecological infrastructure approaches into adaptation and resilience building
- Identifying and promoting appropriate alternative household and livelihoods technologies to facilitate adaptation
Our Current Projects
The Institute is currently involved in various projects across the country. Please view the list below for more information regarding our past and current projects.