The probability of natural disasters, including heat waves, drought, wildﬁre, cyclones, ﬂoods and landslides, is increasing due to global climate change. Human vulnerability to any disaster is a complex phenomenon within the scope of the social, economic and cultural setting. Vulnerability to natural disasters has two aspects: the exposure to dangerous hazards and the capacity to cope with, or recover from disaster occurrence (resilience). In the context of climate change, social resilience is the ability of groups or communities to adapt to socio-economic, political, or environmental stresses and disturbances. To be resilient, societies must demonstrate the ability to buffer disturbance, self-organize, learn and adapt. But are social systems resilient in the face of climate change over time? Although individuals and communities are presently coping with climate change in the same way that they have coped with climate variability throughout history, the social capacity to respond to external changes is different within communities. Therefore, this research attempts to measure community resilience for natural disasters with three objectives: identify the indicators of community resilience, develop indices to assess the resilience capacity of communities, and apply this to a selected case study area. The case study selected is Rathnapura in Sri Lanka.
|Keywords:||Community Resilience,, Natural Hazards,, Community Assets,, Indicators|
Lecturer, Department of Town and Country Planning, University of Moratuwa, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Associate Professor, Coordinator Community Planning and Development Program Program, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, , School of Humanities, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Project Officer, Disaster Management Capacity Enhancement Project Sri Lanka, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, Colombo, Sri Lanka
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