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Kgt COP 10 cities & biodiversity summit

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  • 1. Keith G. Tidball Cornell University Resilience in climate change, biodiversity, ecosystems and urban disaster LAB www.civicecology.org Presented at the
  • 2. Climate change will likely result in: More frequent and devastating natural disasters Increasing conflict among humans over resources Opportunities for human adaptation and societal change New technologies Enlightened approaches to ecological stewardship Shifts toward HUMAN SECURITY through building resilience and adaptive capacity Climate Change & Disturbance
  • 3. Where is Resilience in this Picture?
  • 4. © Balkan Analysis, Christopher Deliso Tree planting in Macedonia Memorial Gardening Post 9/11 NYC Fisheries management in the Iraqi marshes Photo- http://agwired.com/2007/01/19/2800/ Photo- USDA FS Living Memorials http://www.livingmemorialsproject.ne t/about.htm Interactions between humans and nature in the aftermath of disasters and war provide clues as to the importance of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and green infrastructure to urban social-ecological system resilience.
  • 5. Shifts in approaches to post-disaster & post-conflict response Forests need human security as much as human security needs forests. Including the environmental dimensions of vulnerability in our understanding of human security would help to focus public attention,policy-makers and funds on the long-term value of forest conservation and sustainable forest management. --International Institute for Sustainable Development report Forests,Natural Disasters,and Human Security. Two important shifts as Best Management Practices: 1. asset-based participation among affected populations, focused on strengths, opportunities and assets rather than exclusively deficits, is required to identify acceptable or desirable assistance. 2. acknowledgement of the necessity to account for (usually perception-driven) self- reinforcing growth trends, or positive feedback loops. 3. See Weinstein & Tidball 2007. Environment Shaping: an Alternative Approach to Development and Aid. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Vol. 1, Issue
  • 6. Resilience? • Challenge of finding suitable social mechanisms that help confer resilience on SES (Berkes and Folke 1998). • To maintain function in the face of perturbance, SES need to be able to recognize feedback, and therefore require“mechanisms by which information from the environment can be received, processed,and interpreted” (Berkes and Folke 1998, p 21-22). • Greening activities may be one social mechanism that can shorten feedbacks which inform stakeholders about the effectiveness of their management actions in cities. •Greening can help transform undesirable feedback loops
  • 7. Are there examples? “…answer(s) questions about the role of “greening” people, practice, and places in building and demonstrating resilience in the face of catastrophic surprise and change.” “..explores how the act of people coming together around the restoration and stewardship of nature might enhance individual and community resilience, and perhaps even contribute to social-ecological system resilience, in chaotic post-disaster or post- conflict contexts.” “Because of the rapid growth of cities globally and their ever looming importance as sites of vulnerability much of the focus of the discussion is on urban settings ((Tidball, 2011-Forthcoming). 35 Chapters -case studies and examples of greening after a crisis.
  • 8. Ok… SoWhat?
  • 9. Implications for Policy 1. Recognize the value of community based greening for social-ecological resilience and recovery and invest • build scenarios to help agencies understand and anticipate the needs of affected residents • A “Greening in the Red Zone(GRZ) Response Plan” can be folded in to existing emergency response plans • Engage existing urban environmental and other conservation groups • Have reasonable expectations--don’t sell greening as a “silver bullet” – rather as a piece of the puzzle 2. Start Now! Participate with the scientific community in identifying gaps in research and technology regarding human-nature interaction in resilience and recovery. 3.Allocate financial and human capital transparently
  • 10. In conclusion… Understanding and appreciating how humans and their interactions with nature are related to a system's ability to bounce back after being disturbed represents a missing piece of the puzzle in our thinking about how to deal with climate change. Research suggests that “greening in the red zone” is catalytic in restoring lost or damaged elements of a social-ecological system. Greening in the red zone is a way of linking biodiversity and climate change at the local level. Policy makers at the local level can use this information to leverage virtuous cycles and positive feedbacks now, and in the future, to prepare for and adapt to climate change. Thank you!
  • 11. Acknowledgements
  • 12. Background & Context –CEL & Resilience Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab founded in 2008 Civic Ecology study of interactions, including feedbacks, among four components of a social-ecological system: community-based environmental stewardship (civic ecology practice); education and learning situated in these practices (civic ecology education); the people and institutions involved; and the ecosystem services produced by the people, their stewardship, and educational practices. trans-disciplinary perspectives in social-ecological systems resilience, environmental education, social learning, and urban ecology.
  • 13. Nature and Human Security Theme Within the Civic Ecology Lab, the Nature and Human Security theme explores interactions between humans and nature in the aftermath of natural disasters and war. …how these interactions relate to social-ecological system resilience, or in other words, how humans and their interactions with nature are related to a system's ability to bounce back after being disturbed. Thus far, most promising aspect of resilience in this exploration is feedbacks that confer or catalyze resilience in SES through human- nature interaction. Self-organizing greening in red zones (forthcoming book) Parks & People initiatives Environmental peacemaking

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