Risk & Resilience

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According to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, resilience is the ability of a system, community or society to resist, absorb, accommodate and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, while preserving its essential basic structures and functions. Humankind faces a growing number of risks – climate change, conflict, depletion of natural resources, natural disasters, economic crisis, epidemic diseases – and other risk factors such as urbanisation and ageing populations. Because of the interconnected nature of such risks and the recognition that they often cannot be eliminated entirely, the integration of resilience into development planning has become essential.

In the context of green growth, resilience can be strengthened by multiple channels: economic diversification, ecosystem preservation, energy security, sustainable production and consumption, resource efficiency and increased resources for dealing with uncertainties. Systematically implemented, green growth strategies can be powerful and resilient in face of risks, mitigating the adverse effects of shocks, and enabling communities to meet growing demand for shelter, energy, food, transport and water. Specific guiding principles to this end include keeping the focus on development and poverty reduction, using sound science and forecasting, incorporating ecosystem-based approaches, and sharing risks through insurance schemes (UNEP, 2012).

Relevance to the SDGs

The concept of resilience is incorporated in a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 2 calls for resiliency in agricultural systems, SDG 9 in infrastructure and SDG 11 in human settlements or cities.

Explore green growth resources related to the SDGs:

SDG 2.4
    Resilient agriculture    
   SDG 9.1
  Resilient infrastructure  
   SDG 11.b
        Resilient Cities        

Learning Products

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), University of Geneva
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The Green Exchange

Insights

To mark the launch of the GREEN-WIN website, Dr. Jochen Hinkel, Coordinator of the GREEN-WIN Project, explains how the project will further research targeted at uncovering win-win opportunities - i.e. those that are economically attractive for individual countries, regions and firms, which also contribute to climate goals.
Stephane Hallegatte, World Bank, discusses managing natural risks in a changing environment, using an economic perspective to inform risk management and climate change adaptation.
Narae Lee (Inter-American Development Bank) discusses Public-Private Partnerships, green growth and the the GGBP Green Growth in Practice: Lessons from Country Experiences report.