Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


WATERWORLDS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 229459
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Denmark

Social resilience for preserving natural resources

Groundbreaking empirical and theoretical research has advanced study of local and social responses to environmental disasters in relation to the most vital natural resource: water.
Social resilience for preserving natural resources
Currently, Earth is vulnerable, faced with environmental disasters and global climate change. The threat of habitual natural resources being lost, fear of nature becoming more unpredictable and coping with the destruction of natural habitats as a result of social disruptions are causing people to suffer.

As a way to alleviate this, the WATERWORLDS (Waterworlds: Natural environmental disasters and social resilience in anthropological perspective) project sought to contribute to a renewed theory of social resilience. It looked at places that are affected by changing water resources and how people respond to these changes. The project documented this in order to address the challenges.

Three major water-related changes were the main focus: melting ice, rising sea level and drying lands. Looking at the social responses to the changes allowed for the comparison of vastly different societies and climates while also keeping general patterns in sight. Fifteen researchers were involved, examining environmental problems in west Africa, the Arctic, south India, the Pacific and Peru.

Results indicate that social responses affect nature as much as when the situation is reversed. Thus, a renewed sense of social resilience is required to rethink environmental realities and people's responsibility to ensure survival of their communities.

Related information


Social resilience, natural resources, environmental disasters, WATERWORLDS, climate change
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