Resilience and the Precautionary Principle
For COMEST, the uncertainty and complexity generated by the unpredictable behavior of climate and weather patterns due to climate change cannot be used as grounds for inaction. On the contrary, decision-makers must take positive actions that enable vulnerable communities to adapt and overcome the threats generated by climate change.
COMEST proposes to enable people to anticipate, plan, and adapt to the risks imposed by climate change by creating conditions that will make the affected populations become more resilient to climate change in the long run.
Resilience is defined as “the capacity of a system to tolerate disturbance without collapsing into a qualitatively different – usually undesired – state”.1
Social systems of cooperation and increasing levels of biodiversity allow populations that are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to immediately respond, survive, and bounce back from natural calamities that are expected to disrupt their daily lives.
Anticipating and maintaining the necessary provisions in the event of natural disasters must always be kept in order to survive and endure disasters.
The Rock and Pillar Edicts of King Ashoka in India, for example, made provisions for the medical treatment of humans and animals by cultivating and importing medical herbs. He even decreed that wells be dug and trees planted along the roads for the benefit of human and animal travelers.2
Please identify the available resources that could be useful for you and your community in the event of a natural disaster.
Do you keep some provisions in your home in case of an emergency?
Are you aware of the location of emergency shelters, clean sources of water and food supplies, the police and fire stations, and communication centers in your community?
1 “The Precautionary Principle” (Paris: UNESCO, 2005), p. 26.
2 “Philosophy Manual: A South-South Perspective” (Paris: UNESCO, 2015), p. 165.
© UNESCO, Philosophy Manual: South-south Perspective (Paris, 2014), p. 165.