AGU position statement on resilience open for member comment

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Starting today, AGU members have until 31 October to comment on revisions to a position statement outlining the role of scientists, policymakers and communities in building resilience to disruptions. AGU encourages all members to read and comment on the position statement because the expert writing panel relies on this feedback.

Resilience is the ability of systems — including people — to anticipate, respond, recover and adapt to disruptions, which can include acute events, such as floods, hurricanes, wildfires or earthquakes, and long-term events, such as pandemics, social unrest, food shortages and climate change.

These disruptions can overstress crucial systems, like the water supply, food distribution, waste collection, supply chains, communications and emergency services, resulting in cascading, unanticipated consequences. Resilience to these disruptions will continue to be challenged as climate change, urbanization, population growth, climate migration and deforestation exacerbate their impacts.

The revised position statement declares, “Building resilience requires partnerships between scientists, policymakers and communities.” It recognizes that the path toward improved resilience and reduced risks from all types of disruptions requires a diverse workforce to ensure the greatest breadth of input and perspectives are reflected in solutions.

Specifically, the statement proposes that:

  • Improving resilience requires solutions that are centered on the needs of disproportionately impacted communities.
  • Solutions for building resilience must recognize the need to adapt to the effects of climate change that are already impacting systems and communities.
  • Funding models for resilience initiatives should include incentives for both researchers and communities.
  • Interdisciplinary science must be incorporated into research and training to build resilience of interconnected social, technological and environmental systems.
  • Participatory research should be utilized to ensure that outcomes are implemented by local and regional decision makers.

Position statements—created, revised and approved by members—are what enable AGU to take adaptive stances on significant policy issues, ranging from climate change to education to national security. Each position statement acknowledges the challenges involved and makes specific recommendations towards achieving the articulated vision. These statements are not only cited by AGU, but referenced by journalists, policymakers and other science organizations.

As part of a recurring four-year process, AGU’s Position Statement Committee reviews existing statements to decide which should be reaffirmed, retired or revised. Earlier this year, the committee appointed a diverse task force of experts to update the statement, “Resilience to natural hazards requires a partnership between scientists, policymakers and stakeholders.” The task force relies on member comments to finalize the draft statement, which will be ultimately approved by AGU’s Council and Board.

Ensure your voice is heard by reviewing the updated position statement and sharing your comments by 31 October.

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