Resilience

In an increasingly complex world, resilience is one of the buzzwords that sounds like a simple solution for everything. We wish to live in a resilient society and hope that our economies are resilient. While many share a desire for resilience, agreement fades away when it comes to the question what resilience exactly means. In research, there is ecological resilience, psychological resilience, community resilience, and the list goes on. While definitions differ greatly, there is one common denominator: all resilience concepts refer to the ability of a system to bounce back from a disturbance – or to smoothly adapt to change. Yet, when Mediterranean forest landscapes light up in flames, tiny bark beetles eat entire mountain forests and winter storms makes pine trees fly away alongside with the hats – do we then still have resilient forests?

In EFI’s Resilience Programme, we investigate all questions relating to the resilience of forests and livelihoods connected to them. We conduct research, policy support and networking on four strategic themes: global change adaptation, biodiversity and integrated forest management, resilience at the urban-rural interface, and resilience stewardship.

Description of the programmes priorities in reference to the EFI strategy, our working definition of resilience and our strategic themes here.