“Linking Livelihood Resilience and Loss & Damage”

2017 Resilience Academy Capstone Conference – 16 to 19 October 2017

In the most vulnerable regions of our planet, the impact of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones threatens lives and livelihoods. The most affected regions include large deltas, small islands and exposed coastal regions as well as arid and semi-arid lands – and areas affected by glacier and permafrost melt. People on the frontlines of climate change face severe risks from extreme weather and slow-onset changes.

The risks include coastal inundation, catastrophic floods, and extended drought conditions. These stresses have the potential to render spaces effectively unproductive and uninhabitable. A central question for practice, policy and research revolves around the resilience of people whose livelihood systems and settlements are threatened. The Resilience Academy provides a platform for connecting communities of expertise (academics, practitioners, policy analysts and journalists).

Five years of South-South-North collaboration 
Between 2013 and 2016, four Resilience Academies have been held. The Academies were organized in pairs of two. One cohort of participants attended the first two Academies; a second cohort attended the third and the fourth Academy. Each set of Academies was held once in the South (Bangladesh) and once in the North (Germany). For the fifth and final Academy – the Capstone Conference - the two cohorts will gather in Washington D.C., close to global policy makers of the US and the United Nations.

In each cohort, the participants collaborated on writing and action projects, which they started in the first year, and that came to fruition in the respective second year. Together with the fifth year event this model gives the participants the opportunity to deepen their individual competence as well as strengthen their professional networks and to link their work.

The theme of the first two Academies, in 2013 and 2014, was ‘Exploring livelihood resilience’. The 2015 and 2016 Academies linked livelihood resilience to the topic of ‘Loss and damage associated with climate change impacts’.

Loss and damage is an emerging topic in climate change negotiations, research, policy and implementation of climate change action, and has grown in importance after the establishment of the "Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts" in December 2013. Loss and damage refers to impacts of climate-related stressors that have not been or cannot be avoided through mitigation and adaptation efforts. Loss and damage can result from sudden-onset events such as weather extremes as well as slow-onset processes such as sea-level rise – and includes economic as well as non-economic losses and damages.

The Academy aims at a balance of participants from different parts of the world and with different thematic backgrounds. The Resilience Academies bring together a group of professionals, including academic scholars, and practitioners. Different perspectives are important to create innovative solutions and to foster a common understanding.


Dates and venue:
The Wilson Center in Washington: 16 to 19 October 2017 



Disaster Prevention

> Overview



> Christian Barthelt

> Thomas Loster


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