By Pooran Desai
In this short series of blogs, we will explore how ‘connecting the dots’ is core to building health and resilience at all levels.
Climate change, adaptation and resilience
Climate change is accelerating. It is urgent for resilience to lie at the heart of our strategies. This will help us survive and thrive in the coming months and years. Increasing ‘interconnectedness’ is vital to building resilience. With record-breaking global temperature records in early July, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, was forced for the first time to describe the climate crisis as ‘out of control.’ The significance of this statement cannot be underestimated. We are now extremely unlikely to avoid catastrophic impacts.
Extreme weather events will affect every aspect of our lives in shocking and unpredictable ways. From floods and droughts to global food shortages. It is now likely to happen sooner than we might like to think, bringing out the best and worst in humanity. We will need to adapt rapidly, but positively. We must do this whilst regenerating the living systems such as soils and ocean ecosystems on which we depend.
Healthy people, healthy communities and healthy planet
We will need to build resilience and health at all levels: as individuals (mentally, emotionally, socially and physically), as communities, and as a living interconnected planet.
Health and resilience are built on interconnectedness. For example, our physical health arises from the interconnections between our food and how it is produced. Also with our lifestyles and how active we are, how easy it is for us to walk and cycle. Including how clean our environments are, if they’re polluted with particulates from internal combustion engines or micro-plastics from car tyres.
Mental health is linked to physical health and vice versa. Therefore, our personal resilience is dependent on interconnections between people and their communities. Communities have increased resilience when they are more interconnected through local economic activity. The planet is more resilient when we have healthy interconnected ecosystems and when human systems are interconnected with the rest of nature.
In summary, our individual resilience is inextricably linked to the health of the planet.
In future blogs we will explore in more detail how interconnectedness can support resilience in various systems on which we depend. These include energy, water and food.