This chapter focuses on the implications of changing climate extremes for development, and considers how disaster risk management and climate change adaptation together can contribute to a sustainable and resilient future. Changes in the frequency, timing, magnitude, and characteristics of extreme events pose challenges to the goals of reducing disaster risk and vulnerability, both in the present and in the future. Enhancing the capacity of social-ecological systems to cope with, adapt to, and shape change is central to building sustainable and resilient development pathways in the face of climate change. The concept for social-ecological systems recognizes the interdependence of social and ecological factors in the generation and management of risk, as well as in the pursuit of sustainable development. Despite 20 years on the policy agenda, sustainable development remains contested and elusive (Hopwood et al., 2005). However, within the context of climate change, it is becoming increasingly clear that the sustainability of humans on the Earth is closely linked to resilient social-ecological systems, which is influenced by social institutions, human agency, and human capabilities (Pelling, 2003; Bohle et al., 2009; Adger et al., 2011).
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