International Water Security Network researchers Bimo Nkhata, Charles Breen and Machaya Chomba have contributed to a new book on climate resilience. Climate Resilient Water Resources Management, edited by Robert Brears, is part of the Palgrave Studies in Climate Resilient Societies series that provides readers with an understanding of what the terms ‘resilience’ and ‘climate resilient societies’ mean. The series offers the best practices and lessons learnt from various governments, in both non-OECD and OECD countries, implementing climate resilience policies. It provides an understanding of what a resilient society potentially looks like; knowledge of when resilience building requires slow transitions or rapid transformations; and knowledge on how governments can create coherent, forward-looking and flexible policy innovations to build climate resilient societies.
The book chapter contribution was led by Bimo and focuses on efforts to build climate resilient floodplains in Southern Africa. The authors argue that a transformative water security approach that is generative of change is needed to deal with the many adaptation challenges experienced by floodplain systems. They call for transformative water security that emphasises continuous experimentation and learning in an ongoing process of defining and balancing thresholds. This is particularly important given that most Southern African societies undeniably need to develop capacities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The authors contend that societal efforts need to be directed towards building transformative capacities. This, however, will require a shift towards a functional balance between adaptation and transformation.
Overall, the book aims at improving public understanding of societal measures that support the conservation of ecosystems and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. It encourages sustainable management systems and practices required to develop resilient and inclusive communities as well as to ensure economic growth and the protection of life and property from climatic extremes.