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Can We Measure Resilience? Reducing Agriculture’s Vulnerability to Climate Change

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Can We Measure Resilience? Reducing Agriculture’s Vulnerability to Climate Change

Over the last decade, researchers and policy-makers have been making considerable efforts to address and monitor the vulnerability of our society and the natural environment to climate change.

Recently, attention has moved beyond identifying specific adaptations to building resilience to ensure that people, communities, sectors and nature have the capacities to respond to whatever stresses arise. A framework was developed based on input from over 100 experts representing local, provincial and federal government, as well as non-governmental agencies in agriculture, environment, rural development and health to identify potential impacts of concern. Thirty-six indicators were identified within six themes: climate change, population, farmland production activities, market and economy, rural infrastructure and natural environment. Indicators were advanced from the more traditional measures of the environment or society—like number of hot days or average rainfall and number of people employed in agriculture—to create regionally meaningful changes in the timing, extent or features of impacts or outcomes.