COP28 Event Highlights Collaborative Strategies for Socio-Ecological Resilience


Photo by Nicholas Turner / UNU-IAS.

On 8 December 2023, at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP28), UNU-IAS held an event focused on collaboration to build and strengthen socio-ecological resilience. The event took place at the Resilience Hub and included an interactive session in which participants shared experiences and brainstormed solutions. 

The core of the discussion centered on socio-ecological resilience—defined as the capacity to adapt or transform in response to unforeseen changes in socio-ecological systems while maintaining human well-being. Experts from diverse sectors—engineering, business, academia, and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities—led the exploration of collaborative approaches. They emphasized the interconnected challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, suggesting cross-sectoral solutions that prioritize both nature and people. They stressed the importance of integrating these considerations into business practices and infrastructure development.

The event also highlighted the importance of preserving traditional and indigenous knowledge. Knowledge from IPLCs encompasses practices such as sustainable land and water management, and biodiversity conservation, which are significant in mitigating the impact of natural disasters and climate change. On the first day of COP28, delegates agreed to formally establish a loss and damage fund to support especially vulnerable countries dealing with the effects of climate change. Noting the role of the loss and damage fund in fortifying resilience, participants stressed that if applied through a human-rights approach, the fund could be a catalyst for building sustainable resilience through strategic investments in infrastructure, energy, and transport.

The event was organized by UNU-IAS, UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNUMERIT), and the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI). It was moderated by Suneetha Subramanian (Research Fellow, UNU-IAS and IPSI Secretariat), Nidhi Nagabhatla (Senior Research Fellow, UNU-CRIS), Sanae Okamoto (Researcher, UNU-MERIT) and Savina Carluccio (Executive Director, ICSI).