Vulnerability and resilience of remote rural communities to shocks and global changes: empirical analysis from Solomon Islands

Successful management of socio-ecological systems not only requires the development and field-testing of robust and measurable indices of vulnerability and resilience but also improved understanding of the contextual factors that influence societal capacity to adapt to change. We present the results of an analysis conducted in three coastal communities in Solomon Islands. An integrated assessment map was used to systematically scan the communities’ multiple dimensions of vulnerability and to identify factors affecting households’ perception about their capacity to cope with shocks (resilience). A multivariate probit approach was used to explore relationships amongst factors. Social processes such as community cohesion, good leadership, and individual support to collective action were critical factors influencing the perception that people had about their community's ability to build resilience and cope with change. The analysis also suggests a growing concern for a combination of local (internal) and more global (external) contingencies and shocks, such as the erosion of social values and fear of climate change.


Schwarz, A.M., Béné, C., Bennett, G., Boso, D., Hilly, Z., Paul, C., Posala, R., Sibiti, S., Andrew, N. (2011)
Global Environmental Change 21(3): 1128-1140