Resilient Futures

Fulfilling societal functions in the face of accumulating and disruptive environmental change at various scales, whilst ensuring our natural environments are protected, restored and sustained.

Environmental degradation, including depletion of natural resources and associated loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, present profound threats to the sustainability, health, and prosperity of societies and economies around the globe. Vulnerability to environmental change is simultaneously being magnified by climate change, socio-economic volatility, and geopolitical instability, which together are increasing the frequency, magnitude, and exposure to natural hazards of populations.

The Resilient Futures challenge area seeks to bring together knowledge and expertise from across The University of Manchester and beyond to support societies to respond and adapt sustainably and efficiently to risks posed by environmental degradation in a changing world. A core focus of the challenge area is on supporting interdisciplinary knowledge generation and sharing about the underlying drivers of environmental change, and how these drivers in turn interact with wider socio-ecological changes to shape patterns societal vulnerability and risk.

Together with external partners, we leverage this knowledge to assess and devise solutions for building, sustaining, and scaling resilience to environmental degradation and change at local, national and international scales. Core areas of activity include immediate disaster and crisis response, along with proactive planning through vulnerability assessment, risk management, risk transfer, and social protection mechanisms to help minimise impacts of environmental change and hazards on individuals, societies, economies and natural ecosystems.

Case Studies


Resilient Futures Challenge Lead

Dr Tim Foster, Senior Lecturer in Water-Food Security, Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Dr Tim Foster joined The University of Manchester and he is a Senior Lecturer Water and Food Security. He leads the Agriculture, Water and Climate Research Group within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering. He is affiliated with the Global Development Institute, and leads the Water theme for the Manchester Environmental Research Institute (MERI). Tim’s research focuses on understanding connections between agricultural production, water resources and climate change to identify technologies and policies that address global challenges of food security and sustainable water management.