Join us
Orange welcome sign that reads Royal Geographical Society with IBG.

Become a member and discover where geography can take you.

Join us

Since 2015, research by Bath Spa University’s Hazard, Risk and Disaster Group (HRD) has increased resilience to climate change and disaster risk challenges, focusing on Kiribati (Micronesia) and the Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh (Indian Himalayan Region).



Climate change, sustainable development, and disaster risk are interrelated global challenges which are particularly acute and less well understood in sensitive/remote high-mountain and low elevation island settings. Here, the most vulnerable communities are often doubly disadvantaged, possessing the least agency in decision-making processes.



Research by Bath Spa geographers has centred on the Kullu District, an area experiencing a high frequency of hazard events and increasing disaster risk. The research has revolved around three main areas: field-based reconstruction of flash floods, examination of post-disaster community vulnerability and resilience using heritage and capital concepts, and the pilot production of films with public engagement activities.

In Kiribati, the research has explored climate change and heritage through documentary films. The project involved collaboration with a local artist and heritage expert to celebrate indigenous knowledge in a film, and also collaborated with a local environmental organization (KiriCAN) to address local environmental priorities.



In India, in partnership with GBPNIHE and Kraft Films, participatory bilingual documentary films have been produced, providing a platform for the voices of indigenous villagers and Tibetan refugees to articulate community knowledge of past disaster impacts and adaptation. The leading Himachal Pradesh State and Kullu District disaster management authorities report that the research has benefited them, providing access to new community knowledge and influencing their disaster risk reduction management.

In Kiribati, the research identified waste as the most urgent issue. Endemic communicable diseases are connected to poor waste management and contribute to Kiribati's high infant mortality rate. This finding led to a programme to buy two trucks that could collect rubbish and to train volunteers to use them.


More information 

Institution: Bath Spa University 

Researchers: Dr Richard Johnson, Dr Esther Edwards, Sara Penrhyn Jones

Share this resource

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY NC 4.0), which permits use, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is cited and it is for non-commercial purposes. Please contact us for other uses.

How to cite

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2023) Increasing resilience in remote societies facing interconnected sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk challenges. Available at  Last accessed on: <date>