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Community resilience and wellbeing in face of disasters: theory and practice dimensions from Brazilian cases
* 1 , 1 , 2
1  National School of Statistical Science (ENCE) - Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE)
2  Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


Brazil has experienced several environmental related disasters throughout the present decade. Although this reality affects its different regions, the State of Rio de Janeiro, an intensively urbanized and unequal territory, experienced two of the biggest disasters in the country's recent history, with the landslides in the ‘Morro do Bumba’ (Niteroi city -RJ) and in the mountain range close to Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area. Those events were representatives of how resilience and vulnerability plays a central role to explain disasters dynamics. However, disaster driven research and policies in Brazil still focus on the physical event that generates the impact. The study of the sociodemographic dimensions of disasters is still rare in Brazil, although there was a significantly development during the recent period. In this sense, this paper seek an understanding of disasters and resilience considering this discussion. We understand the disaster as a phenomenon that occurs in the interaction between hazards and social and environmental vulnerability, generating impacts. To a better comprehension of disaster and resilience, two analytical scales are used. First, we present an indicator of disaster resilience for the 92 municipalities of the State of Rio de Janeiro, containing a set of results and maps of environmental, social, institutional and political dynamics that could potentially word as the background for disaster resilience. Secondly, three case studies were carried out. Considering the complexity of resilience and disasters, we analyze the social and processes related to resilience of Morro do Bumba landslides, the torrential rains in the mountain range close to Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and landslides risks on Rio de January city. Analyzing these results, its considered that the connections among wellbeing and resilience needs to be addressed in a contextual manner and with a community based perspective, as some understandings of development and policies enhances vulnerability.

Keywords: Resilience, Disasters, Rio de Janeiro.