Understanding how community wellbeing is affected by climate change: Evidence from a systematic literature review
Centre for People, Place and Planet / School of Science
Social science studies view community wellbeing to be a cumulative construct of multiple dimensions which include social, economic, environmental, physical, political, health, education indicators and more. The study of community wellbeing is compounded by climate change as it increases the frequency of disasters affecting all dimensions of community wellbeing. It becomes crucial for communities to build community resilience and address the impact on community wellbeing in the context of Disaster Risk Reduction and sustainable development. This systematic literature aimed to understand how community wellbeing is affected by climate change. It analysed 23 papers from Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest, and Google Scholar, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method, to address three research questions: (i) how do climate change scholars understand community wellbeing, (ii) how community wellbeing is affected by specific climate change factors/conditions and the nature of impact, and (iii) how the impact on community wellbeing as a result of climate change is being addressed. The study found that climate change scholars hold mixed and multiple views or understanding of community wellbeing and climate change led to mental stress decreasing community wellbeing. The solutions to improve community wellbeing in the context of climate change suggests that adaptation should be the main policy instrument supplemented by mitigation strategies and recommends building a vibrant research culture in wellbeing and climate studies, among others. This review provides insights into the complex relationship between community wellbeing and climate change and identifies areas for future research and policy development.