In this blog post, Eddie Shaw the DARWIN Dissemination Manager from Carr Communications, shares his thoughts on the relevance and applicability of the project results in the near future.
The objective of DARWIN is to help improve responses to expected and unexpected crises affecting critical societal structures during natural disasters (e.g. flooding, earthquakes) and man-made disasters (e.g. cyber-attacks). To achieve this, the project has created the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines and the related Capability Cards – aimed at critical infrastructure managers, crisis and emergency response managers, service providers, first responders and policy makers.
Climate change is ever increasing the risk of major environmental crises, and this provides the most compelling argument for a change in behaviour. This change must start at a local level, in local communities, with people who understand crisis situations and will lead by example. It has begun to happen but it still requires a large local and national nudge.
The Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has run a Climate Change lecture series since late 2007, bringing a range of Irish and international speakers to Dublin to discuss the science of Climate Change and take part in the National Dialogue on Climate Action.
This year in the EPA’s Climate Change lecture series, Prof. Hugh Montgomery presented the lecture ‘Health and Climate Change: A Febrile Planet?’ detailing some of the huge risks we now face from a public health perspective, and the need for resilience-based policy at a local, personal and community level to build a safer tomorrow.
Professor Montgomery is an expert in healthcare from theUCL Institute for Human Health and Performance at University College London, and is the Co-author of the UCL-Lancet Commission on Climate Change and Health. His lecture is a sobering assessment that emphasises the urgency of the situation and the need for resilience led public policy and projects to mitigate this global crisis.
With the potential for an increase in droughts, flooding, extreme storms, air pollution and other crisis situations, resilience-focused projects like DARWIN are key to managing the fallout from this abuse of the environment. DARWIN will help first responders quickly and effectively tackle the damage from crisis situations, both man-made and natural. Given the tendency of humans to ignore the warnings of climate change, it is vital that we prepare systems and policies aimed at containing the damage of these catastrophes.
The focus for DARWIN now is on extending the continuity of the successful ‘adopt and adapt’ strategy (the guidelines and Capability Cards) through the DARWIN Community of Resilience Practitioners and the network of stakeholders built by the partners. This community is also evolving beyond the project. A policy document derived from the work of the five projects in DRS-7 has been published and is available on the website.