Thursday, 10 March 2016

Climate Week in Sidmouth: Dr Ewan Woodley and how communities will have to manage flooding and the effects of extreme weather

At the weekend, Dr Ewan Woodley and colleagues at the University of Exeter looked at climate change and extreme weather:

Futures Forum: Climate change: 'Extreme Weather and You' >>> public event on extreme weather and climate science @ Exeter University >>> Saturday 5th March

This week he brought these issues to Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: Climate Week in Sidmouth: "Extreme Weather: how we manage risks" >>> Cafe Scientifique with Dr Ewan Woodley from the University of Exeter >>> Tuesday 8th March

Dr Woodley considered the latest information - and referred to his joint project in Crediton where he and colleague Prof Stewart Bar have been working with Sustainable Crediton on flood prevention:

Research news - Researchers call for Crediton residents to pool flood info - Geography - University of Exeter
Sustainable Crediton - Crediton Flood Resilience Group

His talk this year followed up on his presentation last year during Climate Week, where he had referred to his joint project working with the community of Dulverton:

Research news - Learning to listen: a community approach to understanding localised flood events - Geography - University of Exeter

Dr Woodley's presentation this year during Climate Week also looked at the context of how the way in which we manage risks associated with hazards such as flooding may need to evolve in the face of changes to local government funding and the developing risks of a changing climate.

As Sustainable Crediton has stated:

Reviewing the evidence on climate change, we concluded that it would be wise to plan for the possibility of increasing flooding issues associated with severe weather. 

We also concluded that as public sector spending continues to be restricted, local communities need to become more proactive and self-reliant in managing these issues.

Sustainable Crediton - Crediton Flood Resilience Group

This is clear from central government policy pronouncements, whether from the Department of Transport
Transport Resilience Review: A review of the resilience of the transport network to extreme weather events
or from the Committee on Climate Change:
Managing climate risks to well-being and the economy

There is a lot of work going on as to how communities can learn to manage these risks:
Community Resilience to Extreme Weather – the CREW Project Final Report
Climate and Economic Resilience - SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES LEADERSHIP ACADEMY - March 23-25, 2015

And the research carried out by Dr Woodley and the University of Exeter certainly points to how communities can manage risk and build resilience:
Futures Forum: Making communities resilient to flooding: >>> "Learning to listen: a community approach to understanding localised flood events"
Futures Forum: Climate Week in Sidmouth: “Someone must do something": Dr Ewan Woodley of Exeter University >>> 'Climate change, natural hazards and public understandings of risk and resilience.' >>> the presentation

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