A report into Australia’s response to climate change and natural disasters was released by the CSIRO this month.
Climate and Disaster Resilience, was commissioned by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the aftermath of the Black Summer bushfires and follows other recent extreme weather events such as drought and the North Queensland floods of early 2019.
The CSIRO’s independent study sought input from a broad range of stakeholders from industry, community and government to develop recommendations on building Australia's climate and disaster resilience.
As part of that consultation, the National Drought and Flood Agency shared its experience of delivering support and recovery measures made available in response to the 2019 North Queensland flood, as well as lessons from the Agency’s recent drought work.
The report also highlights the local and community level engagement performed by the Agency, and its holistic approach in delivering government assistance to primary producers, small businesses, families and communities.
Included is a detailed series of findings and recommendations that form the basis for a plan of action. The themes are, broadly:
- A harmonised and collaborative national approach to disaster preparedness and recovery
- Systems and solutions to deal with complexity – including management of risk and stakeholder education
- Availability of quality data
- Essential role of communities
- Investment in targeted research, science and technology
- Resilience to be considered in all future planning, agricultural and urban land use, zoning and investment decisions.
With the CSIRO predicting an increase in extreme weather events in the future, a key message is for government to make climate and disaster resilience a national priority, and embedding responsibility in all agencies and portfolios.
Community involvement also features heavily in the report, particularly in the area of localised information gathering. Citizen scientists can be involved in important data collection and knowledge building, and can collaborate with disaster response agencies and research agencies to develop additional science-based community education and training programs.
You can access the full report here