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Reforms that Integrate Climate Change Adaptation with Disaster Risk Management Based on the Australian Experience of Bushfires and Floods

  • Michael HowesEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)

Abstract

Responding to disasters such as floods and bushfires demands immediate action, while adapting to the impacts of climate change requires a consistent long-term policy commitment. Systems of government need to be able to do both at the same time, despite all the other demands on scarce public resources. This chapter summarises the findings of a project that searched for opportunities to improve the situation by integrating disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. The research was based on comparative case studies of recent extreme bushfires and floods in Australia. The paper offers some practical recommendations for reform that consist of changes to agencies and funding to empower local communities as well as improve collaboration within and between sectors of society. This entails: focussing on a common policy goal of building resilience; empowering communities with local resilience building grants; promoting institutional learning by embedding climate change experts within disaster risk management organisations; and, facilitating interagency collaboration through improved networking at all levels. Such reforms will help to build resilience to both disasters and climate change.

Keywords

Climate change adaptation Disaster risk management Policy integration Australia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank his colleagues whose support helped to provide the foundation for this paper: Deanna Grant-Smith (Queensland University of Technology), Kim Reis, Peter Tangney, Michael Heazle, and Paul Burton (Griffith University), and Darryn McEvoy and Karyn Bosomworth (RMIT University). The author would also like to thank the financial support provided for his research through various grants over many years by the Australian Government, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, the Queensland Government, the Griffith Climate Change Response Program, and the Urban Research Program at Griffith University.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Griffith School of Environment, Urban Research ProgramGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia

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