Following is the text of a media release issued by Australia 21 on Saturday 12 March.
Billions of dollars at risk by not having a resilience framework
The recent Queensland floods and the terrible Japanese earthquake illustrate how major environmental disturbances can throw lives, infrastructure, and governments into chaos. How they recover is a sign of their resilience.
‘One thing we know’, says Prof Richard Hames, the newly appointed President of Australia21, ‘is that the future will surprise us. We don’t know how, or where or when.’
Pressure is mounting from the impacts of environmental and community upheaval from environmental turbulence. ‘We don’t have to wait doing nothing until the next disaster strikes that would be foolish’.
‘A resilience framework will allow for a more considered approach to dealing with these issues,’ Prof Hames stressed.
There is an urgent need at federal, state, and local levels for a resilience policy framework to target investment for both human capital and infrastructure so as to optimise the recovery of communities and local economies.
There is a serious danger of undermining resilience by going back to the way we were and not proactively addressing resilience issues.
Prof Hames said we must ask the question how the Senate can pass the flood levy without a resilience framework.
Consideration of resilience and complex systems dynamics will increase our opportunities of finding durable solutions to natural disasters.
Building a more resilient nation will require developing resilience tools, such as strength and speed of feedback mechanisms, diversity of ideas and resources, and a strong capacity for self-organising.
Australia21 is hosting a national conference examining energy and economic futures through a resilience and innovation lens. The conference discussion will help shape the way we as a nation prepare for a climate change future.
The conference will be held at Australian National University – conference details at: - http://www.australia21.org.au/conference_April_2011.html
For more information contact:
Prof Richard Hames - President, Australia21 - m) 0419 851 523
Dr Lynne Reeder – Executive Director, Australia21 - m) 0431 608 958 w) 02 6288 0823