On 15 February in Vancouver, Canada, GEM sponsor Natural Resources Canada held the project inception meeting for “DR Pathways: Incentives for mitigation & adaptation investments”. The three-year project, funded by the Canadian Safety and Security Program, aims to re-frame the risk assessment process around risk reduction strategies (planning scenarios) that will lead to proactive investment in mitigation and adaptation.
Specific project objectives are to:
Increase capabilities to model systemic risk and disaster recovery;
Enable an evidence-based approach to disaster resilience planning; and
Strengthen risk governance through knowledge exchange and community engagement.
Present at the meeting were project participants from Natural Resources Canada (notably Phil Hill, GEM GB representative and Project Champion, and Murray Journeay, GEM Outstanding Award recipient), City of Vancouver, Emergency Management British Columbia, Fraser Basin Council, University of Victoria, and other local, regional and national organizations involved in risk assessment and resilience planning.
The main purpose of the meeting was to introduce all of the project partners, establish the project governance structure, and to clarify the scope and timeline. Key outcomes of the meeting were:
agreement on the guiding principles, adapted from GEM’s platform: open, collaborative, public good and credible;
establishment of the Steering Committee (with Chair, Kathryn Forge, Emergency Management British Columbia); and
results of brainstorming amongst participants regarding the selection of flood and earthquake impact scenarios for 1) post disaster response and recovery and 2) risk reduction and resilience planning.
According to Murray Journeay, who led the development of the proposal, “This project will benefit from GEM’s global leadership in developing the methodology and tools for integrated risk assessment and using this approach to develop a more holistic and empowering view of systemic risk.”
The meeting was an excellent forum for exchanging ideas among scientists/engineers, emergency managers and policy makers, on how to develop and integrate risk information to inform the emergency management and planning process through a systemic and holistic approach. GEM looks forward to working with all of the local, regional, provincial and national organizations to make this project an outstanding success.