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CSIRO Report of Climate and Disaster Resilience

The summer of 2019-20 was defined by a series of consecutive and at times coincident natural events involving a confluence of bushfires, floods, drought and heat extremes. Their cascading effects have impacted Australian communities and industries. Apart from loss of life, the cost to the community and government of these events is significant. For example, insurance losses for this year’s bushfires already exceed A$2.3 billion, and for the 2019 North Queensland floods social and economic costs exceed A$5.6 billion.Climate change influences the frequency and severity of these events and will be a factor into the foreseeable future, given the long timeframes associated with current climate trajectories. It is important to better understand and predict the interplay of these natural events and the challenges, risks and impacts they present over different timescales with an increasing population and changing human footprint. This is a complex undertaking. Much has already been done and achieved by all levels of government, response agencies and the community to increase Australia’s resilience. However, there is both a need and an opportunity to take this to the next level as we face increasing climate variability and hazard exposure, and drive a truly national response to further build the resilience of our infrastructure, our land use practices, our communities, our industries and our environment. In response to the recent bushfires, CSIRO was tasked in January 2020 by the Prime Minister to deliver an independent study recommending ways in which Australia can increase its climate and disaster resilience, supported by an Expert Advisory Panel chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel. This work has been guided by the following principles: -Evidence-based analysis informed by literature, lived experience and expert inputs -A focus on where research, science and technology can contribute to building resilience -Acknowledgement of past improvements and the importance of complementarity, with a number of related reviews, reports and inquiries currently underway including the Royal Commission into National Natural -Disaster Arrangements -CSIRO’s role in providing relevant insights to inform policy makers but not policy advice.
Language: English
Pubished By: CSIRO Australia
Pubished date: June 2020

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