Effective Education for Disaster Risk Reduction - Learning Matters.
This morning I noted the following article on The Guardian website:
"Government failing to protect communities at risk of flooding", MPs say http://gu.com/p/4kjb3
Below is my response with a link to the paper that outlines my research in more detail:
The need for a more ideal response from government, rather than the idea of response is what may be required. I recently pointed this out in a journal article in which I argue that governments need to critically reflect on the root causes of flooding by engaging with communities who are not only at risk because of the hydro-meteorological events but also because of their own actions and behaviours that have led to increased soil compaction and run-off due to changing farming practices, for instance.
In particular, following the 2007 floods that impacted on 500,000 homes there was a long and considered period of reflection that included interviewing those affected as well as professionals who respond to floods and those that are charged with minimising their impacts. The Pitt Review of Floods was produced of which the majority of its recommendations were carried out by successive governments. This contrasted wildly with the 2014 flooding in the Somerset Levels which was largely politicised and led by vocal opposition to the perceived failures of the Environment Agency over dredging (the perceived root cause) while farmers and landowners were left unchallenged and therefore unchanged in their actions (an actual root cause).
I also argue that it is important that climate change is reframed as not just something that affects others or is part of the 'other' but is and will affect all of us, which means our actions and behaviours need to be critically reflected upon. I argue that Transformational Learning, in which the habits of mind or meaning perspectives are challenged and reframed in order to deal with the challenges posed by climate change, which will include increased intensity and frequency of flooding is what is required. The journal article will appear in the August issue of the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction but can be accessed online through ResearchGate: http://bit.ly/1U5vRbB
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