Robin Cox, professor in the disaster and emergency management programs and the director of the Resilience By Design research innovation lab. (Contributed)

Royal Roads spearheads $2 million climate change resilience initiative

Outreach and consultations are underway for disaster preparedness program

Royal Roads University’s $2 million climate adaptation program is currently in the planning stages and has entered its consultation phase.

Outreach to “professional association partners, key influencers in climate activist space and research institutions” is underway to survey for gaps in dealing with climate change, said Robin Cox, who is managing the program.

The project will be done in collaboration with schools, professional institutions and RRU’s cross-disciplinary Resilience by Design innovation lab.

ALSO READ: Royal Roads program breaking down barriers from behind bars

The program will help create literacy on how climate change works at the regional level, which involves understanding the organizational change that’s needed to integrate and implement guidelines to issues that climate change brings up, Cox said.

The program looks at the “building adaptation expertise and capacity,” including the “economics of adaptation,” Cox added.

“How do you implement and understand risk assessment? Because this is a complex problem.”

ALSO READ: Songhees Nation, Royal Roads plan for future of Colwood site

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium are being consulted, along with businesses and activists, to design and deliver the initiative’s first course this year. It will be based on research and the Challenge Dialogue process, which asks institutions to identify problems and supporting information relating to climate change issues, Cox said.

At the end of three years, the program is slated to come up with course work, activities and documents that outline resilience practices to disasters caused by climate change across disciplines.

ALSO READ: Royal Roads University opens state-of-the-art facility

The initiative is funded by the Natural Resources Canada Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise (BRACE) program, which is funding province-wide research on training needed to reduce climate change harm, such as by preparing for disasters brought on by drought and rising sea levels.

Course development will happen in 2019 and 2020, Cox said. The project is set for completion in 36 months.

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com


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