By Georgina Wade
The European research project PLACARD (PLAtform for Climate Adaptation and Risk reDuction) has released a follow up report to their 2018 foresight report, expanding on the importance of collaboration between Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) communities.
Through the establishment of a coordination and knowledge exchange platform, PLACARD aims to support multi-stakeholder dialogue and consultation between CCA and DRR research, policy and practice communities, and across scales. Specifically, the latest PLACARD report aims to promote cooperation through the use of foresight methods for policy and decision-makers.
Foresight methods help decision-makers explore and anticipate future developments through a range of forward-looking approaches that promote participants to think about, debate and shape the future in a participatory, inclusive, and action-oriented manner. In particular, these methods are useful for CCA and DRR collaboration due to their systematic, participatory, future-intelligence-gathering and medium-to-long-term vision-building process aimed at enabling present-day decisions and mobilising joint actions.
With this report, PLACARD investigates the different methodologies, determining how they may be affectively applied to better integrate CCA and DRR in research, policy and practice. An analysis of 20 of the most commonly applied foresight methods are reviewed with regards to their definition, strengths and weaknesses, form of application, and current application in CCA and DRR science and/or policy activities. In addition, the report aims to promote the application of foresight methods to CCA and DRR science and practice, and to contribute to the setting of a joint research agenda on foresight.
The research project has confirmed that the use of foresight methods can go beyond the current support to CCA and DRR research, policy and practice, and promote better connections and integration across the two communities.
In fact, effective foresight may:
Enhance the effectiveness of participatory processes, cooperation and dialogue;
Produce salient knowledge and capacity building that is relevant for future decision-making and policy support;
Facilitate the understanding of issues and concepts such as complexity, uncertainty, non-
linearity, wildcards and surprises;
Generate levers that build flexibility into policy measures and across policy areas;
Address different time scales simultaneously (e.g., connect long-term CCA/prevention with short-term DRR/preparedness);
Be used in the context of trust building and the development of shared values;
Allow for the use of a holistic perspective in connecting different policy areas.
PLACARD’s report concludes with a confirmed hypothesis – foresight methods and their practical application can be a useful tool to support decision-making in CCA and DRR, but that its implementation in Europe can be extended and further improved.
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