2nd Station – Who needs who?
You need to be online (with audio) to watch some short films and carry out some research. You will also need to have a pen and paper to hand and the Natural Disaster Worksheet to capture your thoughts.
Does the Earth need Humans or do Humans need the Earth? Before we start to consider impact of Human behaviour on the environment, first we need to consider “the WHY”. Why do we want to preserve and protect our natural world, why do we want to maintain biodiversity, strive for cleaner air, reduce waste and protect the oceans? Will the earth still exist in a 100 million years anyway with or without us?
Watch this short film by Conservation International (CI) Julia Roberts gives nature a voice:
Nature is Speaking
Is our desire to clean up our environment driven by wanting to put things right for the sake of our planet (for nature itself) or is it about creating a more sustainable future for our own sake? If we continue to damage our environment are we ultimately only really damaging ourselves? If our aim is to maintain our civilisation and way of life, what is the trade-off between human growth and development and the creation of a sustainable future?
How did you find the Nature is Speaking clip? Powerful? Scary? Threatening? Intimidating? There is perhaps no greater reminder of the power of nature than in instances of Natural Disaster: Those major natural events that have catastrophic consequences for those that are caught in their path, often resulting in serious destruction, displacement of people, injury and deaths.
Watch and Learn:
Choose one or more of the following three film clips to get an overview of some of the fundamentals of natural disaster. As you go consider the following questions (and make notes).
- Are all natural events disastrous for humans?
- Are any of them inherently disastrous or do they all start out as natural hazards that become disasters when human life is affected?
- Are natural disasters impacted by our behaviours? In what ways (positive and negative)
- Can humans change the outcome of a natural disaster? How?
10 things you should know about disaster risk reduction – Humanitarian Practice Network
Disasters happen every year. We can’t always stop them from happening, but we can limit the scale of devastation. Here are 10 things you should know about disaster risk reduction.
Rohini Swaminathan: There is nothing natural about disaster
Rohini Swaminathan witnessed the devastation of the 2004 tsunami as a child. Today she works as a geomatician to bring faster, more efficient, more informed action and disaster risk reduction.
The Sendai Framework
Working hand in hand with the 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is a roadmap for how we make our communities safer and more resilient to disasters. Find out more in this short film.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
Worldwide we are becoming more aware of the importance of disaster risk reduction. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is a call to action in the form of a 15 year plan which was adopted by UN member states between 14th and 18th of March 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in June 2015.
The Sendai Framework outlines seven clear targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks. The four priorities are:
Priority 1. Understanding disaster risk Disaster risk management should be based on an understanding of disaster risk in all its dimensions of vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics and the environment. Such knowledge can be used for risk assessment, prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response.
Priority 2. Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk Disaster risk governance at the national, regional and global levels is very important for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation. It fosters collaboration and partnership.
Priority 3. Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience Public and private investment in disaster risk prevention and reduction through structural and non-structural measures are essential to enhance the economic, social, health and cultural resilience of persons, communities, countries and their assets, as well as the environment.
Priority 4. Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction The growth of disaster risk means there is a need to strengthen disaster preparedness for response, take action in anticipation of events, and ensure capacities are in place for effective response and recovery at all levels. The recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase is a critical opportunity to build back better, including through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures.
Watch and Learn Task:
Inspired by the four priorities of the Sendai Framework you are now going to explore one type of natural hazard, the circumstances in which it becomes a disaster, and what can be done to both reduce the risk of disaster in future and respond to this type of disaster when it occurs.
Take out your Natural Disaster Worksheet or use it as a reference point to draw your own version. Choose one of the natural hazards listed below and watch the three films before carrying out your own online research to fill in any gaps in your understanding. You might want to choose a natural hazard that exists in your local or national environment.
Consider whether the cause of the hazard is always natural (e.g. can floods be caused by human actions; what about wildfire?). Think about what factors are involved in that hazard becoming a disaster (e.g. where we choose to build our houses; whether we take the hazard into account in choosing how to build; activities such as mining, agriculture, deforestation). Consider the impact of economic and societal factors on the ability of different communities around the world to respond effectively to minimise the disastrous potential of hazards.
Choose one of:
- Hurricane / typhoon / cyclone
- Landslides and avalanches
Consolidate your learning:
Review the notes you have made under each of the headings and consider: What positive and negative outcomes for future sustainability and innovation arise from our emergency response and long-term crisis mitigation in the wake of natural disaster?
- Does our disaster response cause other unintended environmental problems or solutions?
- Does it need a disaster, emergency or crisis to occur for the world to pay attention and take action?
Based on the research you have conducted create a public information flyer/ handout about the disaster you have explored, how to mitigate against it and what to do in the event that it occurs.