From resilience to ruggedization : a roadmap for building collaboration to address increasing natural hazard risk in Pemberton, BC
Woodruff, Veronica Robin
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The field of disaster risk reduction aims to prevent, prepare for, and mitigate the worst effects of anticipated increased ferocity of natural disaster events. A collaborative approach features heavily in policy ranging from international guidance to provincial and federal disaster management plans, down to local bylaws. To understand the importance of collaboration for a rural area in British Columbia that is affected by drastically increasing flood risk from Canada's largest landslide, the broad community was engaged using innovative methods for dialogue. In speaking to businesses, non-profit organizations, first responders, medical and social health professionals, emergency managers, and elected officials, it was resolutely confirmed that collaboration is critical to increasing resilience. This is well-aligned with existing policy and literature in the field of disaster risk reduction. However, while collaboration is extremely valued, there are barriers that prevent effective collaboration including bureaucratic challenges in conflicting mandates, lack of resources, amplified risk aversion, and the sheer complexity of managing natural hazard risk in a changing climate. In some cases, the barriers identified are resulting in greater risk to the community. A series of recommendations for improving collaboration are presented, including a discussion on moving past the rhetoric of resilience into community ruggedization in order to adequately prepare for increasing natural hazard risk amplified by a changing climate.