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Defence Forces Preparing for Climate Change

It is increasingly recognised by defence forces around the world that climate change poses an increasing threat to peace and security in the world.

26 November 2019

Water Management

As well as becoming a contributing factor to future global conflicts, climate change is also shaping how defence agencies manage their estates and assets, spending priorities and operations.

Responses to climate change being developed by defence forces and agencies include the assessment of vulnerability such as the U.S. Department of Defence (DOD) Climate Related Risk, to DOD Infrastructure Initial Vulnerability Assessment Survey [SLVAS], as well as the development of sector-based strategies such as the UK Ministry of Defence Climate Change Strategy and Delivery Plan in 2012 and the 2018 New Zealand Ministry of Defence document, The Climate Crisis: Defence Readiness and Responsibilities.

However, practical implementation of these strategies is challenging; as highlighted in the recently released June 2019 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on how the DOD is building resilience of its assets to future climate change.

Moving forward, one of the major challenges for managing defence estates is to ensure that they recognise and manage the risk posed by climate change, but then also move to build resilience and adapt infrastructure, strategic and operational planning and their delivery accordingly.


About author:

Greg Fisk -  Campaign Lead, Climate Risk Management and Business Director (Environment), BMT, Brisbane, Australia

Greg is a Senior Principal Scientist at BMT with over 20 years of experience in both private and public sector roles. Greg’s experience in climate change and coastal management dates back to his time working for the Queensland (Australia) State Government in the late 1990s developing plans for identifying and minimising risks from coastal erosion and storm tide hazards.

Since joining BMT in 2007, he has carried out climate change impact assessments for a range of major transport infrastructure projects such as ports and airports as well as leading and contributing to a broad range of climate planning, resilience and adaptation studies with Government entities and authorities.

Greg has a particular interest and expertise in understanding the vulnerability and resilience of natural assets to climate change and extreme weather events through his work on a range of Ramsar international wetlands and more broadly in the context of marine habitat resilience. Greg is an accomplished presenter and facilitator for climate studies, with extensive experience in the planning and delivery of workshops, science communication, expert elicitation and stakeholder consultation and engagement.

This text was originally published on Focus Issue 2, 2019 



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