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Trinity College Dublin

Resilience to Natural Hazards

Mary Bourke & Quentin Crowley

Climate change increases the frequency and intensity of natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, and landslides. These hazards impact on the lives and livelihoods of the population, and can incur significant economic costs for property owners, businesses and Governments.
We need to improve our understanding and forecasting of natural hazards, while at the same
time developing more appropriate responses to extreme events.

“Nature-based methods can help communities build resilience to floods”

For example we are working with communities to build resilience to floods using nature-based methods. Their approach adopts a more holistic understanding of catchment management and flood risk. By better understanding the physical, social and ecological aspects of different catchments, more site-specific and effective interventions can be designed to manage flooding. The potential
benefits of this approach are that they foster new and productive collaborations between local
communities, scientists, engineers, and local authorities, while at the same time offsetting the
need for more costly and controversial flood risk mitigation strategies.

Key discoveries to date:

  • Developed innovative technologies for monitoring landscapes and communities during and after extreme events;
  • Designed innovative flood modelling techniques capable of incorporating local knowledge and experience of rivers and flooding;
  • Worked with communities to co-design and implement strategies for the effective use of nature-based solutions to flood events.
  • Developed methods for bringing together local communities, scientists, policy makers and local authorities for more effective catchment management.