The Disaster Risk Reduction environment is moving at a faster pace than ever. With changes in technology, increasing knowledge, and larger impacts on society, we all must adapt. In this ever-changing environment, the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network (CRHNet) needs to seize the opportunity to leverage such a context. As such, CRHNet now co-chairs the Canadian Disaster Risk Reduction Platform. This recent appointment illustrates CRHNet’s leadership position in the Canadian disaster management community.
CRHNet has grown from a small collection of individuals passionate about building bridges to the national Network of Networks we know today. Our role to connect the disparate parts of the DRR community – that is the practitioners, the academics, the researchers, the non-government organisations, and more – is more important than ever. It is for this reason that, building from over a decade of successes, CRHNet is focussed on the future.
During the 2017 Symposium in Halifax, CRHNet opened a discussion on the future direction of the organisation. This discussion reinvigorated actions to build linkages amongst the DRR community. The Board of Directors has begun supporting diversified activities with the aim of better informing decisions based on science. A prime example is that for the first time, CRHNet is working with the Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity Conference and Public Safety Canada to hold a special combined conference in Vancouver from October 29 to November 1, 2018. This tri-party conference promises many opportunities for exchange amongst the emergency management and disaster risk reduction communities.
The discussion in Halifax also led to other changes. The Board recognised that the status quo of the symposium was not creating the desired level of intersection amongst all parts of the DRR community. By comparing the timing of recurring local and regional events with a DRR focus with the academic calendar, it was decided to move the annual symposium to the spring, at a time that minimises conflicts with the academic calendar and other long-standing sessions amongst the practitioner community. This combination of moving a well established symposium to a different season, and the collaboration with other organisations to provide combined conferences, are two bold steps in a direction that I believe will serve the disaster risk reduction community well. We look forward to welcoming you to Vancouver at the end of October 2018, and Winnipeg in late May 2019.
Michel C. Doré Ph.D., CEM, CGU.