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In the wake of a tragic summer, bush fires have torn across over 11 million hectares of bush, farmland, national parks and residences. State governments have declared states of emergency and disaster, 33 people have lost their lives, 2,000 houses have been destroyed, and many native species are now at risk. It is important to ask what happens now?
Join ANU Learning Communities and the team from Policy Forum Pod at a very special live event where we look at what comes next. With a panel of experts, we’ll examine the long-term impacts of the bushfires on Australia’s economy, health, and biodiversity, and look forward at what the country could and should be doing in the wake of the crisis.
Economy: The losses to infrastructure, farming, tourism, and small businesses have been substantial, as is the cost of recovery. In addition, the political responses have been widely critiqued by the Australian public.
Health: Over summer Canberra donned the title of the worst air quality in the world. The impacts of the fires on physical health and the mental health repercussions of the trauma will be discussed.
Climate Change and biodiversity: Not only are the bushfires a result of climate change, but they create climate feedback loops and large environmental and ecological costs.
Indigenous perspectives: Indigenous communities have been deeply affected by the fires, but Indigenous traditional methods of land management provide an opportunity for better fire management systems to be adopted.
The discussion panel will be interactive, with the opportunity for you, the audience to engage in real-time. We look forward to hearing your questions and perspectives, as the smoke clears and Australia searches for a way forward.
Dr Virginia Marshall is the Inaugural Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow Water Expert Member, World Economic Forum
Dr Arnagretta Hunter is a cardiologist, physician, and a Senior Clinical Lecturer for The Australian National University Medical School.
Mark Howden is Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute. Mark was a major contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports for the UN, for which he shares a Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr Robert Glasser is an Honorary Associate Professor at Crawford School who was until recently the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Assistant Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
Event moderators: Professor Sharon Bessell, Crawford School Martyn Pearce, Policy Forum
Drinks and light refreshment will follow from 7.00pm to 7.30pm.