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Vernon-Harcourt Lecture 2020, London

Event organised by ICE

03 February 2020

This event has now ended

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Floods – whether inland or at the coast - affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard, causing some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses. Figures from the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction show that, on average, 250 million people globally are affected by floods each year. With increasing concern over climate change and rising sea-levels, the need for effective, resilient, and affordable measures to prevent or mitigate floods has never been more important.

The potential of ‘nature based solutions’ to address flooding issues is becoming increasingly recognised not just within the civil engineering profession but amongst other stakeholders including the general public. However, nature-based solutions can also be used for a variety of other purposes. In addition, nature-based solutions can be inherently more difficult to monitor. Consequently, an apparently obvious nature-based solution to non-technical stakeholders may, in reality, have significant drawbacks. Better appreciation of these issues is important for the full potential of these methods to be realised.

Dr Jonathan Simm will provide an overview of key issues related to the use of nature-based resources, with reference to examples from the UK, the USA, and elsewhere, including uses for conservation and environmental purposes as well as for flooding and coastal risk management.

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ICE Events Team