Greetings to the members of the HATS network. This is an eventful moment for those of us interested in the many facets of disasters and humanitarian response. This week opens the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. An opening salvo to this global effort to reduce climate change comes hot off the presses in the form of the UNEP report on the gap between national pledges to reduce GHGs and the actual emissions. It is not heartening and underlies the challenges facing COP26 delegates. In Africa and Latin America, the specter of drought threatens to compromise rural livelihoods and local food security systems; in the Pacific and Indian oceans, the focus is on flooding, particularly in the population dense regions of Bangladesh and India. In both cases, the wave of climate refugees is expected to increase—exacerbating the already strident transnational border issues. For those of us interested in climate change adaption, global health, migration, food security, and conflict, there is a need to step up.
I must say that six months ago I did not anticipate 120 registered participants at our Symposium on Resilience Research for Global Development Challenges at the end of September. The extent and breadth of HATS-related research interests and activities opened my eyes to the many opportunities for our network, particularly with the clear integration of HATS into the broader framework of resilience and international development.
One initiative that I want to promote among our group is the set of discussions with Stellenbosch University in Western Cape, South Africa. Not only does Stellenbosch boast a major capacity in disaster management and disaster risk reduction studies, it is now the coordinating seat of Periperi U network of 12 universities spread across Africa. We are developing a formal MOU with Stellenbosch, which will provide the administrative umbrella to engage in a series of partnership activities with the Periperi U network, including webinars, exchange, student participation, and collaborative research.
So, dear colleagues, there is much to look forward to as HATS continues to expand…especially greater interaction within our UA network so impressive in its expertise and experience. We will be in touch about HATS networking opportunities and a resilience measurement 101 training that were recommendations from participants of the recent symposium event. Stay tuned!