Appraising risk, past and present

Interrogating historical data to enhance understanding of environmental crises in the Indian Ocean World: Contemporary Policy (SSHRC)

Environmental change is an alarming reality, with rising sea levels and increasingly intense droughts, often accompanied by crop failure, famine, conflict over natural resources, and migration. Several countries most at risk lie in the Indian Ocean World. This region is a significant global socio-ecological system, which has always been profoundly affected by a complex interplay between human and environmental factors. In an international partnership anchored at the Indian Ocean World Centre at McGill University, multidisciplinary teams are investigating environmental crises from past to present. Drawing on historical insights, research teams aim to develop responses to environmental risks in the 21st century: How have societies adapted to disaster and risk across time, and how may this look at the past enable us to formulate future solutions?

The research team ‘Contemporary Policy’ led by Julia Verne, focuses on the integration of historical data in current forms of risk perception and governance. The team analyses consequences of environmental change for socio-ecological systems and discusses its potential policy implications.

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Principal Investigator:

Julia Verne