Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Applying a climate lens

19 September 2019

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Building the capacity of communities to prepare for natural disasters: A key goal of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal is to build resilient communities in rural and regional Australia.

Climate change and adaptation shows up in different ways in rural, regional and remote communities. It is not always talked about explicitly as climate change but there is a clear imperative to adapt the impacts of a changing climate and recognition that new practices are needed.

Natalie Egleton is the CEO at the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and shares why they are applying a climate lens.

Applying a climate lens

We provide investment from philanthropy, government and business and see firsthand the impact of climate change on the communities we work with.

The number of extreme weather events and natural disasters is increasing every year in Australia. For those on the frontline, social capital is key to response, recovery and preparedness.

Communities in rural and regional areas are often more vulnerable to environmental stress than those in cities.

Natalie Egleton, CEO, FRRR

[Regional economies] are largely underpinned by food and fibre production and they experience greater exposure to and negative impacts from extreme weather.

For example, following natural disasters many communities have a ‘betterment’ mindset, seeking to better protect community infrastructure, equipment and ecological assets to reduce the impact of future disasters; strengthening liveability, wellbeing and vibrancy at the same time.

Communities in regional areas are often more vulnerable to environmental stress than those in cities.

Disaster Resilient: Future Ready

We are investing in building the capacity of communities to prepare for natural disasters, and have developed the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) program to pilot community-led processes for building disaster resilience.

We also plays a crucial role in supporting recovery from disasters by providing small grants to support a diverse range of needs. These include supporting mental health provision for children following the Black Saturday fires, and portable generators for the Charlton Hospital following the 2011 floods.

While applying a climate lens to our work we are supporting communities to be resilient now and in the future.

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