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Appraising risk, past and present

Appraising risk, past and present: Interrogating historical data to enhance understanding of environmental crises in the Indian Ocean World: Contemporary Policy 

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 with data currently produced. The team analyses consequences of environmental change for socio-ecological systems and prepares policy implications concerning possible risk reduction. Thereby, the team has developed a number of smaller research projects, such as: 

Malve Jacobsen examines the relations between climate change policies and technopolitics of transport systems on the coast of the Indian Ocean. She is currently interested in urban air in Southern India and how the massive air pollution affects diverse spheres of politics and living. Understanding air as a shared good that links transport infrastructures and climate change mitigation measures with monsoon seasons, human disease and protest, she asks for the role of transport technologies – like e-mobility or air filters – within this socio-political domain.

More on the project:

Dr. Malve JacobsenLJK

Research Associate

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