Key messages from Flood and Coast 2021

The annual Flood and Coast Conference returned for 2021 with delegates from across JBA attending the four-day virtual conference and expo.

With COVID restrictions affecting conferences and events throughout 2020, we were delighted when it was confirmed that this year’s Flood and Coast conference and expo would be held virtually between 28 June – 1 July.

The four-day event addressed some of the most important issues in flood and coastal erosion risk management and brought together speakers and delegates from across the industry. But what were the key takeaways from this year’s event? We asked our colleagues who attended the virtual conference and expo to share their thoughts.

Community is key

One of the key themes of this year’s conference was around community. Firstly, the concept of a “Flood and Coast Community” as represented by the attendees and secondly the engagement with those communities at risk.

It was also highlighted that the voice of the community is paramount in delivering schemes that provide wider benefits. Communities should be actively involved in working with partners to deliver schemes and in many places, there are existing community groups and networks that could be used more effectively to share flood risk information.

Stand-out Speakers

The virtual nature of the conference lent itself perfectly to welcoming speakers from across the flood and coast spectrum and it made for some incredibly beneficial discussions.

With a mix of speakers from different backgrounds, we were delighted to be able to contribute with presentations from Technical Directors, Hannah Coogan and Kate Bradbrook and Associate Director, George Baker.

“’The Women in FCERM session was a great opportunity to share my experience from across my career with others on mentoring, being a working mum, unconscious bias, flexible working and my thoughts on how we can provide equal opportunities with regards to gender and wider diversity in the workplace.” Hannah Coogan, Technical Director.

More work to be done

Arguably the most important discussions of Flood and Coast 2021 were around the climate change adaptation work that’s already been done and what is still left to do.

Ultimately, we need to ramp up our adaptation to the climate change that the world is already locked into. The ‘adaptation gap’ between measures that are needed and those that have already been implemented is widening as highlighted in the recent Climate Change Risk Assessment 3.

As it stands, we are only partially prepared and different sectors need to work together to reengineer our towns and cities. This will mean making hard choices about how to be adaptable to accelerating climate change, technological change, social, economic, and environmental change.

Want to know more?

If you missed this year’s conference you can read a full overview of each day or catch up on the recorded session here.

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