ICMIF member Co-operators (Canada) has renewed its multi-year funding commitment to Partners for Action (P4A), a research initiative at the University of Waterloo that focuses on empowering Canadians to become flood resilient, with a three-year commitment of CAD 500,000 towards program delivery and research.
The increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather and its devasting impacts are top of mind for Canadians after the severe flooding in British Columbia late in 2021, and more recently the flooding in Manitoba. It’s never been more important to prepare for a flood-prone future, yet a 2020 survey conducted by Partners for Action revealed that only six per cent of Canadians living in flood risk zones were aware of their risk.
“People, communities and municipalities have to be empowered to enact change in the places they live, where the risks are the greatest,” said Jean Andrey, Dean, Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. “Our continuing partnership with Co-operators supports the heart of this work and allows us to build deeper, impactful connections across Canada.”
P4A brings together governments, researchers, businesses, and communities to better understand flood risk. Their focus is on positioning flood resiliency as a pathway toward climate action, climate adaptation and climate justice, and prioritizing research and tools – like its Social Vulnerability Index, policy work on managed retreat, and a study on inclusive risk communication – that can help inform and catalyze inclusive resilience.
“Whether it’s catastrophic flooding like we saw in BC last fall, or extreme rainfall and flooding like we are currently seeing in Manitoba, we’re at a point where collaborative and coordinated efforts are critical,” said Shawna Peddle, AVP of Citizenship at Co-operators (and former Director of P4A), who is moderating a panel discussion on climate change implications for vulnerable populations at the CatIQ Connect Forum on 9 June 2022. “We just can’t afford to leave people behind. We believe P4A can play an important role in catalyzing equitable, community-level flood resiliency at the same time as creating an evidence-base for how we’ll need to adapt over the decades to come.”
This funding commitment brings the total support from Co-operators for P4A to CAD 1.7 million since the research initiative’s 2015 launch. Learn more about P4A’s research activities in its 2021 Annual Report.