Gaming Exercise on Climate Change and Humanitarian Disaster Relief

IUCN CEC members recently participated in a gaming exercise about the challenges nations may face in the future given a scenario of increased climate impacts and scarce resources.

Flooding in Kuraburi, southern Thailand

Members of CEC, the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, participated in a climate change gaming exercise developed by CNA analysts. The exercise highlights the challenges nations may face in the future given a scenario of increased climate impacts and scarce resources, and explores what can be done now to allow us to adapt and prepare to better meet those challenges. The gaming exercise is called "Future Landscape for International Humanitarian and Disaster Crisis Relief from Political, Military, and Interagency Perspectives". It was developed by CNA, a non-profit analyses group in Washington, D.C.

Held during a climate change and security conference November 4, the exercise showed how the issues could play out in the future. CEC members Frits Hesselink and Nancy Colleton represented CEC Chair Keith Wheeler at the event.

The simulation game tested  real-life response to events that may occur in the future. The aim is to identify solutions before disaster strikes. The impact of climate change is likely to demand military response, and the military is not waiting to consider its strategies, already considering how to deal with diverse opinions and scenarios when the time comes.

The game, set in 2040, employs a scenario where many nations are feeling the increasing strain of climate change, and with developed nations beginning to realize they lack adequate resources to help stabilize the more fragile parts of the world, suggests that a new paradigm is needed for how to deal with this changed world.

"Gaming exercises are used by military and security planners to deliver a dose of reality to the strategy-development process," said CNA's Sherri Goodman. "It moves discussions away from the theoretical and toward the practical by testing scenarios against real human-decision making. The exercise CNA set up for the conference did that, giving people a new perspective on how issues can play out when you introduce competing interests, viewpoints, and goals into an equation for action."


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