Final Conference: ‘Courting Catastrophe? Humanitarian Policy and Practice in a Changing Climate’

Date/Time: 01/12/2016 - 02/12/2016  All Day

Location: Felix Konferansesenter

The Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences is hosting the final conference for the project Courting Catastrophe? Humanitarian Policy and Practice in a Changing Climate.


“Courting catastrophe? Humanitarian policy and practice in a changing climate” is a four-year collaborative and interdisciplinary research project, commenced in late 2012. The research project is led by the Department for International Development and Environment (Noragric), at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway through the NORGLOBAL programme and is part of Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies.

Humanitarian actors are increasingly broadening their actions and approaches in line with the need to address longer-term vulnerability and complex emergencies. This shift raises important questions about the potentials and challenges to the integration of the concerns of climate change adaptation into humanitarian responses. What are the conflicts and synergies between immediate actions to reduce human suffering in disasters, and the longer-term actions that are required to reduce vulnerability and prevent crises from recurring? In order to avoid courting catastrophe by indirectly contributing to the perpetuation of longer-term vulnerability, new thinking around the links between short-term responses to emergencies and longer-term sustainable adaptation is required.

 The main findings of the ‘Courting Catastrophe‘ project will be presented at this conference. Some of the key questions that will be addressed are:

·         How do we prepare for the unknown in complex humanitarian contexts? How can humanitarian actors make sense of complex climate and vulnerability contexts in operational decisions before, during and after a crisis?

·         How can vulnerable groups, with their often rich local knowledge on climate adaptation, be empowered in their interactions with humanitarian interventions?

·         Can humanitarian actions transform development or do they reinforce vulnerability in the face of climate change?

·         How can the interaction between humanitarian organisations, development organisations, governments and funders shape interventions?

·         Can we move beyond technological solutions? Do humanitarian interventions offer technological and social innovations that support sustainable adaptation?


 The programme will include presentations of participatory games for risk management and policy dialogue and several international speakers are invited to reflect on key project findings. The full programme will be finalised and announced on the conference webpage in August.


Those interested in or involved in humanitarian work, policy making, climate change, etc. may register. Places are limited and are allocated on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. Please note that registration is only valid via the following link: Register here. See also the event’s Facebook page.


Please direct any queries to Ritah K. Sandvik,

Loading Map....