Seminar with Professor Mark Huxham (Edinburgh Napier University) on understanding the meaning of catastrophe in southern Kenya

Start date and time

Wednesday 27 November 2019


Edinburgh Napier University (Sighthill Campus)

His non-event is her disaster: understanding the meaning of catastrophe in southern Kenya

The future promises unprecedented levels of climatic uncertainty and extremes with increasingly severe impacts on ecosystems and societies. We need to adjust to a new age of disasters. But what do we mean by ‘disaster’ and why may events be disastrous for some individuals, communities and societies whilst irrelevant or benign for others? In this talk, Mark will use the example of the 2015-16 El Niño event in southern Kenya to explore why some people and ecosystems are much more vulnerable than others. He suggests that to prepare for increasingly severe climate disruption we need to invest in general resilience rather than attempt to tailor adaptation too narrowly.

Mark Huxham is Professor of Teaching and Research in Environmental Biology. He researches coastal ecology and carbon cycles, student feedback and partnership and helps to run Mikoko Pamoja, the world’s first community-based mangrove conservation project funded by carbon credits.