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Interview with Ms. Oksana Telak, co-author of the climate change risk assessment tools portfolio


The climate change risk assessment tools portfolio has just been published in the project. This portfolio collects existing and widely used risk assessment methods and tools aimed to increase local level resilience. These methods and tools were reviewed concerning their potential to be adapted, developed, and used in the context of climate change, and its present and future influence on the up-to-now well recognized threats’ and risks’ characteristics (e.g. floods, forest fires, hurricanes, etc.).

Ms. Oksana Telak, you work as the Head of the Organization of Safety division and as the assistant professor at the Main School of Fire Service (SGSP) in Warsaw, Poland and you were one of the two main authors of the portfolio (together with Mr Jerzy Wolanin). Could you tell us, who are the potential end users of this portfolio?

"There are many methods and tools related to risk assessment in the broad sense. Some of them are connected with climate change hazards. Some of them have been selected for the CASCADE project as examples and simultaneously – as supporting tools for the end-users. 

By the way, it should be noticed that end-users can be divided into several groups.

  • The first group -local authorities, decision-makers in that field.
  • The second one contains experts who are professionals in a risk assessment area related to protection of population.
  • The third one includes sector specialists, e.g., critical infrastructure experts, who are members of assessors’ team. Remember, that representatives of NGOs who play a very important role should be also included into this team.

So, as you can see, risk methods portfolio can be used by risk assessment protection of population experts and sectoral experts as the supporting tool."

Comprehensively conducted risk analysis can help reduce risk during climate change hazards. This portfolio introduces methodologies and tools related to climate change with the aim to improve local level resilience. How should the portfolio be used?

All methods presented can be applied as universal for the climate change risk assessment including CASCADEs’ methods. However, each of them is different, since they put the stress on different aspects of the risk assessment methodology. It happens due to different climate conditions in different parts of the globe (for instance heatwave in Middle Africa is different from heatwaves in Europe), so there are different levels of societal resilience related to those conditions. Among the BSR countries there are also sufficient differences in climate conditions. So, the experts who use CASCADE’s CCRA methodology can find in the selected methodology the issues they could be interested in.  

Why would you encourage local authorities to focus on climate change related risk management?

No doubt, that climate is changing and dynamics of those changes rises. Thus, there is a certainty that extreme climate phenomenon will happen more often and with higher magnitude. Due to this, it comes to be obvious that population will be more exposed to climate threats. So, it is a simple conclusion that people or local authorities who are responsible for the population security are obliged to ensure security of population who is under their care.

Link to the climate change risk assessment tools portfolio

This portfolio of risk assessment tools is prepared by the Main School of Fire Service (SGSP) as a part of the Development of Guidelines on Integrated Climate Change and Disaster Risk Response Management Work Package (WP2) of the CASCADE project. The main objective of WP2 is to develop guidelines for local level public administration to achieve a common understanding, integrated and complex approach to risk management measures with the inclusion of climate change adaptation aspects.

CASCADE addresses the challenges related to climate change risks, with better cooperation between national and local levels and different sectors. Close collaboration between specialists in climate change adaption and well-prepared civil security and protection experts is CASCADE’s answer to climate change related consequences. Nine partners representing seven Baltic Sea Region countries are involved in the project. The materials and results of CASCADE are replicable for all Baltic Sea Region countries