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National Bushfire and Climate Summit 2020: Coordinating a National Response

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Emergency Leaders for Climate Action and the Climate Council Present... ‘A National Response to the Bushfire and Climate Crisis’

About this Event

As we recover from the unprecedented disaster of the recent bushfire season, and brace for the next, a coordinated national response is more important than ever to protect Australian communities from catastrophic fire conditions and the escalating impacts of climate change.

Join our host, Kerry O’Brien, and former NSW Fire & Rescue Commissioner, Greg Mullins, as they discuss the solutions to challenges presented by the 2019-20 bushfires with a panel of Australian and international experts.

To launch the National Bushfire and Climate Summit 2020, this livestreamed public panel will feature experts across disaster preparedness, emergency services, climate science and defence, and we’ll:

  • Gain key insights on international perspectives with Ken Pimlott, former Fire Chief of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire), discussing resource sharing and how longer bushfire seasons across the world will impact international firefighting efforts.
  • Learn about cultural burning and how we can build resilient landscapes that protect, conserve and enhance Country through Cultural Fire and land restoration with Oliver Costello, CEO of Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation
  • Former Head of Defence Preparedness, Cheryl Durrant will talk about how climate change is impacting Australia’s national Defence Force, and how we can rethink Defence capabilities.
  • Naomi Brown, former CEO Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), will discuss challenges facing the emergency services sector including funding and resource need, and what the government can do to increase support for our fire and emergency services.
  • Hear from Professor Lesley Hughes, Climate Councillor and Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University on current projections for future Australian bushfire seasons and the ecological impacts of the recent bushfires.
  • Find out how Australian communities can address the challenges we face from bushfires and climate change with Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie.

About the Bushfire and Climate Summit: Virtual Events 2020

As a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Australia, the virtual Bushfire and Climate Summit in 2020 will now be an online series of 6 events, from June-July 2020. These will consist of a mix of public panels and closed-door roundtables, and are seeking to develop a coordinated national response to our increasingly dangerous bushfire seasons.

The Summit will bring together representatives from bushfire-affected communities, fire and emergency services, volunteer and career firefighter representative bodies, the military and home affairs, industry, economists, farmers, conservationists, First Nations people, the health sector, veterinarians, scientists and other interested groups.

We will take the knowledge and networks shared at our closed-door digital events and put them before Australia’s decision-makers as we brace for the next bushfire season.

Please note: The Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) have made the decision to postpone the physical events planned as part of the Summit, and plan to bring these networks together again for a physical summit in 2021.

Register here to attend the public wrap up event where we will share the results of our closed-door roundtable sessions.

Read the Climate Council's 'Summer of Crisis' report on Australia's recent bushfire season here.

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