Peter enjoying a sailing trip outside Lomma between Sweden and Denmark in June 2020.
- On April 1, I completed a postdoc service at Lund University, where I have now been since 2012. Although I have tried to 'keep one leg in the practical world' by participating in trainings, exercises and actions carried out by MSB, the Red Cross and the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, I have missed being close to those who will benefit from my commitment to disaster risk reduction.
Being part of a project group like the LACER team is both fun and welcome, as we have the opportunity to discuss issues and help each other, based on a joint aspiration to deliver good results and a common understanding that the outputs of each team member are dependent on the efforts of others. In addition, the LACER project feels both exciting and important, as Southeast Asia is one of the most disaster prone regions in the world. As our partners at the AHA Centre are interested in solutions developed under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, I also believe that my previous experience and knowledge can be both exploited and deepened through this project.
What change do you want to contribute to and what component do you find particularly important in the project?
-I would like to introduce an analytical tool that may support the AHA Centre’s communication and strategic decision-making on what capacities to strengthen within their own organization as well as in the ASEAN region at large. I also think it would be interesting to contribute to the development of information management in the emergency operation centre and particularly with the support of remote sensing (satellites) and GIS, which I have devoted some of my research to. In order for the AHA Centre to achieve the vision of "One ASEAN, One Response", it is also important that there are well-developed routines for receiving support from other member countries through Host Nation Support and small legal barriers for the introduction and use of personnel, equipment, vehicles and medicines etc. Here the policy work within the EU Civil Protection Mechanism could be helpful.
What do you contribute to the project (competence, background, etc.)?
-I have more than ten years of experience of disaster risk reduction within authorities at various administrative levels in Sweden and abroad, e.g. as project manager for capacity development initiatives at MSB. I therefore have good insight into how MSB works and the principles that guide international collaboration, which are emphasised within the LACER project. As a teacher in disaster risk management at Lund University, I have received a solid pedagogical education and experience and I am happy to assist the LACER project's learning and development expert in the design of learning elements during the project. I have been active in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism since 2009, completed most of the trainings and assist as a teacher and mentor for the EU-TEC course at MSB. Here, I also have the opportunity to help our training and exercise expert, as I have planned and carried out exercises in Sweden and abroad. In addition, I am able to assist the project's disaster risk assessment expert, as my dissertation was about risk and vulnerability analyses, which was also my field of work for six years.
Mutual learning is an important component of our partnership principles. What do you hope to learn from the project?
-I hope to be able to learn more about risks and collaboration processes that are not common in Sweden, for example tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, as well as what civil-military cooperation in humanitarian situations may look like in practice. Another area I find very interesting is the potential benefits and integration of "local indigenous knowledge systems" (LINKS) in modern crisis management. We do not talk much about these aspects in Sweden, but they became of utmost importance to the people of the Indonesian island Simeulue during the 2004 tsunami. I would like to increase my knowledge about indigenous strategies to reduce disaster risk in general, and there may be ample examples of this in a disaster prone region like Southeast Asia.
Last but not least, what do you look forward to the most right now?
-With the Swedish summer around the corner, I am definitely looking forward to go sailing with family and friends!
Peter lives in Lund in southern Sweden together with his wife Sara and their teenage children Isak and Lina. He is an appreciated and dedicated member of the LACER team. In his spare time he likes to play tennis and piano, ski and sail.
Written by Johanna Rixer, LACER Communication officer (MSB). johanna.rixer[a]msb.se