Consultancy, Climate Change, Disaster Management, Capacity Building and Institutional Development


Environmental Sustainability

For many years the oil and gas industry has undertaken environmental impact assessment wherever it has been operating around the world. Such assessments, have usually incorporated social aspects and, depending on a country’s particular regulatory context, also embraced health, and sometimes security, into the assessment. In what seems an increasingly complex world, with heavy pressure on all natural and mineral resources, a “healthy ecosystem” is now seen as crucial to the future of humanity, not simply a matter of ecological compliance. In addition, overlying the usual impacts on ecology, from oil and gas development, it is imperative to consider climate change as a pervasive additional challenge. This presentation will reflect on what strategies, policies and measures will be needed in order to deliver a “healthy ecosystem” that is able to provide benefits and resource security into the future.


  • Author Dr Richard Pagett
  • Published February 2015
  • Document Size 6 pages
  • File Size/Type 352KB PDF
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Future Challenges and Direction

This paper tours briefly through the challenges of global water and the inter-related big issues (such as, population, resource depletion and climate change) and then explores water in the UK in relation to those same issues whilst juxtaposed with other big UK issues such as current economics, spatial planning, infrastructure, food and energy. This paper calls for a new literacy that recognises that …at every level the greatest obstacle to transforming the world is that we lack the clarity and imagination to conceive that it could be different [Roberto Unger, a Brazilian philosopher]. It is therefore proposed that a more urgent, and certainly more radical, basis for addressing UK issues is needed within the context of the global landscape. Things simply need to be done differently by calling on government, on the sector and on CIWEM to each play its part. And, it is a part that they must play: …The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it [Robert Swan the first person to walk to both Poles]. Ultimately though, it will be politicians who will decide and …it is fair to say that trust in politicians is not something the public has in abundance [Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change]. This paper concludes with a demand for serious and coherent leadership, from government, from the sector, from CIWEM and, importantly, from each of us.


  • Author Dr Richard Pagett
  • Published April 2013
  • Document Size 9 pages
  • File Size/Type 570KB PDF
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A Case Study in Resilience

Purton Parish consists of two villages (Purton and Purton Stoke) in Wiltshire, a county in the UK. Parish issues concerning water, food, energy, waste, heath, education, safety, housing transport, economy, recreation, connectivity, and democracy are evaluated and discussed. With UK population at an all-time high of 60 million and predictions to add a further 10 million during the next 40 years or so, it is inevitable, for good or bad, that the parish will continue to change. To embed appropriate resilience for the future, a Foresight and Resilience Plan has been proposed.


  • Author Dr Richard Pagett
  • Published January 2013
  • Document Size 146 pages
  • File Size/Type 5.7MB PDF
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Urban Policies for CV and CC Adaptation

Whilst the concept of climate change risk is generally acknowledged within current urban policy-making, there is little apparent distinction made between true (long term) climate change (CC) and the short term imperative of responding to climate variability (CV). Election-based governance systems tend to focus on relatively short-term responses, addressing CV.

The risk is that the “quick-fix”, vote-earning, policy responses to CV make future adaptation to CC much harder, less likely, and perhaps even unlikely. For instance, a short-term response to flooding is to provide efficient and effective emergency response and post-disaster support, yet the longer term response should be to reduce the risk through, say, re-location. There has been some policy movement in this direction, for instance managed regression of land on the less populated areas of east coast of the UK but it has yet to be accomplished within an urban context.

There would seem to be a need for two, yet integrated policy adaptation sets; one for CV and one for CC which will need different, yet parallel, decision-making processes to be operative, with clear links between the two, and probably involving different persons. There is also a need for more accurate use of the term “climate change”. Politicians throughout the European Union use “climate change” when in many (perhaps most) cases they would be better served by being more accurate and using the term “climate variability”.


  • Author Dr Richard Pagett
  • Published 3rd June 2012
  • Document Size 4 pages
  • File Size/Type 139KB PDF
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The Problem with Green ~ the need for a new literacy

The ubiquitous use of the word “green” as a proxy for sound environmental endeavour, for energy efficiency, for all sustainable ambition has devalued the proposition it was meant to reflect. Being “green” can apply equally, it seems, to a tree hugger (in itself a term of derision or condescension) or a government (recall a certain prime minister aspiring to lead the greenest government ever). Yet, because of its hijacking by all sorts of spurious groups and intentions, the word “green” has become a liability.

An essential ingredient of good governance is the assumption of an innate trust between those who govern and those who are governed. The chaotic and sometimes deceitful use of the word “green”, the tendency for it to be switched on or off as the mood swings, and the general assumption that it is a panacea for all things has reduced its trust value. Worse, the word “sustainable” prefixes any action that we want to be “green”. Neither is adequately defined, yet each is used randomly by government, the media and the non-governmental organisations, without a sound basis and, seemingly, without thought.

We need a new literacy: a more rational basis for referring to all things “green” and “sustainable”.


  • Authors Dr Richard Pagett, Neil Cousins
  • Published 20 March 2012
  • Document Size 11 pages
  • File Size/Type 582KB PDF
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Sustainability Indicator Application

The Sustainability Indicator is a software package that can be easily accessed and distributed for common use across sectors and geographical areas. The Indicator is being made available for free on a Windows platform where it can be stored on desktops for everyday use and should be used in conjunction with the guidance document.

The use of the Sustainability Indicator allows for a structured and systematic approach to the determination of sustainability. By focussing on finite and renewable resources, the Sustainability Indicator inherently raises the critical questions that need to be answered and those answers need to be supported by reported evidence so that conclusions are transparent and verifiable.

The software package allows for each determination to be saved or copied as a jpg image. This image can then be stored and inserted into reports to clearly show how sustainability has been determined. This image should be supported by explanatory text in reports with the intention of demonstrating a detailed understanding of sustainability related to finite and renewable resources.

Sustainability Indicator


  • Operating System Windows XP, Windows 7 (.NET required)
  • Version Beta 1.0
  • File Size/Type 930KB Zip archive
  • Instructions Included, or download the PDF Guide
  • Availability by email on request
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Big Society ~ securing the future

The premise of the "Big Society" programme is to re-distribute “power” from a centralised, Big Government hub (Westminster) to “the people". The intention is to deliver “government and its services” at a more local level. This paper will explore various dimensions to illustrate the opportunities for sustainable development and the risks if the shift of “power” is superficial.

To do this, the paper will look briefly at the really big issues (climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone, biogeochemical nitrogen and phosphorus cycle, global freshwater use, land system change, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution and atmospheric aerosol loading). On a planet-wide scale, these issues (the Bigger Picture) could destabilise critical biophysical systems and trigger abrupt or irreversible environmental and social changes that would be deleterious or even catastrophic at a Big Society level. Yet they can only be dealt with by Big Government.

The current assumptions that underpin the Big Society shift appear blithely ignorant of this Bigger Picture. The paper will then consider the global socio-political landscape within which the Bigger Picture will need to be addressed. This then, provides the backdrop for considering the Big Society shift itself ~ its opportunities and risks.


  • Author Dr Richard Pagett
  • Published April 2011
  • Document Size 7 pages
  • File Size/Type 287KB PDF
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Sustainability in a democratic, industrialised economy
~ are we ready?

PEITHO was the goddess or spirit of persuasion, seduction and charming speech and also represents rape; she was usually depicted as a woman with her hand lifted in persuasion or fleeing from the scene of a rape; often with a white dove and ball of binding twine somewhere in the picture.

The analogy is that the “persuasion, seduction and charming speech” is what we have to do; the “rape” is the pillage of the earth’s resources; the “white dove” is a typical symbol of hope and the “ball of binding twine” represents that we are all inextricably linked together (the people and the available resources).


  • Author Dr Richard Pagett
  • Published November 2008
  • Document Size 7 pages
  • File Size/Type 520KB PDF
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