Operationalizing Resilience Against Natural Disaster Risk: Opportunities, Barriers, and a Way Forward

Keating A, Mechler R, Mochizuki J, Kunreuther H, Bayer J, Hanger S, McCallum I, See L, et al. (2014). Operationalizing Resilience Against Natural Disaster Risk: Opportunities, Barriers, and a Way Forward. Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance

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Abstract

The risks from floods have been rising globally due to increasing population, urbanization and economic development in hazard prone areas. The number of flood disasters throughout the world nearly doubled in the decade from 2000-2009 compared to the previous decade. There have been more flood disasters in the last four years (2010-2013) than in the whole decade of the 1980's. Evidence indicates that climate change-induced sea level rise, storm surge and more intense flooding will reinforce this trend unless risk management measures are undertaken immediately to well manage future losses and make communities more resilient to flooding.

It is widely recognized that there is a mutually reinforcing relationship between disaster risk and development: disasters impact development and development impacts disasters. Evidence shows that repeated disasters undermine long-term socio-economic objectives. This is particularly evident in low income countries where disasters can impede the development process. The extensive time required to recover from damage, loss of capacity with which to rebuild and systemic risk negatively affect livelihoods in these countries, in the extreme case trapping people in poverty. In developed countries, recent floods triggered massive economic losses and undermined long-term competitiveness. The impact of disasters is felt most acutely by households and communities. In both developing and developed countries alike, local level studies strongly indicate that the poor suffer disproportionately due to the lack of financial and social safety nets, and institutional representation. Development can affect disaster risk via three main channels: by (1) increasing the physical assets and people exposed to the risk, (2) increasing the capacity to reduce the risk, respond to the risk and recover from the risk and (3) increasing or decreasing the vulnerability based on specific development strategies chosen. We identify this interaction as a key research gap; taking account of and balancing development opportunities with disaster risk will require a paradigm shift in the way we think about and do both development and disaster risk management.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV)
Bibliographic Reference: White Paper, Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (19 May 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:51
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2017 08:11
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11191

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