Resolving the paradox: Food for thought on the wider dimensions of natural disasters

Weichselgartner, J. & Sendzimir, J. (2004). Resolving the paradox: Food for thought on the wider dimensions of natural disasters. Mountain Research and Development 24 (1) 4-9.

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Recent disaster statistics reflect an alarming trend of increasing losses from natural disasters. Typically, the insurance industry, scientific experts, and thus the media, refer to such "external" factors as population increase, the potential for damage in hazard-prone areas, and land use and climate change as the primary causes of this trend. Although these factors increase vulnerability to natural disasters, we argue that "internal" factors such as disaster-related science and policy are also responsible for the inability to stem or reverse the upward trend in disaster damage. The paradox of concurrent increases in economic loss and disaster-related research raises questions about the approaches and tools used in hazard assessment and disaster management. This in turn raises the possibility that progress is being blocked by fundamental conceptual barriers, in addition to profound changes in environmental and social processes, neither of which are adequately being addressed. We conclude with some thought-provoking suggestions for addressing problems in disaster management.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hazard management; historical perspectives; flood prevention; resilience; mitigation; Europe; incsurance
Research Programs: Risk, Modeling and Society (RMS)
Bibliographic Reference: Mountain Research and Development; 24(1):4-9 [2004]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:16
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:37

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