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Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
THU4.6: Local actions and community empowerment II
Time: Thursday, 30/Aug/2012: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Session Chair: Marcus OXLEY, Global Network for Disaster Reduction
Location: Sanada 1



Participation and reduction of local disasters

Sebastián MARTÍN1, Pedro DORTA2, Carmen ROMERO2, Pablo MAYER3, Jaime DÍAZ4

1City of Santa Cruz Tenerife, Spain, Kingdom of; 2University of La Laguna, Spain, Kingdom of; 3University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, Kingdom of; 4Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, Kingdom of

Hereby we would like to present the results of two research projects aimed at disaster reduction at the local level. In the first project, we analyzed the risk management in eleven cities in Latin America and Europe, through the Disaster Risk Management Index (DRMi). This method was developed by a program of the Inter-American Development Bank, and used in twelve countries and two cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The second project was to provide advice to nine cities in the Canary Islands (Spain) for the preparation of their emergency plans. The research was funded by the "Urb-Al" programme of the European Union, the City of Santa Cruz Tenerife (Spain) and the Department of Security and Emergency of the Government of the Canary Islands (Spain). In addition to achieving the expected results, a key element in both projects, was the active participation of staff in each local authority. This led to increased awareness of disaster reduction, which spread to other local entities that were not part of the projects.

Mitigation of global volatility of food supply/demand risk through innovations in crop insurance schemes

Sonia A. RAWAL1, Auguste C. BOISSONNADE1, John TAN2, Haresh C. SHAH1

1Asia Risk Centre, Inc; 2Asia Capital Reinsurance Group

Increasing focus on food and water security and frequently recurring natural disasters is opening up a whole new business opportunity for the financial services sector as crop insurance gets increasingly popular in Asia. The paper seeks to understand the scenarios and issues in the major Asian countries and the prevailing economic landscape. It explains the complexities of the problem, the loop-holes/challenges prevalent today and the need for comprehensive mechanistic models for risk quantification and risk transfer in Asia.

The paper proposes a unique solution to solve the “hunger problem” and potentially food security of the nations by forming agro-pool(s) at a regional level that would hold a percentage of the stock pile reserves and would disburse these reserves into the market to ease out supply fluctuations caused by catastrophes (political, social or natural disasters).

As a starting point, the pool is associated to one crop; rice. The paper explains the formation of the pool, the roles of regulators and the mechanisms for storage and exchange of rice in the event of a natural catastrophe or shortfall of production. It explains how in the event of a disaster in one province, the reserves accumulated by the pool can be used to supply rice back to the farmers in another province by releasing the stock pile reserves governed by the pool. This helps ensure the affected individuals are not deprived of food and price fluctuations caused by the resulting shortfall can be smoothened out.

Disaster risk and vulnerability in coastal plains of Bangladesh: observations on human responses and local resilience to the effects of cyclone Sidr, Bangladesh

Mohammed Salim UDDIN, C. Emdad HAQUE

University of Manitoba, Canada

Coastal plains of Bangladesh are extremely prone to natural disasters. The frequency, unpredictability and uncertainties associated with climatic events often leave people here vulnerable. Such vulnerabilities impact socio-economic and ecological aspects of coastal life. I focused on people’s perception on disaster risk and vulnerability, and examined their preparedness to deal with some of the resulting consequences. I analyzed human responses to disaster related vulnerabilities and status of local resilience using the 2007 mega cyclone Sidr as a case study. Cyclone Sidr was an extreme climatic event with immense repercussions on humans and coastal plains in Bangladesh that took 4000 lives. A qualitative case study approach was used along with participatory tools. Research was conducted in two of the affected coastal districts where 162 households were randomly selected for interview in 2009. I found that livelihoods, location and pattern of settlements are important factors in making people vulnerable to a cyclone. The affected communities were able to cope with and recovered with the help of multiple actors. Better preparedness for cyclones and improved early warning systems during cyclone Sidr saved lives and reduced death toll than previous cyclones. However, despite considerable progress in cyclone preparedness much needs to be done to further reduce the vulnerability. Measures like disaster policies, construction of cyclone shelters and coastal embankments, training programs for stakeholders and coastal plantations can strengthen people’s adaptive capacity and local resilience to deal with disasters.

A community-driven approach to material management in post-disaster reconstruction


Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

It has been said that a major disaster compacts 20 years of rebuilding into a few years of reconstruction, presenting inherent environmental and social, impacts and risks (DRM, 2011). Those involved in initial response are faced with shortages of resources for short and long term construction as well as an abundance of structural debris to handle. The rapid response to reconstruction efforts demanded can compromise the standard of building to meet the immediate need and neglect the opportunity to transform materials which may appear initially as obstacles into a positive contribution to recovery. Measures must be in place to ensure that, while aiming to meet the construction need as rapidly as possible, the performance potential of materials is maximised, thus improving pre-disaster building standards and reducing the risk of re-occurring disaster impacts. While post-disaster reconstruction offers this opportunity to explore the improvement of existing building practices and materials, new concepts must be balanced against local skills, cultures, and long-term development (Silva, 2010). This form of informed response demands a high quantity of up-to-date and relevant information relating to the post-disaster scenario and the local context ensuring reconstruction efforts are driven by communities’ long term, as well as immediate, resources and capabilities as these will, in the end, be what sustains them. The paper focuses on the issues surrounding the management of materials specific to a post-disaster reconstruction context, exploring an approach that is driven by the resources that remain, seeking to enhance their performance by access to wider sources of knowledge and supplies. It aims to provide guidance for humanitarian reconstruction contributors by outlining these key issues and exploring a community-driven approach that would address them. Such a strategy would ensure communities are empowered by development of their construction capabilities as well as the physical structures that they inhabit.

A modern view to disaster management, concentrating on people with dynamic settlements (nomads) as a sustainable development standard


Millennium Enlightened Planners Engineering Company (MEPCO) Managing Director, International University of Chabahar (IUC) Faculty Member

Planning and management for people with dynamic settlements which tend to move often is of high importance and time, personal and capital consuming. Nomads’ main property and income are their cattles. Although earthquakes may effect them lesser because of their lighter housings which is almost a kind of tent in comparison with other people residing in complexes unmovable and not safe enough in cities, but in diverse the nomads are often seriously threatened by flash floods, land slides and similar disasters. Nomads are more in danger of being hit by a disaster because of their traditional, dynamic and special way of life. They face verity of disasters with higher frequencies often. Iran has lots of different kinds of nomads living with their properties which produce large amount of meat and dairy products for the country to serve the people's needs. Planning to empower them in facing disasters is not only important but also a must. In this paper at first we will explain where the nomads live in Iran and what kind of disasters they face in their kind of living. Next coming up will be the characteristics of nomads and their kind of living and the limitations to help them overcome the disasters meaning a transition from a traditional way of thinking towards a modern acting situation by conservation of the traditional rational origins. Then we will explain through which activities, processes and methods we can empower the nomads to face disasters based on the experiences obtained which can play an important role in environment sustainability. As a conclusion, totally, best ways of empowering nomads in facing disasters will be mentioned technically which can be used in similar parts of the world as a standard to decrease vulnerabilities and lead to a sustainable development context.

A time series analysis of climate variability and its impact on food production in North Shewa Zone, Ethiopia

Gutu Tesso BOKA, Dr. Bezabih EMANA, Dr. Mengistu KETEMA

World Vision International, Ethiopia, Federal Democratic Republic of

North Shewa is among the areas hardest hit by climate change, mainly through the frequent occurrence of climate change induced hazards like flooding, insect outbreaks, hailstorm, alien weeds, disease and pests, droughts and all others which are a result of climate change. Time series data collected from Central Statistical Authority of Ethiopia and the National Meteorological Agency of Ethiopia were employed for the study. This paper examines the variability in the trends of precipitation and temperature over the period of three decades. It tries to measure the number of people and area of land which is vulnerable to climate change induced shocks over time scale. It then estimates the impacts of climate change on food production using an econometric model; where climate variables together with other factors were set to be determinant of food production over time. The co-integrated Vector Auto Regressive and Error Correction Models are employed to empirically analyze the impact of climate change factors on food production. The long run estimation result shows that while food production is significantly affected by improved technology, area under irrigation, manure usage, Meher rain and temperature, fertilizer application and Belg rain were found to be less significant in the model. The Johannes’ approach revealed that 90 percent of the variation in productivity is explained by area under irrigation, area covered by manure per hectare, the change in usage of improved variety per hectare, and the three climate parameters (Meher Rain, Belg rain and Average temperature). It is, therefore, recommended that if agricultural food production need to be increased and sustained, it is necessary to encourage use of irrigation, introduction of improved drought tolerant varieties, and conservation of the natural environment.

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