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Session 06: Governance Challenges and Emerging Risks
Monday, 29/Aug/2016:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Alan Peter MARCH, University of Melbourne
Session Chair: Hong MI, Zhejiang University
Room: Schwarzhorn

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Exploring the Future of Resilience and Mitigation to Better Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Graeme Angus RIDDELL1,2, Hedwig VAN DELDEN1,2, Holger Robert MAIER1, Aaron Carlo ZECCHIN1, Jeffrey Peter NEWMAN1, Graeme Clyde DANDY1

1The University of Adelaide, Australia; 2Research Institute for Knowledge Systems (RIKS), The Netherlands

Characterising disaster risk involves a complex interaction of physical and social sciences, which makes planning for its reduction significantly challenging. With the impacts of disasters apparent on many fronts, the need to take on this challenge is great, regardless of the complexities and uncertainties involved. A common approach to dealing with problems with great uncertainty and complexity is participatory development and application of exploratory scenarios.

This is generally done by looking at the greatest drivers for change and creating plausible futures, constructed by looking at how these drivers would influence common factors of society, such as demographics, economics, and politics. The value of integrating this approach to policy development and assessment is often questioned, given that only generic factors of change can be considered. However, our research introduces a new approach that improves the applicability of scenarios to policy development and assessment by involving policy-makers in creating futures based on specific policy factors allowing for better understanding and subsequent reduction in risk.

The approach was applied to Adelaide, South Australia, where policy-makers proposed disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy responses for now and into the future, showing a focus on mitigation policies and programs, as well as developing community resilience. Based on this input, scenarios were developed for 2050 to cover varying challenges to the design and implementation of mitigation activities and the development of resilience, such as institutional culture and perception, social cohesion, infrastructure, and risk/hazard understanding.

This resulted in five scenarios based on these challenges, and designed to test the effectiveness of approaches to DRR. These scenarios were quantified and modelled spatially, allowing policy-makers to see outputs of land use change and how disaster (flooding, earthquake, bushfire, coastal inundation) risk changed under different scenarios. This allowed for a greater understanding of future DRR challenges and subsequently better planning responses.

Risk Reduction or Redistribution and Exacerbation, An Exploration of Barriers to Urban Flood Risk Governance in an Era of Climate Change

Canh Toan VU1,2, Neil POWELL1, Tim SMITH1

1Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia; 2National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies, Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam

Making decision to address urban flooding is highly challenging due to the magnified uncertainties and controversies attributed to climate change and rapid urbanisation. Despite substantial academic and practical endeavour in this field, uncertainty and controversy are rarely considered in urban flood risk governance praxis. In many cases, the traditional predict-then-act approach is still implemented, often without a cognisance of its qualitative impact, and the inequities that tend to be reproduced between different groups of stakeholders.

This study has examined the barriers of integrating a consideration of uncertainty in flood risk governance practices and, more importantly, the fundamental reasons for the emergence and persistence of these barriers by drawing on the evidence from Quy Nhon city in Vietnam. It employs a qualitative case study approach and relies on data collected from semi-structured interview, documents review and observation. Data collection and analysis is supported by a barrier framework and guided by the adaptive governance and resilience theories.

Our findings suggest that while the poor integration of uncertainty and controversy can be partly attributed to so called official explanations, insufficient financial resources, appropriate information, capacity and poor regulatory frameworks, the most fundamental barriers are rooted in the lack of responsibility and accountability resulted from the unclear and overlapping political structures and the distortion of the existing legal rules by small groups of high level decision makers and also private companies. As a result, flood risk is often exacerbated and/or redistributed instead of reduced. These findings imply that any attempt to improve urban flood risk governance need to move beyond the assumption that better scientific information, capacity, financial resources and regulation will lead to better decision outcomes and focus more on fundamental drivers of decision-making process especially the institutional and political aspects.

IRGC Guidelines for Emerging Risk Governance

Marie-Valentine FLORIN1, Chabane MAZRI2

1EPFL, Switzerland; 2INERIS, France

IRGC defines as “emerging” a risk that is new, or a familiar risk in a new or unfamiliar context or under new context conditions (re-emerging). Emerging risks are issues that are perceived to be potentially significant but which may not be fully understood and assessed, thus not allowing risk management options to be developed with confidence. The novelty of the issue, the uncertainty about it and how it could develop, as well as the difficulty to understand the interconnection between opportunities and risk implies that conventional analytical frameworks are of limited value and there is a need to link risk management to other managerial methods to make relevant decisions.

IRGC’s guidelines for emerging risk governance (available on help organisations deal proactively with emerging issues. They combine strategic and managerial objectives, needs and constraints, with insights from scientists and scholars, who develop concepts and tools for understanding and dealing with emerging risks. The guidelines include suggestions to engage in horizon scanning and futures studies, to generate flexible and adaptable management options, to determine specific intervention points, to develop dynamic capabilities, to link with innovation management and to refine decision-making in situations of uncertainty.

The results of these reflections and the guidelines will be presented with particular emphasis on the following aspects:

• The key role of foresight in emerging risks governance so as to develop proactive capabilities of organisations in environments experiencing increasingly faster pace of evolution;

• The need to link emerging risks governance with strategic decision-making in order to ensure that risk taking and mitigation decisions align with the organisation’s overall development strategy, and that necessary cultural and paradigms shifts in the organization are diffused and accepted;

• The predominant role of an emerging risks conductor within the organisation to lead the process.

Global Environmental Risk and its Governance Consilience Mode


Beijing Normal University, China, People's Republic of

Environmental risk is one of the five global major risks. The present article presents the spatial pattern of major environmental risk (in terms of climate disasters) of the world at medium-resolution, and ranks all countries and regions. The result indicates that the most populated countries (China and India) and major economies (United States, China, and Japan) are of the highest environmental risks. Environmental risk is a type of complicated risk. Coping with environment risks requires to develop the consilience mode, by deeply involving the government, enterprises, communities and families to achieve consensus of wills and coordination of actions (“Ning Xin Ju Li” in Chinese saying), and thorough understanding of the integrated multi-element disaster system consisting of hazard, environment and exposed units. The consilience mode is a synthesis of multi-scale adaptation (global, regional, country and local), multi-process mitigation (prevention, relief, response and relocation), and multi-measure prevention structural, non-structural, and integrated structural and non-structural. Simulation results confirm that the consilience mode for integrated risk governance can substantially improve the efficiency and benefit of disaster prevention and mitigation resources use.

The Next Frontier of Behavioural Risk Management in “Tough Guy, Macho” Organizations

Alexandra DOBRA

University of Warwick

Enforcement data for 2015, across the main financial centres, confirms that the financial services industry continues to face non-compliant behaviour. As such, organizational practices are often loosely coupled to or decoupled from regulatory requirements, enforcement actions and organizational control systems. Why’s that? The present paper assesses the role that the formal-informal organizational culture asymmetry plays in explaining compliance dynamics. First, it develops a typology of compliance practices derived from the nexus between the degree of external risk and the degree of informal organizational culture pervasiveness. Second, it presents an organizational managerial practice solution, composed by a series of tools, for reducing the formal-informal organizational culture asymmetry.

Integration of eco-DRR at natural UNESCO sites

Soichiro YASUKAWA, Irina PAVLOVA, Patrick MC KEEVER, Peter DOGSE, Susanna KARI

UNESCO, France

UNESCO designated sites, including UNESCO global geoparks, biosphere reserves and world heritage sites, are located in various geographical settings and their territories may be partly or entirely exposed to natural hazards. According to thematic surveys addressed to site managers from all UNESCO sites, which UNESCO has undertaken, at least 25% of all biosphere reserves, 46% of world heritage natural sites and 60% of UNESCO global geoparks are exposed to at least one type of natural hazard that may turn into a disaster and threaten a site’s integrity. In recent years, natural hazards, both geological (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, tsunamis and others) and hydro-meteorological (such as floods, droughts, avalanches and others) have already caused extensive damage to UNESCO sites.

Ecosystem based approaches in disaster risk reduction (eco-DRR) have been traditionally used at some UNESCO sites. For instance, various vegetation types are used to control erosion, such as plantation of vetiver grass at the Dong Van Karst UNESCO Global Geopark, Viet Nam, or rice terracing at the Philippine Cordilleras World Heritage site. Coastal protection is managed by mangrove ecosystems at Sundarbans National Park, India, and the Sundarbans, Bangladesh, World Heritage sites. Salt-marshes are planted as a form of the natural transition zone between the tidal flats and the mainland at Wadden Sea and Hallig Islands of Schleswig-Holstein biosphere reserve.

Further measures to strengthening disaster risk reduction at natural UNESCO sites, including eco-DRR, is indispensable. An intersectoral UNESCO group is currently working on such an initiative. It focuses on the assistance of site managers and local communities in the form of guideline, training, risk assessment and capacity building on the topic of DRR.

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