Community engagement in preparing for natural water disasters of different time and magnitude scales – A comparative study between Japan and England

Lecture


Shiroshita, H., Jayaratne, R. and Kitagawa, K. 2019. Community engagement in preparing for natural water disasters of different time and magnitude scales – A comparative study between Japan and England. IDRiM 2019: The 10th conference of the international society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management. Nice, France. 16 - 18 Oct 2019
AuthorsShiroshita, H., Jayaratne, R. and Kitagawa, K.
TypeLecture
Abstract

This exploratory research funded by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation considers two chal-lenges recognised in the DRR community in recent years. One is the necessity of ‘all of society engagement’ emphasised in the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030, which has led to the rein-forcement of community-based DRR. The other is, as the Red Cross World Disasters Report 2014 criticises, experts ‘persist’ in prioritising high-impact/low-frequency hazards. Inquiries into communi-ties’ DRR against hazards of different return periods and magnitudes have been scarce. The re-search focuses on natural water disasters, such as floods and typhoons generated due to atmos-pheric forcing factors, which have been intensified by climate change, as well as tsunamis. Both Japan and England have had a series of impacts of them in recent years. Applying a comparative approach, the research discusses four cases of under-researched water disaster-prone communities in Oita and Wakayama Prefectures, and the Essex and Devon Counties. The two research questions probed are: 1) to what extent the perceptions between DRR experts and community members differ in relation to disasters with different return periods and magnitudes; 2) what are the implications of the perception gap on the actualisation of ‘community-based’ and ‘participatory’ DRR. The interdis-ciplinary research team combines the observation of major structural mitigation solutions (e.g. barrier walls, embankments and evacuation shelters etc.) against water disasters of different scales in the four cases, and the analysis of non-structural measures through stakeholder interviews – policy-makers, academics, activists, community members – undertaken in the four communities. One of the key findings of the research is that both DRR experts and community members approach high-im-pact/low-frequency hazards with ‘prevention’ and ‘reduction’ measures, while for low-impact/high-frequency hazards, the countermeasures become ‘adaptation’. This has led us to consider develop-ing a new framework in categorising water disasters, applying a new index – the number of people ‘affected’ – in addition to scale and magnitudes. The novelty of the framework is to include community perspective so as to enable a community-based bottom-up approach in decision-making of DRR measures.

Year2019
ConferenceIDRiM 2019: The 10th conference of the international society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management
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Completed17 Oct 2019
Deposited23 Feb 2021
Web address (URL)https://idrim2019.com/
Copyright holder© 2019 The Authors. All Rights Reserved.
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