A survey of governance approaches to ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction: current gaps and future directions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Amsterdam

Abstract

Climate change will increase the unpredictability, magnitude, and frequency of both slow and rapid onset disaster events. Although large-scale engineered interventions have been common for the purposes of risk reduction and adaptation in the past, emerging ecosystem-based approaches are gaining attention. In contrast to ‘hard’ infrastructure, ecosystem-based solutions that integrate risk management priorities with natural processes are touted as being more cost effective, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable. Current developments in ecosystem-based approaches to climate adaptation (EbA) and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) tend to focus on scientific projections, engineering techniques, and their respective roles in shaping economic benefits. However, recent studies show that the effective implementation of such solutions is dependent on the governance practices and interactions between relevant actors, interests, and institutional structures. In response, this paper reviews the current status of governance studies in the context of EbA and Eco-DRR. The analysis is grounded in the interdisciplinary theories of governance, socio-ecological systems, infrastructure studies, and multilevel politics, with sources derived from scientific databases including Scopus and Science Direct advanced query. Based on the review, we evaluate existing governance theories, assessment methods, and implementation through illustrating emblematic examples from around the world. The paper concludes with a synthesis of governance gaps and opportunities, and notes that while emerging ecological engineering approaches provide distinct opportunities, there is a lack of comprehensive assessment beyond diagnosing potential financial, institutional, and political shortfalls. We therefore highlight the need for future research on socio-ecological, spatial/scalar, and political approaches to harnessing governance opportunities for EbA and Eco-DRR.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume32
Early online date7 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • ecosystem-based approaches, climate change, isaster risk reduction, governance

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