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Community resilience against natural hazards: case studies from the Pacific Islands

Weber, Eberhard and Yila, Othniel M. and Neef, Andreas (2015) Community resilience against natural hazards: case studies from the Pacific Islands. In: The “State of DRR at the Local Level” A 2015 Report on the Patterns of Disaster Risk Reduction Actions at Local Level. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 1-12. ISBN not available yet (Unpublished)

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Pacific Island Region. However, in most countries the connection between the national level and community levels has been insufficiently addressed to date. The integration of local level disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into development planning is essential. Here additional efforts are required to reduce disaster risk and enhance effective recovery following major disasters. This paper synthesizes lessons learnt on community resilience in Pacific Island Countries. It discusses case studies of several disaster events from a grass-root level perspective. We find that local-level institutions and networks, both formal and informal, play an important role in people’s agency and interaction. Research at the local level provides insights into how people's lives are affected by natural hazards. It also considers how these hazards add to other challenges people are facing, such as poverty and tenure insecurity. It highlights the importance of social capital for disaster risk reduction as well as disaster recovery and rehabilitation. It also reflects on the importance of people’s own skills and capacities that help them deal with adverse situations. Our findings suggest that in assessing community resilience and devising disaster risk reduction strategies particular attention needs to be given to local land tenure systems, ethnic differentiation, remittances, and safety networks. In conclusion, the paper calls for integrated approaches that link national and local level interventions and that take into consideration that people’s capacities to face the various aspects of climate change and natural hazards may become overstretched when they have to deal with too many and/or too severe challenges at the same time.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: No information on ISBN, yet to be published.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disaster Risk Reduction, Community Resilience, Social Capital, Fiji, Samao, Solomon Islands
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Eberhard Weber
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2016 00:12
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 04:51

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