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Climate change data and predictions for the Himalayas are very sparse and uncertain, characterized by a “Himalayan data gap” and difficulties in predicting changes due to…
Climate change data and predictions for the Himalayas are very sparse and uncertain, characterized by a “Himalayan data gap” and difficulties in predicting changes due to topographic complexity. A few reliable studies and climate change models for Nepal predict considerable changes: shorter monsoon seasons, more intensive rainfall patterns, higher temperatures, and drought. These predictions are confirmed by farmers who claim that temperatures have been increasing for the past decade and wonder why the rains have “gone mad.” The number of hazard events, notably droughts, floods, and landslides are increasing and now account for approximately 100 deaths in Nepal annually. Other effects are drinking water shortages and shifting agricultural patterns, with many communities struggling to meet basic food security before climatic conditions started changing.
The aim of this paper is to examine existing gaps between current climate models and the realities of local development planning through a case study on flood risk and drinking water management for the Municipality of Dharan in Eastern Nepal. This example highlights current challenges facing local-level governments, namely, flood and landslide mitigation, providing basic amenities – especially an urgent lack of drinking water during the dry season – poor local planning capacities, and limited resources. In this context, the challenge for Nepal will be to simultaneously address increasing risks caused by hazard events alongside the omnipresent food security and drinking water issues in both urban and rural areas. Local planning is needed that integrates rural development and disaster risk reduction (DRR) with knowledge about climate change considerations. The paper concludes with a critical analysis of climate change modeling and the gap between scientific data and low-tech and low capacities of local planners to access or implement adequate adaptation measures. Recommendations include the need to bridge gaps between scientific models, the local political reality and local information needs.
– The purpose of this paper is to describe empirical research intended to fill the perceived gap in practical guidance methodologies for assessing resilience.
The purpose of this paper is to describe empirical research intended to fill the perceived gap in practical guidance methodologies for assessing resilience.
To do so, an interdisciplinary team of researchers studied landslide risk in four different communities of Central and Eastern Nepal using a case study approach. Two case studies on flood-affected communities were developed for comparison sake in more urban areas. Methods combined qualitative participatory approaches to develop indicators of resilience as well as a household survey and focus group discussions for collecting data on the indicators.
What the research results demonstrate is a relatively straightforward and simple means for obtaining data on the state of a community's resilience as a relatively simple “snapshot” of resilience at one period in time, assuming that resilience is an outcome that can be improved over time with the “right” set of interventions.
The main limitation of this research is that it focussed mainly on outcome indicators; although some process indicators of resilience were identified (i.e. grazing management practices, skills training, organizational skills and learning through education), these need to be more comprehensive and validated through community consultations.
The paper provided data and a straightforward methodology for measuring resilience and has thus contributed to the literature on this topic, while providing practical ideas for future research on resilience building measures and indicators.
The purpose of this paper is to explore whether “resilience” offers any positive inputs to international discourse in the field of disaster risk reduction and climate…
The purpose of this paper is to explore whether “resilience” offers any positive inputs to international discourse in the field of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and if so, what recommendations can be made for further research on the topic.
In addition to an in-depth literature review, observations on resilience were made based on interdisciplinary research conducted in Nepal 2008-2011 with landslide affected communities, to map local understandings of resilience in contrast to issues of risk and vulnerability.
Resilience has the potential to offer a more systemic and cross-cutting approach to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and the humanitarian sector. However, it needs to be assessed critically as one attribute of sustainable development, not as a lesser substitute.
This paper provides new insights to the emerging contrast between proponents and critics of the resilience paradigm with recommendations for avoiding potential dangers that this paradigm brings.