Vulnerability and risk of deltaic social-ecological systems exposed to multiple hazards

Hagenlocher, Michael, Renaud, Fabrice G., Haas, Susanne and Sebesvari, Zita, (2018). Vulnerability and risk of deltaic social-ecological systems exposed to multiple hazards. Science of the Total Environment, 631-632 71-80

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Hagenlocher, Michael
    Renaud, Fabrice G.
    Haas, Susanne
    Sebesvari, Zita
    Title Vulnerability and risk of deltaic social-ecological systems exposed to multiple hazards
    Appearing in Science of the Total Environment
    Volume 631-632
    Publication Date 2018-03-07
    Place of Publication Oxford
    Publisher Elsevier
    Start page 71
    End page 80
    Language eng
    Abstract Coastal river deltas are hotspots of global change impacts. Sustainable delta futures are increasingly threatened due to rising hazard exposure combined with high vulnerabilities of deltaic social-ecological systems. While the need for integrated multi-hazard approaches has been clearly articulated, studies on vulnerability and risk in deltas either focus on local case studies or single hazards and do not apply a social-ecological systems perspective. As a result, vulnerabilities and risks in areas with strong social and ecological coupling, such as coastal deltas, are not fully understood and the identification of risk reduction and adaptation strategies are often based on incomplete assumptions. To overcome these limitations, we propose an innovative modular indicator library-based approach for the assessment of multi-hazard risk of social-ecological systems across and within coastal deltas globally, and apply it to the Amazon, Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM), and Mekong deltas. Results show that multi-hazard risk is highest in the GBM delta and lowest in the Amazon delta. The analysis reveals major differences between social and environmental vulnerability across the three deltas, notably in the Mekong and the GBM deltas where environmental vulnerability is significantly higher than social vulnerability. Hotspots and drivers of risk vary spatially, thus calling for spatially targeted risk reduction and adaptation strategies within the deltas. Ecosystems have been identified as both an important element at risk as well as an entry point for risk reduction and adaptation strategies.
    Keyword Spatial assessment
    multi-hazard
    indicator library
    Amazon Delta
    Ganges Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta
    Mekong delta
    Copyright Holder Elsevier
    Copyright Year 2018
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.013
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    Created: Thu, 08 Mar 2018, 19:36:29 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS