Governing green change: Ecosystem-based measures for reducing landslide risk in Rio de Janeiro

Sandholz, Simone, Lange, Wolfram and Nehren, Udo, (2018). Governing green change: Ecosystem-based measures for reducing landslide risk in Rio de Janeiro. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, (32), 75-86

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Sandholz, Simone
    Lange, Wolfram
    Nehren, Udo
    Title Governing green change: Ecosystem-based measures for reducing landslide risk in Rio de Janeiro
    Appearing in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
    Issue No. 32
    Publication Date 2018-03-30
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier
    Start page 75
    End page 86
    Language eng
    Abstract Ecosystem-based approaches are increasingly considered to reduce disaster risks (Eco-DRR) and adapt to climate change (EbA). Their consideration in some of the main global frameworks such as the IPCC report or the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction has raised additional attention. However, these approaches are still more associated with rural than urban areas, although many urban areas face a high risk of natural hazards and the benefits of ecosystem-based measures to reduce it have already been proven in different cities. A successful implementation of ecosystem-based approaches in urban areas is highly complex. Using the city of Rio de Janeiro as case study, we first examine on the municipality level the responsibilities of the different institutions involved in landslide risk reduction and their technical and organizational interfaces. In a second step we zoom into two marginal settlements to determine whether ecosystem-based measures for landslide risk reduction already exist and assess the potential to either implement or further increase their application. These so-called favelas are often constructed on or beneath steep and degraded slopes prone to landslides. Landslides are mainly triggered by heavy rainfall events which are likely to increase in the future due to the impacts of global climate change. Activities to reduce landslide risk are distributed between many different actors, such as civil defense, geological survey, urban planning, and environmental management, and the measures taken are predominantly engineered approaches with a focus on preparedness and response. The urban reforestation program which could provide additional ecosystem benefits is not yet aligned enough with risk reduction and faces several challenges. In addition, the consideration of informal settings in formal urban planning and management strategies can still be improved. Based on quantitative and qualitative data from interviews and secondary sources, site visits, and expert interviews with representatives from public authorities and other stakeholders, the research assesses the individual institutional approaches as well as the overall urban governance system with regard to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The potential governance challenges for fostering ecosystem-based approaches are analyzed and clustered to provide an insight on paths that could facilitate the future consideration of Eco-DRR/EbA in Rio de Janeiro and beyond.
    Keyword Rio de Janeiro
    Ecological engineering
    Copyright Holder Elsevier
    Copyright Year 2018
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    DOI 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.01.020
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    Created: Wed, 09 May 2018, 23:44:21 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS