Harnessing Geospatial Data to Design Blue-green Infrastructure for Building Regional and Local Scale Disaster Resilience

Kumar, Atul, Satheesh, Arjun, Mukherjee, Mahua, Naorem, Vickyson, Ravan, Shirish A., Schreyers, Louise, Sudmeier-Rieux, Karen, Walz, Yvonne and Mallawantantri, Ananda, "Harnessing Geospatial Data to Design Blue-green Infrastructure for Building Regional and Local Scale Disaster Resilience" in Fifth World Congress on Disaster Management: Volume V ed. Babu, Ananda (London: Taylor & Francis Group, 2023), 10-31.

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  • Author Kumar, Atul
    Satheesh, Arjun
    Mukherjee, Mahua
    Naorem, Vickyson
    Ravan, Shirish A.
    Schreyers, Louise
    Sudmeier-Rieux, Karen
    Walz, Yvonne
    Mallawantantri, Ananda
    Book Editor Babu, Ananda
    Chapter Title Harnessing Geospatial Data to Design Blue-green Infrastructure for Building Regional and Local Scale Disaster Resilience
    Book Title Fifth World Congress on Disaster Management: Volume V
    Publication Date 2023-04-27
    Place of Publication London
    Publisher Taylor & Francis Group
    Start page 10
    End page 31
    Language eng
    Abstract The Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) has gained significant attention as a way to address underlying causes of disaster risk, harmful impacts of climate change and to prevent new risks. BGI can be considered that can complement or replace high-cost ‘grey infrastructure’ (e.g. sea walls, dykes, gabions), while providing many other benefits, such as regulation of natural cycles, food and fibres, cultural services, biodiversity, and human well-being which are not provided by any grey infrastructure. Mangroves, wetlands and forests are proven to reduce wave energy from storm surges, absorb excess rainwater and reduce landslide susceptibility respectively. There is a need to come up with a better set of decision making and performance monitoring systems for wider application of the BGI. Geospatial data, including earth observation (EO) and location-based tools, provide valuable information to what, where and how to incorporate BGI, a nature-based solution (NbS) and help to monitor the BGI performance. This paper will explain the application potential of EO for decision-makers in investing in BGI for reducing urgent climate- and disaster risks. Three such applications are selected here for discussion: (a) Regional-scale “Opportunity Mapping”, (b) Urban Scale “GeoSM-NatE” and (c) Sendai Framework Monitoring Framework. UN Environment Programme (UNEP) explains a global geospatial tool, the “Opportunity Mapping”, which provides data on hazard-exposure and ecosystem coverage at the 10x10 km scale globally. It identifies areas for ecosystem restoration and/or protection and can be tailored to country-specific applications where higher resolution data are available. IUCN Sri Lanka gives an example of a tailored version of Opportunity mapping, which includes cost-benefit scenarios for encouraging private sector investments in NbS for the Kelani River Basin, Colombo. IIT Roorkee in India developed a Toolbox using both GIS and earth observation techniques to assess risk and identify suitable areas for BGI in the urban context with help from the UN-SPIDER programme of UNOOSA. The “Geospatial Mapping of 11Natural Ecosystem (GeoSM-NatE)” is focused on risks such as heat stress, urban flood, groundwater depletion, air pollution, loss of biodiversity, blue and green open spaces etc. The Toolbox can benefit urban authorities, urban planning professionals, researchers who deal with urban development, and community in achieving targets under the UN Decade 2021-30 on Ecosystem Restoration aptly. BGI is considered in the “Sendai Framework Monitor” (SFM) as one type of critical infrastructure to shape disaster-related risks and impacts. The SFM is a web-based system to track disaster-related loss and damage. However, BGI is only considered as a footnote in the monitoring framework. National inventories of ecosystems and their services using geospatial data such as land use and land cover classifications are needed to complement the monitoring of disaster-related loss and damage and to achieve progress in risk reduction. As decision-makers are faced with difficult budgetary choices for reducing disaster risks, Opportunity Mapping and GeoSM-NatE Tool can help BGI to complement, or replacement of grey infrastructure. With more widespread uptake, robust decision making including optimum locations and better performance monitoring systems, the decision-makers will show confidence to invest public funds in greener resilience solution.
    Keyword Geospatial Data
    Blue-green infrastructure
    Disaster resilience
    Copyright Holder Disaster Management, Initiatives and Convergence Society
    Copyright Year 2023
    Copyright type Fair use permitted
    ISBN 9781032355528
    DOI 10.4324/9781003342090
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    Created: Mon, 22 Jan 2024, 17:46:29 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS