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18 RENAUD, SUDMEIER-RIEUX AND ESTRELLA Box 1.1 Use of terms As editors, we have, for the most part, adopted the ISDR terminology for key terms, unless otherwise specified: A hazard is a dangerous phenomenon of environmental origin that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage (adapted from UNISDR, 2009a). A disaster constitutes a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources (UNISDR, 2009a). Vulnerability is the intrinsic and dynamic feature of an element at risk (community, region, state, infrastructure, environment, etc.) that determines the expected damage/harm resulting from a given hazardous event and is often even affected by the harmful event itself. Vulnerability changes continuously over time and is driven by physical, social, economic and environmental factors (Thywissen, 2006). Resilience is the ability of a system and its component parts to anticipate, absorb, accommodate or recover from the effects of a hazardous event in a timely and efficient manner, including through ensuring the preservation, restoration or improvement of its essential basic structures and functions (IPCC, 2012). Risk is the probability of harmful consequences – or loss in lives, health status, livelihoods, assets and services – resulting from interactions between natural or human-induced hazards and vulnerable conditions (adapted from UNISDR, 2009a). Risk is conventionally expressed by the equation: Risk = Hazard × Vulnerability × Exposure (UNDP, 2004), although, for some, exposure is integrated in the vulnerability component. Finally, adaptation is an adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects that moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities (IPCC, 2007b). Structure of the book The book is divided into five main sections. Part I, entitled “Why do ecosystems matter in disaster risk reduction?”, comprises this introductory chapter and a literature review by Estrella and Saalismaa (Chapter 2).
THE RELEVANCE OF ECOSYSTEMS FOR DRR 19 Part II, “Ecosystems and coastal disaster risk reduction”, has six contributions. The first two chapters address the role of coastal vegetation and other ecosystem features in buffering against coastal hazards. Hettiarachchi et al. (Chapter 3) present results of flume simulations of coastal features dissipating the energy of tsunami waves, while Lacambra et al. (Chapter 4) provide a comprehensive review of the role of coastal vegetation in terms of hazard mitigation and livelihood maintenance. Peduzzi et al. (Chapter 5) present an example of how ecosystem and risk assessments were integrated in Jamaica through the RiVAMP methodology developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Beck et al. (Chapter 6) present the “Coastal Resilience” programme, which aims to support decision-making to reduce socioeconomic and ecological vulnerability to coastal hazards, and they provide an example of its application in New York and Connecticut in the United States of America. This chapter is followed by Colenbrander et al. (Chapter 7), who describe the risk reduction strategies put in place for coastal areas by the City of Cape Town in South Africa. The last chapter in this section by Mavrogenis and Kelman (Chapter 8) describes lessons learned from the challenges and local initiatives on ecosystem-based climate work in Tonga. Part III, “Water resources management for disaster risk reduction”, has three chapters. Van Eijk et al. (Chapter 9) describe the regulating role of wetlands for maintaining dynamic river basins for flood management and community resilience; Dalton et al. (Chapter 10) discuss Integrated Water Resources Management for reducing water-induced disasters; and Fogde et al. (Chapter 11) present a case study in Mozambique looking into sanitation initiatives during major floods. Part IV, “Sustainable land management for disaster risk reduction”, has contributions from: Papathoma-Koehle and Glade on the role of vegetation cover change for landslide hazard and risk (Chapter 12); Wehrli and Dorren on protection forests as a key factor in integrated land and risk management in the Alps (Chapter 13); and Jaquet et al., who describe initial results on the role of community forests in terms of landslide risk reduction in Nepal (Chapter 14). The last section, entitled “Policy, planning and future perspectives”, addresses the role of protected areas in mitigating disasters (Dudley et al., Chapter 15); the role of ecosystems in the context of urban risks (Guadagno et al., Chapter 16); and the role of environmental impact assessments and strategic environmental assessments in disaster management (Gupta and Nair, Chapter 17). Estrella et al. (Chapter 18) provide a conclusion and way forward in terms of addressing, scientifically and politically, the integration of ecosystems, their services, livelihoods and disaster risk reduction.