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  • Cited by 52
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: August 2012

Chapter 1 - Climate Change: New Dimensions in Disaster Risk, Exposure, Vulnerability, and Resilience

from Section III

Summary

Executive Summary

Disaster signifies extreme impacts suffered when hazardous physical events interact with vulnerable social conditions to severely alter the normal functioning of a community or a society (high confidence). Social vulnerability and exposure are key determinants of disaster risk and help explain why non-extreme physical events and chronic hazards can also lead to extreme impacts and disasters, while some extreme events do not. Extreme impacts on human, ecological, or physical systems derive from individual extreme or non-extreme events, or a compounding of events or their impacts (for example, drought creating the conditions for wildfire, followed by heavy rain leading to landslides and soil erosion). [1.1.2.1, 1.1.2.3, 1.2.3.1, 1.3]

Management strategies based on the reduction of everyday or chronic risk factors and on the reduction of risk associated with non-extreme events, as opposed to strategies based solely on the exceptional or extreme, provide a mechanism that facilitates the reduction of disaster risk and the preparation for and response to extremes and disasters (high confidence). Effective adaptation to climate change requires an understanding of the diverse ways in which social processes and development pathways shape disaster risk. Disaster risk is often causally related to ongoing, chronic, or persistent environmental, economic, or social risk factors. [1.1.2.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4.1, 1.3.2]

Development practice, policy, and outcomes are critical to shaping disaster risk (high confidence). Disaster risk may be increased by shortcomings in development. Reductions in the rate of depletion of ecosystem services, improvements in urban land use and territorial organization processes, the strengthening of rural livelihoods, and general and specific advances in urban and rural governance advance the composite agenda of poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction, and adaptation to climate change. [1.1.2.1, 1.1.2.2, 1.1.3, 1.3.2, 1.3.3]

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