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The last straw : integrating natural disaster mitigation with environmental management (English)

This paper examines the ways in which natural resources management and environmental degradation affect natural hazard risk, and makes a preliminary assessment of the importance of such linkages and the extent of their incorporation into disaster mitigation strategies and activities. Our analysis is based upon case studies in three countries in the Caribbean: Dominica, the Dominican Republic and St. Lucia, which are all highly vulnerable to natural hazards. In these three countries, detailed comprehensive analyses of these linkages do not exist. Such detailed analyses are also beyond the scope of this paper, which is a desk study without benefit of direct of site field surveys or experience. Nevertheless, we have found strong circumstantial evidence from documents and interviews to support the conclusion that natural resources and environmental management can have a significant influence on natural hazard risks. For instance, the degradation of mangroves, reefs and natural beaches affects storm surge and wave risk, and deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices on mountain slopes lead to increases in flood and landslide risk, locally and downstream. These linkages are often recognized in the disaster management literature, but they have not been incorporated in appropriate strategies and activities.

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Citation

van Aalst, Maarten Burton, Ian

The last straw : integrating natural disaster mitigation with environmental management (English). Disaster Risk Management Working Paper series ; no. 5 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/279041468776795940/The-last-straw-integrating-natural-disaster-mitigation-with-environmental-management