Disasters and Resilience: Issues and Perspectives
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Disasters and Resilience: Issues and Perspectives

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PREPARED BY: Nina Lam, Professor LSU Environmental Sciences January 29, 2013

PREPARED BY: Nina Lam, Professor LSU Environmental Sciences January 29, 2013

More information on symposium: http://superfund.oregonstate.edu/LSUSymposium1.13

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    Disasters and Resilience: Issues and Perspectives Disasters and Resilience: Issues and Perspectives Presentation Transcript

    • Disasters and Resilience: Issues and Perspectives PREPARED BY: Nina Lam, Professor LSU Environmental Sciences January 29, 2013
    • A Pressing Global Concern Response, recovery, and resilience to environmental disasters is a pressing global concern; Solution requires collaboration among researchers from multiple disciplines, policy makers, community stakeholders, first responders, and the citizens.
    • Active participation from international, federal, state, NGO, industry, media, citizens, and academies
    • Active participation from international, federal, state, NGO, industry, media, citizens, and academies
    • Active participation from international, federal, state, NGO, industry, media, citizens, and academies
    • Active participation from international, federal, state, NGO, industry, media, citizens, and academies A proactive response to managing the most vulnerable coast in the U.S.
    • Active participation from international, federal, state, NGO, industry, media, citizens, and academies An inspiring documentary reinforcing the threat of climate change and the need for preparedness.
    • Active participation from international, federal, state, NGO, industry, media, citizens, and academies Do we have a document similar to this? Which communities recover and sustain, and why?
    • International Perspectives • How are we going to pay for disasters? • Shifting the responsibility to citizens to manage risk • Avoid complacency (even disasters do not directly affect you, the effects will propagate) • Need to evaluate all aspects of resilience • Need curriculum to teach resilience • Resilience to disasters is directly linked to development • What will risk look like in 25 years?
    • Federal, state, NGO Perspectives • Are we subsidizing risk? Should the government pay for it (Insurance does not do that)? Where is the revenue to fund disasters. • Decisions made at the local level often times are short-term • Efficiency has become enemy of resilience • How to maintain critical functions? • How to involve businesses - to invest in a risky environment?
    • • Business challenge - company uses past as proxies to future - must quantify risks and investment return - why invest 50 years from now? Reinsurance industry perspectives The great fires of the 1870s were a classic tipping point, which pumps each group to do the best Have we reached our tipping point? • • • • • • leveraging insurance as a tool recovery funds can incenticize prevention inject personal responsibility link top-down and bottom-up science is important talk to people
    • Academic Perspectives The need for a new national framework for a “culture of disaster resilience” that includes: 1. Public awareness and responsibility of managing local risk 2. Establishing the economic and human value of resilience to encourage long-term resilience 3. Metrics and measurement for understanding resilience and monitoring progress 4. Creating local capacity (bottom-up approaches) 5. Identifying sound policies (top-down) 6. Communications! (Source: NRC report: Disaster Resilience, 2012)
    • The new dual challenges: Resilience and Sustainability Sustainability: “the capacity of society to meet its current needs while assuring the well being of future generations.” Resilience: “the capacity for a system to survive, adapt, and flourish in the face of change and uncertainty.” Resilience insures continuity; Sustainability insures balance; Resilience is a prerequisite of sustainability; Long-term resilience is sustainability
    • The new dual challenges: Resilience and Sustainability Challenges: - Our tendency to manage risks rather than building resilience - Reactive and neglect long-term needs - Beyond disasters, should consider slowmoving threats - Long-term sustainability may be at odds with short-term resilience - The need to understand the dynamics, as tightly coupled systems - Integrated assessment
    • The new dual challenges: Resilience and Sustainability The path forward: - Learning and communication - Collaboration across sectors - Establishing a culture of resilience - Developing methods for evaluating resilience - Developing resilient and sustainable systems (Source: Hecht, Resilience and Sustainability Workshop, NCSE Conference 2013)
    • What is the best way to measure community resilience to coastal hazards?
    • Why is resilience measurement important? • Allow identification of indicators that may increase or decrease resilience; speed recovery after disastrous events • Allow assessment through time and across space (How do we know we are making progress?) • Essential tools for sustainable planning and decision making
    • Why is resilience measurement so difficult? • Numerous definitions • No empirical validation Some attempts: e.g., Cutter’s social vulnerability index: low r (-0.099) with #presidential disaster declarations • Why additive model? • Why certain weights? • Difficult to generalize: e.g., Principal Component Analysis is not an inferential statistics • Data availability
    • The four states of resilience in ecosystems (modified from Liu et al. 2006)
    • Do Natural-System Concepts of Resilience Apply to Human Communities?
    • Our Framework The Resilience Inference Measurement (RIM) Model Three dimensions and two abilities
    • Our Framework – Dynamic The Resilience Inference Measurement (RIM) Model Reduce vulnerability Reduce exposure
    • How to Quantify these Concepts? • Exposure – natural disturbances • Damage – property, injuries, crops • Recovery – population growth, income growth • Adaptations – social-economics, public functions
    • Hurricanes 1987-2007 (Source: Arenas, Brito, Lam, and Liu, 2009)
    • Hurricanes 1851-2007 (Source: Arenas, Brito, Lam, and Liu, 2009)
    • Hurricane density estimation using kernel size of 80-km
    • http://www.floodsite.net/juniorfloodsite/html/en/student/thingstoknow/geography/katrina2.html (accessed 04/16/2012)
    • An Example • 52 U.S. coastal counties along the Gulf of Mexico; data for 1998-2008 • K-means clustering: classified into 4 groups according to adjusted # coastal hazards, property damage, population growth (“resilience states”) • 28 variables representing demographic, social, economic, government, environmental, and health • Discriminant analysis led to a very high degree of accuracy (94.2% counties were correctly classified)!
    • We developed the Resilience Inference Measurement (RIM) model to assess the resiliency of the 52 counties along the GOM. (Source: Lam, Reams, K. Li, Baker, C. Li, and Mata, 2013)
    • The ten most potent variables in discriminating the resilience groups 1. Percent of population over 65 years old 2. Percent of the workforce that is employed 3. Percent of female-headed households 4. Mean elevation 5. 3-year average chronic illness deaths, 1998-2000 6. Percent of population under 5 years old 7. Percent of population over 25 years old with no high school diploma 8. Percent of population below poverty 9. Percent of hispanic population 10. Median rent
    • Plots of the four groups (Left) and top 10 variables (right) on the first two discriminant functions
    • Results • Very interpretable • High resilience is associated with higher percent of civilian labor force and higher mean elevation, they are mostly in Florida and Alabama • Low resilience is associated with higher percent poverty, female-headed households, percent of pop without a highschool diploma, they are mostly in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas • Outliers: Lowest resilience in Louisiana and Mississippi, partly due to the catastrophic events of Katrina and Rita
    • Conclusions • Obviously need refinements, but a promising approach • The RIM approach has validation • The RIM approach can be inferential • Ongoing research: - Testing the five Gulf states – 534 counties and their zipcode areas Caribbean countries The Netherlands China earthquake in 2009 - Evaluating the coastal sustainability in Louisiana using a Coupled Natural-Human (CNH) coastal system - Health resilience
    • Acknowledgements Funding Agencies: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOMRE) National Science Foundation (NSF) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Program (GoMA) U.S. Forest Service (USFS) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
    • Our Resilience Research Group Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Margaret Reams Post-Doctoral Research Associate: Dr. Fei Wang; Dr. Yi Qiang; Dr. Amit Kulkarni; Dr. Helbert Arenas Prior Graduate Research Assistants: Ariele Baker, Lauren DeFrank, Danielle LaRock, Alison Martin, Kelsey Clinton, Corrinthia Hinton, Betsy Paille Current Graduate Research Assistants: Kenan Li, Lillian Mata, Chi Li, Amit Kulkarni, Camille Golden