2011 Vol. 2, No. 2

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An Emergent Framework of Disaster Risk Governance towards Innovating Coping Capability for Reducing Disaster Risks in Local Communities
Saburo Ikeda, Toshinari Nagasaka
2011, 2(2): 1-9. doi: 10.1007/s13753-011-0006-7
An emergent framework of disaster risk governance is presented as an implementation strategy for integrated risk management that incorporates innovative local coping capabilities that reduce disaster vulnerability. This framework calls for enhancement of self-support and mutualassistance through strengthening informal or social networking efforts in local communities, rather than depending on formal or institutional governmental-assistance. The framework is supported by a societal platform of disaster risk information, called DRIP, which the NIED (National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Japan) has developed since 2006 as a tool that promotes improved disaster risk governance. With the help of DRIP, residents, communities, and other stakeholders, linked horizontally or vertically with social networks, can (1) improve their awareness of disaster risks and management issues by sharing risk information as scientific expertise, experiential knowledge, and local/folk wisdom; (2) customize risk communication through analytic deliberation of risk information by employing risk-scenarios developed by residents themselves; (3) develop collaborative activities for informed decision-making that can fully utilize local resources to reorganize coping capability against disaster risks; and (4) disseminate the generated risk scenarios with action plans to other residents who have not participated in the risk communication process.
Agriculture Insurance in China: History, Experience, and Lessons Learned
Ming Wang, Peijun Shi, Tao Ye, Min Liu, Meiqin Zhou
2011, 2(2): 10-22. doi: 10.1007/s13753-011-0007-6
The development of agriculture and the rural economy play a crucial role in China's socioeconomic system. Agriculture insurance has become key in ensuring the growth of agriculture and stabilizing farmers' income when faced with natural disasters. The focus of this article is the history of the development of Chinese agriculture insurance since the 1980s and the trial of a new agriculture insurance launched in 2007, the policy details implemented in selected provinces, and the operation models. Using results from an investigation and field survey conducted since 2007 in Hunan Province, this article analyzes the performance and effects of this agriculture insurance trial run from the perspectives of different participating stakeholders, and with an emphasis on the program's four principles. The experience and lessons learned are summarized, followed by recommendations on how to ensure the smooth operation and sustainable development of this new agriculture insurance program.
Natural Factors Influencing Blown Sand Hazards in Beijing
Lianyou Liu, Peijun Shi, Xia Hu, Tianke Liu, Lanlan Guo, Xiaoxiao Zhang, Yan Tang, Yanli Lv, Bingyan Sun, Guoming Zhang, Xiaoning Zhang, Weiqiang Zhang, Yanyan Yang, Jingpu Wang, Yiying Xiong
2011, 2(2): 23-31. doi: 10.1007/s13753-011-0008-5
In this article, natural factors in the farmingpastoral ecotone that might have influenced the blown sand hazards in Beijing in 2000 are analyzed. In the farmingpastoral ecotone, blown sand activities took place primarily in springtime, during which 39.8 percent of the annual frequency of erosive winds above threshold occurred. The prevailing directions of the erosive winds were NNW, NW, NWW, and N, with frequencies of 47, 20, 13, and 9 percent respectively. Sand entrainment and dust emission are influenced by erosive wind frequency, soil moisture, and land use and cover change. Favorable wind characteristics and a lasting drought in 1999 and 2000 may have produced ideal conditions for land surface desiccation, vegetation degradation, and land surface mobility and the occurrence of intense sand- and dust storms in Beijing.
Drought Risk Assessment of China's Mid-Season Paddy
Yongdeng Lei, Jing'ai Wang, Lili Luo
2011, 2(2): 32-40. doi: 10.1007/s13753-011-0009-4
China has the world's largest population and a large and critically important agricultural sector. Sixty-five percent of the Chinese population lives on paddy rice. However, drought disasters frequently afflict China's rural population and threaten its food security. It is therefore of paramount importance to assess the drought risk of paddy in China. We establish a quantitative risk assessment model for the drought risk of mid-season paddy and regional-specific vulnerability curves, evaluate the drought risk of mid-season paddy, and compile a series of risk maps. The drought disaster risk rating results indicate that risk is highest in Northeast China, followed by Northwest China, North China, and South China, showing a decreasing trend from north to south. The mid-season paddy area of Northeast China has the highest mean risk index (0.58-0.71), followed by northwestern provinces such as Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang (0.5-0.6), while risk indices in provinces of North China such as Hebei and Shandong range from 0.3-0.5, and the southern provinces show a relatively low level of risk. This article presents the preliminary results of a scientific inquiry on where the high drought risk areas of mid-season paddy are and how high the risk is. These results provide a regional-specific basis for drought risk governance of paddy in China.
Assessment of Regional Vulnerability to Natural Hazards in China Using a DEA Model
Jianyi Huang, Yi Liu, Li Ma
2011, 2(2): 41-48. doi: 10.1007/s13753-011-0010-y
This paper presents a new method for quantifying regional vulnerability to natural hazards in China. In recent decades, the study of vulnerability has gained a position of centrality in natural hazards research. How to quantitatively assess vulnerability has raised much interest in academia. Researchers have proposed a variety of methods for quantitative assessment. But these methods are very sensitive to weights set for subindices. As a result, analytic results are often less convincing. A model based on data envelopment analysis (DEA) is used for the assessment of regional vulnerability to natural hazards in an attempt to improve existing analytical methods. Using a regional natural disaster system framework, this article constructs an input-output DEA model for the assessment of regional vulnerability, and takes China's mainland as a case study area. The result shows that the overall level of vulnerability to natural hazards in mainland China is high. The geographical pattern is that vulnerability is highest in western China, followed by diminishing vulnerability in central China, and lowest vulnerability levels in eastern China. There is a negative correlation between the level of regional vulnerability and level of regional economic development. Generally speaking, the more economically developed a region, the lower its regional vulnerability.