2012 Vol. 3, No. 3

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Agricultural Production Behavior under Premium Subsidy: Incorporating Crop Price When Subsistence Constraint Holds
Tao Ye, Muneta Yokomatsu, Norio Okada
2012, 3(3): 131-138. doi: 10.1007/s13753-012-0013-3
Producers' acreage decisions in response to the availability of insurance and government subsidy has been a topic of considerable attention. This study revisits the issue of agriculture producers' production behavior under crop insurance and premium subsidy conditions. The discussion begins by differentiating between the assumptions of the classic insurance model and that model's application to crop insurance. A discussion of a closed dual economy model follows. Price difference in cases of disaster and no disaster essentially determines producers' response to the availability of a premium subsidy. A producer can obtain higher production revenue due to the significant increase in price induced by yield loss if the economy is closed and a subsistence constraint is taken into account. In this case, a premium subsidy could induce producers to lower their output level. The result is further generalized by two model extensions in which assumptions are relaxed to allow openness in the economy or intertemporal storage of grains with grain reserve policy. The findings of this article suggest that governments should carefully examine the actual risk-bearing pattern of crop producers before any subsidy policy is implemented.
On the Role of Government in Integrated Disaster Risk Governance—Based on Practices in China
Peijun Shi
2012, 3(3): 139-146. doi: 10.1007/s13753-012-0014-2
This article outlines the roles of government in ensuring integrated disaster risk governance in China. In general, government plays important political, economic, cultural, and social roles in risk governance systems that include resource assurance, technical support, and disaster risk management. Three key aspects of governance relate to those roles:(1) Overall leadership. Politically, the government has a leading role for the overall rule and system design, including legislation, decision-making processes, and policy implementation mechanisms. Economically, the government's primary responsibility is to strengthen resource assurance, including coordinating development and disaster reduction, and providing support for disaster reduction activities. Culturally, the government must increase risk awareness through disaster reduction education, training, and practice of emergency response skills, disaster risk research, and technical development. Socially, the government is vital to the improvement of integrated management, including disaster, risk, and emergency management systems. (2) Engaging civil society. Politically, the government is charged with the responsibility to engage and collaborate with civil society, such as NGOs. Economically, it is the role of the government to consolidate governmental and community resources. Culturally, the government needs to give the same importance to the functions of majority and minority cultures alike. Socially, it is the duty of the government to coordinate advantaged and disadvantaged social groups. (3) International cooperation. The government has an international humanitarian role politically to carry out disaster reduction diplomacy; economically to strengthen the catastrophe financial assurance system; culturally to improve the world safety culture, disaster reduction education, and technology assurance systems; and socially to increase the capacity for international disaster relief and assistance and volunteer services.
The History of Disaster Incidents and Impacts in Nepal 1900-2005
Komal Raj Aryal
2012, 3(3): 147-154. doi: 10.1007/s13753-012-0015-1
The people of Nepal today are exposed to perennial local disaster events and profound vulnerability to disaster. The combined efforts of government, donors, UN agencies, NGOs, and Nepalese communities are needed to avert the impacts of disaster events. Much more can be done immediately to reduce the impacts by reviewing the scope and distribution of past disaster events. This article provides an overview of Nepal's disaster vulnerability through an analysis of the record of disaster events that occurred from 1900 to 2005. The data were generated from historical archives and divided into incidents at the district, subnational, and national levels. Statistical and Geographical Information System (GIS) analyses were carried out to generate district level disaster vulnerability maps. It is concluded that small-scale, local disasters have a greater cumulative impact in terms of casualties than large-scale, national disasters.
Predicting Earthquakes: The Mw9.0 Tohoku Earthquake and Historical Earthquakes in Northeastern Japan
Jifu Liu, Yongsheng Zhou
2012, 3(3): 155-162. doi: 10.1007/s13753-012-0016-0
A magnitude 7.3 foreshock occurred two days before the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku Earthquake. The energy release of earthquakes within two days after the M7.3 earthquake is obviously different from the aftershocks of the Mw9.0 earthquake. But guided by historical earthquake experience, seismologists regarded the M7.3 earthquake as the main shock rather than a foreshock of another greater earthquake. Based on the analysis of historical earthquakes in coastal areas of northeastern Japan, the recurrence time of earthquakes is in quasi-periods of decadal or centennial scale. These quasi-periods are related to fault rupture along subduction zones located in marine environments adjacent to the coast. The probabilistic prediction for future earthquakes made by Japanese seismologists using historical earthquake data is based on a decadal scale quasi-period. It is difficult, however, to make relatively reliable predictions about the recurrence interval of rare great earthquakes based on historical earthquakes due to the very long intervals between large magnitude quakes and the limited historical and scientific records about their characteristics.
A Simple Human Vulnerability Index to Climate Change Hazards for Pakistan
Fazal Ali Khan, Ali Salman
2012, 3(3): 163-176. doi: 10.1007/s13753-012-0017-z
This article explores the spatial pattern of vulnerability to climate change hazards in Pakistan by developing a Human Vulnerability Index (HVI). For this purpose, we use Population Census 1998 and Agriculture Census 2000 data. The HVI places the 103 districts of Pakistan in rank order and looks at whether there is a correlation between human vulnerability and exposure to disaster of the districts with respect to climate change hazards such as floods. The HVI is further validated using an independent flood recovery data set. The study found that the HVI is a useful tool for identifying vulnerable regions and districts for resource allocation. But the HVI is a poor tool for vulnerability assessment at community and household levels. For this purpose we used logistic regression analysis, which indicates that the adult literacy rate, ownership of livestock, and access to electricity are the three (out of six) key variables that play a critical positive role in recovery after the 2010 floods. The primary data collected from households also reveal that the 2010 Pakistan floods have equally affected standing crops, livestock, and house structures. More than two-thirds of sample households had rebuilt their house structures, whereas livestock recovery was negligible since the floods. We also found that the 2010 floods affected some of the poverty regions of the country, but that there is a very weak systematic correlation between human vulnerability and disaster exposure.