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Drivers and barriers of adaptation initiatives – how societal transformation affects natural hazard management and risk mitigation in Europe

Thaler, Thomas orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-3869-3722, Attems, Marie-Sophie orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-6117-2741, Bonnefond, Mathieu, Clarke, Darren orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-0233-0316, Gatien-Tournat, Amandine, Gralepois, Mathilde, Fournier, Marie orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-2652-0202, Murphy, Conor orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-4891-2650, Rauter, Magdalena orcid logoORCID: 0000-0003-0328-6430, Papathoma-Köhle, Maria orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-7878-1340, Servain, Sylvie orcid logoORCID: 0000-0001-9038-8405 and Fuchs, Sven orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-2840-0909 (2018) Drivers and barriers of adaptation initiatives – how societal transformation affects natural hazard management and risk mitigation in Europe. Science of the Total Environment, 650 (1). pp. 1073-1082. ISSN 0048-9697

A key challenge of hazard risk management is finding novel ways to respond to future extremes amid increasing vulnerability. Societal transformation in the context of multi-functional protection schemes offers potential in this regard. However, the drivers and barriers of societal transformation in hazard management are poorly understood. Here we interrogate drivers and barriers of societal transformation in natural hazard management through case studies in Austria, France and Ireland focusing on attempts to integrate multi-functional protection schemes in the context of flood and avalanche hazards. We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders connected to proposed transformative strategies in the selected case studies. We find that transformative approaches have been mainly supported by local initiatives instigated by local governments, residents, or NGOs with the aim of complementing conventional hazard management policies. Our analysis shows that local actors and stakeholders often pursue initiatives to address local problems or to seize local opportunities rather than to contribute to a broader societal transformation. According to our findings, key drivers of community-based initiatives with multiple functionality and use include: (i) lack of funding, (ii) lack of legal protection or (iii) lack of space, where classical risk management measures can no longer respond to new circumstances. In contrast, key barriers relate to: (i) lack of local capacities, (ii) lack of local political support and (iii) technological challenges in the implementation phase. These insights support European regions currently working on the implementation of climate change adaptation strategies arising from natural hazards.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adaptation; Bottom-up approach; Drivers; Barriers
Subjects:Engineering > Environmental engineering
Social Sciences > Political science
Social Sciences > Social psychology
Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > Identity
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of History and Geography
Official URL:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.306
Copyright Information:© 2018 The Authors.
Funders:JPI-Climate project TRANS-ADAPT.
ID Code:28454
Deposited On:27 Jun 2023 10:15 by Darren Clarke . Last Modified 27 Jun 2023 10:15

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