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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3545;

Improving Development Outcomes and Reducing Disaster Risk through Planned Community Relocation

Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP) and Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT), School of Environment and Science, Griffith Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus QLD 4222, Australia
School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transforming Development and Disaster Risk)
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The idea of relocation as a transformative disaster risk reduction, climate adaptation, and development strategy follows the assumption that relocation reduces the vulnerability of communities. Yet, it is unclear whose and what kind of vulnerability is reduced through relocation, and which factors are important in determining the “success” of relocation efforts as strategies for development, climate change adaptation (CCA), and disaster risk reduction (DRR). Temporary and short distance relocation is highly likely to achieve increased resilience by reducing exposure, but relocation to a new area and new communities brings a range of issues. CCA and DRR use different timescales and focal points regarding relocation: CCA focuses on future mass permanent relocation and the subsequent potential loss of cultures and identities mainly due to projected sea level rise. The DRR community focuses on temporary relocation as a way to reduce exposure to a range of hazards, although it is also involved in permanent movement as a transformative way to reduce risk and enhance development. We explore these differences in this paper, with examples mainly from the Pacific Small Island Developing States where past relocations have been numerous. Better understanding and articulation of the underlying assumptions and preferences in CCA, DRR, and development discourses on planned community relocation could provide a richer context for future planning and dealing with both slow-onset and sudden disasters. View Full-Text
Keywords: disaster risk reduction; relocation; climate change adaptation; development; policy; planning disaster risk reduction; relocation; climate change adaptation; development; policy; planning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Nalau, J.; Handmer, J. Improving Development Outcomes and Reducing Disaster Risk through Planned Community Relocation. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3545.

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