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

    Thaler, Thomas and Attems, Marie-Sophie and Bonnefond, Mathieu and Clarke, Darren and Gatien-Tournat, Amandine and Gralepois, Mathilde and Fournier, Marie and Murphy, Conor and rauter, Magdalena and papathoma-köhle, Maria and Servain, Sylvie and Fuchs, Sven (2019) Drivers and barriers of adaptation initiatives – How societal transformation affects natural hazard management and risk mitigation in Europe. Science of the Total Environment, 650. pp. 1073-1082. ISSN 1879-1026

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    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
    Keywords: Adaptation; Bottom-up approach; Drivers; Barriers; Multi-functional; Societal transformation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 13848
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Conor Murphy
    Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2021 12:31
    Journal or Publication Title: Science of the Total Environment
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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