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Local solutions to disasters: Risks, impacts and adaptation

The current scientific consensus links climate change to devastating consequences for society including natural hazards, heatwaves, floods, droughts and hurricanes. Yet, potential solutions requiring collaboration between communities, local actors and scientists continue to face considerable structural, spatial, temporal and definitional challenges.
Structural challenges: Political and micro-political aspects and how they interact with structural inequalities are important to understand vulnerability and the disproportionate impacts of climate change induced extreme events.
Spatial challenges: At the local level, providing usable information for people is challenging particularly in the poorest regions of the world. While hazards can be explored with weather and climate data. overall risk can only be assessed by balancing location-specific information and data which is often inaccessible or under researched.
Temporal challenge: Often climate change impacts have not been monitored consistently or according to the best available science and data. Particularly in the global South and developing economies, these temporal challenges make effective adaptation challenging.
Definitional challenge: vulnerability across time-space is defined in diverse ways. Many approaches tend to use hazard, exposure and vulnerability interchangeably. Whereas the assessment of local vulnerability is only possible by combining natural and social sciences with stakeholder engagement, prevailing interventions miss one or the other resulting in limited possibility for project sustainability Furthermore, a universal conceptualization or approach to vulnerability is yet to be presented.
Local adaptation solutions to these challenges do exist and could be used as models to be transferred to other regions. For example, UNESCO-designated sites such as Biosphere Reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks provide solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation based on inclusive, transparent, and empowering governance processes, in line with sustainable development.
We welcome research on locally produced and scientifically robust solutions to these structural, spatial, temporal and definitional challenges. Particularly abstracts focusing on 1) the quantification of hazards, risks, and impacts that matter for the identified community, 2) conceptual frameworks and tools to assess vulnerability and exposure, 3) approaches to monitor impacts and 4) case studies that showcase local solutions.

Co-organized by CL3.2
Convener: Emily Boyd | Co-conveners: Martha Marie VogelECSECS, Simphiwe Laura Stewart
| Wed, 25 May, 10:20–11:50 (CEST)
Room 1.31/32

Wed, 25 May, 10:20–11:50

Chairpersons: Cornelia Scholz, Rene Orth, Martha Marie Vogel

Welcome and introduction

Virtual presentation
Veronica Karabaczek et al.

The focus on adaptation to climate change within policy and research has increased over the last decades. Although the adaptation of human societies to a changing environment is nothing new, the accelerated rate of anthropogenic climate change and the resulting increased frequency and intensity of natural hazards raise new questions regarding the effectiveness of adaptive measures, and whether limits to adaptation could be reached. Adaptation limits are defined by the IPCC as the point at which an actor’s objectives (or system needs) cannot be secured from intolerable risk through adaptive actions. They are highly context-dependent and can be financial, technical or biophysical, but are also rooted within beliefs, knowledge, or norms and values. Reaching an adaptation limit means going beyond the adaptive capacity of an actor or system. Adaptive  capacity is influenced by the awareness of policymakers and decision makers for the need to act, making it important to understand their perceptions on climate change and adaptation measures in order to identify limits to adaptation. The research project “TransLoss” aims to provide empirical policy-relevant scientific insights into climate-related risks “beyond adaptation” that may play a role in Austria now and in the future, and their influence on society and the natural environment.

We carried out semi-structured interviews (n=26) with Austrian experts from research, policy and practice to identify main sources of concern related to climate-related risks and possible factors impeding adaptation. The interviews were analysed using Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) and coded into categories identifying the most relevant hazards and sectors which are perceived to be most impacted, as well as factors increasing vulnerability and exposure. Possible adaptation limits were divided into groups according to whether they are biophysical, technical, financial, knowledge-related, or value-related. Mentions of cooperation with other institutions and relevant projects were mapped and offer an insight into the stakeholder landscape dealing with disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Austria.

Scenarios of intolerable climate-related risks and impacts (such as loss of life) described by the interviewees are frequently related to water availability and supply. Large-scale floods from extreme precipitation or the bursting of dams, heat stress triggering impacts on protection forests and loss of agricultural production, and “chain reactions” (or systemic risks) caused by blackouts, which affect multiple sectors, may also lead to intolerable impacts. Measures which could prevent the breaching of adaptation limits and reduce losses and damages include more restrictive hazard zoning and increased cooperation between interest groups (e.g. farmers, foresters, municipalities, citizens, different levels of administration), for example through more interdisciplinary networks and consultations regarding adaptation measures. More awareness-raising for climate change among policymakers and society is needed, as well as shifting more responsibility on households for private risk reduction. This could for instance be achieved through compulsory climate-related hazard insurance, increased financial contributions when benefiting from protective measures or reduced financial support after a hazardous event.

How to cite: Karabaczek, V., Schinko, T., Menk, L., and Kienberger, S.: Perceptions on intolerable climate-related risks and potential limits to adaptation in Austria, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11617, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11617, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi et al.

Risk perception is an essential element to consider for effective risk management at time of eruption, especially in densely populated cities close to volcanoes. The city of Goma in the East of the DR Congo is one these cities highly exposed to volcanic hazards and highly populated. The perception of volcanic risk involves the processes of collecting, selecting and interpreting signals about uncertain impacts of volcanic hazards. Using a questionnaire survey, this study describes the spatial variation and factors influencing the individual volcanic risk perception of 2204 adults from height representative neighbourhoods of the city of Goma before the May 2021 Nyiragongo eruption. A composite risk perception indicator was built from the perceived likelihood of occurrence of volcanic hazards and of their impacts and from the perceived likelihood of being personally impacted. Statistical analysis of survey’s results shows that the risk perception is mostly shaped by risk cognitive and psychological factors rather than demographic factors (group, family status and previous risk experience). Perceived personal exposure to and predictive power of environmental cues (sights and sounds that are considered to indicate a hazard onset) positively shape risk perception. The higher the level of personal understanding and interest in seeking  risk information, the higher the risk perception. In addition, risk perception leads to high level of anxiety. Finally, the spatial analysis shows that the highest level of risk perception was observed in the eastern part of the city, previously impacted by lava flows in 2002.  

How to cite: Mafuko Nyandwi, B., Michellier, C., Muhashy Habiyaremye, F., Kervyn, F., and Kervyn, M.: Contrasts in volcanic risk perception among Goma population before the Nyiragongo eruption of May 2021 (East DR Congo), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-445, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-445, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Suci Dewi Anugrah et al.

Tsunami risk in Indonesia is strongly real and needs serious handling. Due to the extremely dangerous, it is important for coastal communities to be prepared and responsive in responding to threats. The recent decade tsunami disaster highlighted the extraordinary gaps and challenges on the development and strengthening of the downstream component on the system. Communities need to be educated, aware and ready to respond to warnings both natural as well as official warnings. For this reason, the Indonesia Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) considers to introduce an Indonesia Tsunami Ready programme that will encourage communities to build, strengthen and develop their capacity and ability to respond to tsunami threats.

In this paper we try to analyze the community actualization on hazard assessment, preparedness, and response as the result of the Indonesian Tsunami Ready programme. The assessment is based on the 12 indicators of the tsunami ready which had been determined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC). A field survey of the 12 indicators has been carried out to assess seven communities (Penggarangan, Pangandaran, Gelagah, Kemandang, Tambakrejo, Kuta Mandalika, and Tanjung Benoa) living in the tsunami prone area.

Generally, the results showed the communities didn’t have the updated tsunami hazard map as the hazard assessment indicator. The previous hazard map was not established based on the latest seismological study and tsunami modelling. Most of communities have an emergency operation plan for earthquake and tsunami, even though it doesn’t consider the earthquake information and tsunami warning. In some villages such as Tanjung Benoa and Kuta Mandalika, local potentials are used also to empower the preparedness and response capacity.

BMKG gave an advocacy to complete and accomplish some the unavailable indicators such as tsunami hazard map, emergency operation plan, and public education materials. The result of this study is expected to be an effective way to build a community awareness, preparedness and response.

Keywords: tsunami ready, 12 indicators of tsunami ready, hazard assessment, preparedness, response

How to cite: Anugrah, S. D., Julius, A. M., Daryono, D., Hidayanti, H., Weniza, W., Kriswinarso, T., Simangunsong, G., Rahayu, R. H., Apriani, M., Yatimantoro, T., Hawati, P., Karnawati, D., Sadly, M., and Prayitno, B. S.: A Preliminary Assessment of the Indonesian Tsunami Ready Communities , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10965, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-10965, 2022.

On-site presentation
Caroline Russell et al.

This paper contributes to the study of collaborative governance (CG) - systems where autonomous actors work together around shared objectives using pooled resources to address a common goal. Among CG’s claimed benefits are boosting actor capacities for transformative action and increasing their resilience to complex multi-scaled challenges such as hazards and sudden catastrophic events. We engage with collaborative governance through a case study of changing public policy and institutional structures that govern hazards in Nepal. Following the shocking event of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, Nepal’s approach to disaster risk reduction (DRR) has been reshaped by federalisation and institutional reforms that aim to embed a governing system based on greater collaboration. We argue this shift amounts to a state transition to a collaborative governance regime (CGR) for DRR. Using primary qualitative data derived from 17 semi-structured interviews at national, provincial, and local scales, we identify state-sponsored scalar narratives around 1) actor capacities and tendencies in DRR; 2) knowledge production on DRR and its dissemination; and 3) formal and informal institutional DRR roles and responsibilities. We show how these narratives are being used as anchor points for a new CG approach to national DRR strategy. However, our analysis shows these narratives risk excluding local participation in DRR by marginalising grassroots politics to emphasise top-down state-led goals. In turn, this leads us to question the viability of the emerging governance regime as a truly collaborative project embedding principles of sustainability and inclusivity. We conclude that if these state scalar narratives continue to shape national policy, they will impede the potential for transformative collaborative action for DRR in Nepal.

How to cite: Russell, C., Clark, J., Hannah, D., and Sugden, F.: Towards a collaborative governance regime for disaster risk reduction: exploring scalar narratives of institutional change in Nepal., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2600, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2600, 2022.


Virtual presentation
Andra-Cosmina Albulescu et al.

Access to comprehensive and updated statistical and spatial databases represents a prerequisite of sound risk, hazard, vulnerability and resilience analyses, which have been advancing in terms of complexity and efficiency for the last 50 years, alongside the development of GIS techniques. Without adequate quantitative and qualitative datasets, research is sensitive to inaccurate and imprecise results, failing to meet the requirements for which it was designed and having zero input to the scientific progress.

Most developing countries - including Romania, face the problem of incomplete, inaccurate or outdated data in many fields of research, including geology-related fields and statistics about the building stock and transport infrastructure. These types of data are fundamental for vulnerability assessments of urban spaces to seismic or landslide hazards. This paper aims to provide a GIS-based methodology for acquiring datasets of the geological surface deposits and of the building stock at the scale of urban settlements, focusing on Iași City in the NE of Romania, respectively on the Țicău area of this city.

The mapping of geological surface deposits relies on automatic image analysis and landforms extraction algorithms that identify and delineate geological deposits based on slope and curvature, using High-resolution DEMs, as well as on cluster analysis. Slope deposits are delineated via watershed segmentation performed by Vision with Generic Algorithms (ViGRA), whereas the Schmidt-Hewitt classification is used to delineate floodplain and ridge deposits. The building stock is extracted from LiDAR point clouds with densities of 4 to 6 points per square meter using various approaches: neural network and deep learning for classification, and bounding rectangles for building boundary extraction. While LiDAR data is not available, high resolution imagery provided by the Copernicus programme can be used in conjunction with classification and edge detection algorithms to delineate building objects. The results are promising and show how the already available tools can be used to fill in the gaps of the “no-data problem” and overcome such a challenging issue. 

The obtained spatial data, namely surface deposits and building stock, become a major asset for the further vulnerability assessments that integrate geotechnical and physical aspects. This may help identify what local scale elements contribute to disaster resilience or, on the contrary, what fuels vulnerability.

How to cite: Albulescu, A.-C., Necula, N., Niculiță, M., Grozavu, A., and Larion, D.: Compensating the absent or incomplete data required in vulnerability analyses via GIS. A case study on the surface geology and building stock of Iași City, Romania, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5724, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5724, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Ivan Fabregat et al.

Geological hazard caused by ground movements (landslides, subsidence...) are difficult to assess at regional scale due to the large number of potential vulnerable elements.

The paper shows an innovative methodology for a quickly quantify of principal infrastructures (buildings, roads, and railways) structural vulnerability in urban settlements affected by ground movements detected by the Active Deformation Areas (ADA) obtained by medium and high-resolution radar satellites interferometry (Sentinel-1A / B and Cosmo-SkyMed, respectively).

The methodology, tested in the Pyrenean counties of La Cerdanya and Alt Urgell (Catalunya, NE Spain) in the framework of the MOMPA project, has served as the basis for a preliminary estimation a long-term of physical and economic vulnerability. Open information from Cadastral and topographic data (such us, OpenStreetMap®) have been used to calculate vulnerability to buildings, roads, and the railways.

Physical building vulnerability has been calculated from the expected damages according to the type of building, based on this case on the age of the construction. For economic vulnerability, has been used the average of second-hand sale price. The physical vulnerability in roads has determined from the expected damage according to the categories (typology) of existing roads and, the economic one, on the basis the linear average construction price. In the same way, have been calculated the railways vulnerabilities. The vulnerability ranges have been determined based on the expected damage classes based on our experience and existing works. The hazard, an essential variable for the calculation of vulnerability, has been determined by the intensity of the phenomenon derived by the ADA intensity. This intensity allows obtaining a direct estimate of the magnitude of the ground movement. Thus, the hazard is determined by the strain rate (mm / year) of the satellite monitoring data.

This methodology provides a first vulnerability assessment of the vulnerable elements detected by that ADA that allows optimizing and prioritizing efforts in works related to geological risk management and making a rapid assessment of loss at the vulnerable elements.

The clustering of scattering points of the Sentinel 1 A / B data gave a result of 361 ADA, and 59 ADA from the Cosmo-SkyMed satellite (over an area of around 2,000 km2). Between the two satellites, 80 ADA have detected buildings with a category of superficial damage for deformation rates <16 mm / year and an average loss of 5% of their value. 135 ADA affect some category of roads, causing superficial damage (20% of losses) in 96% and structural damage (80% of losses) in the remaining. No railways were affected by the Active Deformation Area (ADA) in Alt Urgell and La Cerdanya counties.

This work has been supported by the European Commission under the Interreg V-A-POCTEFA programme (grant no. Mompa – EFA295/19).

How to cite: Fabregat, I., Marturià, J., Buxó, P., and López-Quintanilla, C.: Rapid physical and economic vulnerability assessment of the elements affected by Active Deformation Areas (ADA) detected by radar interferometry in the central Pyrenees of Catalonia (Spain), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4056, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4056, 2022.


Virtual presentation
Isabel Hagen et al.

Climate-related sudden-onset events (e.g., floods, cyclones) and slow-onset processes (e.g., sea level rise and heat waves) pose a major risk to communities all over the world. With intensifying climate change in combination with unequal socioeconomic development, climate-related risks are expected to escalate in the future, potentially leading to critical losses and damages. This calls for efficient and achievable risk management strategies. Climate Risk Management (CRM) is a leading approach to identify, assess and reduce risks, through an integration of Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, and sustainable development. CRM aims at comprehensively managing risks and increasing resilience and adaptive capacity. To date, several conceptual CRM frameworks have been developed, which have, however, rarely been applied to real-world cases.

Based on this conceptual literature, we further develop a comprehensive CRM framework, comprising both the risk assessment as well as the implementation and monitoring domains of CRM, and test it on three real-world risk cases in Peru, India and Austria. The cases have distinct spatial scales, from local level in Peru, to district level in India, to nationwide in Austria. The risks covered in these cases are linked to different hazards, ranging from glacier lake outburst floods (Peru), sea level rise, salinization and cyclones (India), to riverine flooding and agricultural droughts (Austria).

The aim of this complementary case study approach is to validate the overall structure and individual steps of the CRM framework against actual risk management practices in the three case studies. Based on the specific results and common insights from the three cases, we are able to (1) evaluate the applicability of the proposed conceptual CRM framework in real world circumstances, (2) present evidence on the extent to which comprehensive management of climate-related risks has been achieved in the three cases, and (3) synthesize policy recommendations towards an achievable comprehensive CRM in practice, acknowledging specific local contexts and characteristics.

How to cite: Hagen, I., Allen, S., Bahinipati, C. S., Frey, H., Huggel, C., Karabaczek, V., Kienberger, S., Mechler, R., Menk, L., and Schinko, T.: An international perspective on comprehensive climate risk management: experiences from Peru, India and Austria, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6038, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6038, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Benjamin Sultan and Youssouph Sane

In recent decades, West Africa has experienced some of the most extreme rainfall variability anywhere in the world with adverse impacts on different sectors such as food security or water resources. Climate projections for the 21st century tend to show that the future could be even worse. Better access to reliable climate information underpins effective climate change adaptation in a variety of sectors. However the data needed are often hard to find and there are major obstacles which limit the confidence and use of this information in decision-making processes: climate data use requires very good IT skills and climate knowledge. Effective and easy to use climate tools require a clear need for interactive climate portals that allow data visualization and download for further analysis. Although, some climate portals already exist in West Africa, most of them suffer from major flaws or were not designed based on user’s needs. To address this challenge, IRD together with ANACIM (Senegalese Meteorological Service) co-designed a Web-portal in Senegal with high quality simulations and following three steps to make it usable by stakeholders: (i) build a dialogue with relevant stakeholders, (ii) develop methodologies for using climate and impacts models and (iii) perform capacity building and training activities. This talk will illustrate those three steps of the design of the Web-portal.

How to cite: Sultan, B. and Sane, Y.: Building a climate change impacts portal for Senegal to promote decision making, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2991, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2991, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Rahel Laudien et al.

Almost half of the Burkinabe population is moderately or severely affected by food insecurity. Due to ongoing armed conflicts and the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 negatively affecting households’ income and access to markets, the number of food insecure people is expected to increase. Moreover, climate change further jeopardizes domestic food production and thus food security. Early warning systems can provide information about the expected harvest, which allows governments to adjust food imports in case of expected harvest losses or ask for external food assistance. Thus, early warning systems can contribute to increased food security.

In this session, we would like to discuss how a forecast of staple crop production can inform early warning systems of food security. Based on a statistical crop model, we provide a within-season forecast of crop production for maize, sorghum and millet in Burkina Faso. Moreover, we compare actually supplied calories with those usually consumed from staple crops, allowing us to provide early information on shortages in domestic cereal production on the national level.

Results show that despite sufficient domestic cereal production from maize, sorghum and millet on average, a considerable level of food insecurity prevails for large parts of the population. This highlights the importance of a comprehensive assessment of all dimensions of food security to rapidly develop counteractions for looming food crises.

How to cite: Laudien, R., Gornott, C., Schauberger, B., and Waid, J.: Forecasting shortages in staple crop production in Burkina Faso to inform early warning systems , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11633, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-11633, 2022.

Fredrik Huthoff et al.

Based on the notion that Flood risk communication contributes to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), a novel community-centred approach called “Our Flood Mural”/“Nosso Mural de Cheias” was tested in Beira, Mozambique. “Our Flood Mural” centres around the co-creation of an interactive mural painting that highlights local experiences of past flood events, informs on the existing flood risk in the area and suggests possible risk-reducing measures. The mural brings together local knowledge and arts, and modern information technologies. “Our Flood Mural” can easily be upscaled and adapted to the local context in various settings.

A key part of “Our Flood Mural” was active engagement with the local community. Survey results and plenary community sessions were held and showed that the people of the targeted community have a broad understanding of what they can do to reduce flood risk, such as strengthening of rooftops, moving to higher ground, and freeing drainage canals from clutter. These shared experiences were incorporated in the design of the mural which was made by a local artist. Also, two interactive QR-codes were included on the mural to offer additional (online) information: one linking to local weather forecasts and giving background information on the development process of the mural. The location of the mural was mutually decided to be at a local market where it is exposed to a wide audience on a daily basis.

During the implementation of the mural, festivities were organized with local leaders present to draw attention to the purpose of the mural. Local leaders, community members, and aid organisations expressed ownership and pride as well as the desire to expand the idea to other locations and to address societal issues other than flood risk. It was also noticeable that the linkage of the mural to online information drew attention in the community, showing the mural’s potential as a means of introducing new technologies and information channels to reach a target audience.

Lessons-learned from our community-centred approach include the importance of organizing plenary sessions and carrying out local surveys to assure accurate representation of the communities’ flood risk situation, and to assure adequate use of imagery and/or text. The visibility and accessibility of the different steps in the co-creation approach can help communities, technical experts, aid organizations, and officials interact constructively and identify potential improvements in each other’s actions.

How to cite: Huthoff, F., Young, A., Cortes Arevalo, J., Hagedooren, H., and Rudolph, M.: Community-centred Disaster Risk Reduction: Experiences from “Our Flood Mural” in Beira, Mozambique, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12476, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-12476, 2022.

On-site presentation
Jean-Claude Maki Mateso et al.

Whereas landslides have been widely studied in terms of dangerous phenomena and land degradation processes, they may also be a source of opportunities for local communities in developing countries.  Indeed, landslides modify topography, soil characteristics or local hydrology, which may lead to favorable conditions for human settlements, agriculture, or mining activities. However, little is known about the factors that influence landslide valorization. The aim of this study was to assess, based on the characteristics of the landslides and land user’s perception of risk, the extent, modes of valorization and degree of satisfaction in exploiting landslides in the Kalehe region on the rift flanks west of Lake Kivu. Seventy landslides were selected out of 785 inventoried landslides by stratified sampling according to three criteria (type of movement, size, and position of landslide on the rift flanks). In addition, the landslides were characterized in terms of the local lithology, their age and depth. A survey was carried out with farmers exploiting these landslides.  In addition, a comparative study of land uses in and outside the landslides was performed. We collected opinions from 82 farmers on 57 landslides of the 70 initially selected due to accessibility or safety constraints. All visited landslides were exploited except for three.  All respondents knew about landslides, and more than 75% could report signs of landslide activity on their parcel. Almost 90% of these farmers consider the landslide risk to be high to very high, especially in the case of recent landslides and those with a flow movement. Compared to adjacent flanks, land values are higher and farmer satisfaction greater inside landslides characterized by less steep slopes, higher fertility, deeper soils, wetter soil, and lower stoniness, which is preferentially associated with old, deep-seated, and large landslides with a slide movement. On the contrary, land in recent landslides is cheaper. Farmer satisfaction is lower inside these landslides that are less wet, less fertile, shallower, or richer in sand content than the adjacent flanks. Spatial analysis revealed a differentiation in land uses in the landslides compared to the surrounding flanks. Subsistence crops occupy a larger proportion inside the landslides, while eucalyptus plantations and pastures have higher proportion outside. Statistical tests revealed that landslide characteristics significantly explain the differences in land use proportions for subsistence crop, forest, and banana land uses. Landslides less favorable for valorization are generally small, with very steep topography. This study shows that almost all landslides are being exploited by farmers and that farmers adapt their land use to the type of landslide. Some types of landslides further offer more favorable conditions for cropping that land outside landslides.  Despite the high perceived risk of landsliding, human settlement on unstable slopes would be justified because any future hazards are outweighed by the immediacy of the benefits. Better understanding the reasons for the settlement of rural populations on unstable landslides may help devise better risk mitigation strategies.

How to cite: Maki Mateso, J.-C., Dewitte, O., and Bielders, C.: Living on landslides: land use on unstable slopes in a rural environment of the Rift flanks west of Lake Kivu (DR Congo), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2009, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2009, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Irina Pavlova et al.

Hydrometeorological hazards such as floods, landslides and droughts are in many parts of the world occurring more frequently and more severely than in the past and are exacerbated by climate change. UNESCO-designated sites which focus on the protection and sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage are often partly or entirely exposed to natural hazards and extreme weather events, with potential impacts on the communities living in or near the sites, and on their livelihoods. Many natural UNESCO sites such as Biosphere Reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks can serve as effective climate observatories and testing grounds for sustainable approaches including Nature-based Solutions (NBS).

NBS are based on the sustainable management, protection, and use of nature to mitigate environmental risks and preserve ecosystems, while providing environmental, social, and economic benefits, and building resilience to a changing climate. UNESCO promotes the uptake of integrated NBS for disaster risk reduction by leveraging local and scientific knowledge streams and participatory stakeholder engagement.

OPERANDUM is an EU-funded project supported by UNESCO that aims to deliver tools and methods to prove the efficacy of innovative NBS for multi-hazard hydro-meteorological risks in rural and natural areas. These so-called Open-Air Laboratories (OALs) comprise 10 rural territories, including two European Biosphere Reserves, where novel NBS practices are implemented and assessed through innovative monitoring systems and cutting-edge numerical modelling approaches.

The Po Delta Biosphere Reserve represents part of the OAL Italy where river flooding and subsequent salt intrusions driven by climate change and sea level rise threaten the livelihoods of local communities. Novel lab experiments have been developed to assess the ability of different plant species to function as effective natural barriers to salt intrusions and protect agricultural lands, reinforce the riverbank, and preserve inland water quality. In addition, advanced monitoring techniques and multi-scale impact modelling are deployed on site to estimate the impact of the NBS.

In an effort to promote upscaling of these solutions, OPERANDUM has developed an open-source online platform for NBS called the Geospatial Information Knowledge Platform (GeoIKP). Building on the knowledge acquired at the OALs, the platform offers a variety of cutting-edge services, interactive tools, customizable web-GIS functionalities, and standardized data repositories. It aims to serve as a hub for the global NBS community to share information, tools, data, and experiences to reduce hydro-meteorological hazards, and to address related societal challenges in rural areas.

How to cite: Pavlova, I., Amirzada, Z., Pulvirenti, B., Ruggieri, P., Leo, L. S., Kalas, M., and Di Sabatino, S.: European Biosphere Reserves - open air laboratories for tackling hydrometeorological hazards, OPERANDUM project, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10141, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-10141, 2022.

Virtual presentation
Paolo Ruggieri and the The OAL-Italy

The Open-Air Laboratory, a novel concept developed by the EU-funded Operandum project(OPEn-air laboRAtories for Nature baseD solutions to Manage Environmental risk) to co-design,implement and assess the effectiveness of Nature-Based Solutions (NBSs), has been introduced at the EGU General Assembly 2021  (Ruggieri, P. and the OAL-Italy: The Open-Air Laboratory Italy, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9495, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9495, 2021.). In this work we present the results obtained in the framework of the Open-Air Laboratory Italy (OAL-Italy) related to innovative NBSs to mitigate the impact of hydrometeorological hazards in present and future climate. The results are multidisciplinary and involve novel modelling strategies, laboratory measurements and targeted monitoring open-field campaigns in three operational sites, where NBSs are implemented to mitigate a range of hydrometeorological hazards such as coastal erosion, flooding, storm surge and salt wedge intrusion. Innovative NBSs tested and developed by the OAL include deep-rooted plants installed on a river embankment to prevent levee failures, special plants that can live in high salt concentration and remove salt from the river mouth water, an artificial dune and marine seagrass to mitigate the impact of storm surges and coastal erosion. The three sites where these NBS are implemented are located in the Emilia Romagna region, in Northern Italy and they involve the Panaro river, a tributary of the Po river, a branch in the Po river delta and a beach in the north Adriatic sea close to the delta Po river. The innovative approaches to tackle the mentioned hazards are described and results in terms of monitoring campaign results in combination with modelling results are presented. We discuss the innovative approach proposed to test and validate the efficacy of the NBS in present and future climate, in order to evaluate the replicability and the upscaling of the NBSs. We confirm that the OAL constitutes an unprecedented holistic effort towards sustainable land management, adaptation to climate change and the acceptance of Nature-Based Solutions.

How to cite: Ruggieri, P. and the The OAL-Italy: Results by the Open-Air Laboratory Italy , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7440, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7440, 2022.

Obbe Tuinenburg et al.

Characteristics of Parametric Risk Transfer 

Extreme heat events are an underrecognized natural hazard impacting many parts of society, and especially the vulnerable poor. Sometimes the effects of a heat event, or a heat wave, are measurable, such as in the relationship between heat and reproductive outcomes in agriculture, or directly as damaged infrastructure or higher cost of industrial cooling. More often, the true impacts and social costs are more difficult to quantify such as in the case of reduced labor productivity, spikes in moribundity and mortality and a variety of other business interruptions.

We present a parametric risk transfer product targeting extreme heat effects. The initial application of the product is for heat emergencies in working poor urban settings of Northern India, but the objective is to generalize the product globally.

Heat Index Selection

Central to a parametric risk transfer product is an index that is closely related to the damaging effects. This index should be based on an undisputed data source, that neither the insured or the insurance provider can influence. In parametric risk transfer, payouts are based on the index value, rather than an ex-post loss assessment. The main strengths of parametric products is that payments for an event can be made nearly immediately following a triggering event, providing financial resources to quickly address and mitigate losses.

We tested and present a large sample of the many extreme heat indexes which exist in the literature  pertaining to human physiology for their historical impacts on mortality and on business interruption from historical data in Europe and India.

We characterize the risk in terms of maximum severity as well as the bivariate relationship of severity and duration and derive exceedance probabilities. Based on this assessment, we adopt a generalized form of the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature as extreme heat index, based on the ERA5 atmospheric reanalysis.


Implementation in Gujarat, India

The index will be implemented as part of a resilience building program with women’s network Mahila Housing Trust, across three cities in the Gujurat state of India. The index will form the basis of a risk transfer product with local credit cooperatives in these regions - ultimate beneficiaries will be individual cooperative members, women employed in the informal sector. A climate risk education program will also be offered concurrently to inform mitigation and adaptation measures for the cooperative members.

  Global applicability

The use of parametric risk transfer schemes to mitigate the effects of extreme heat is possible beyond the implementation in India. Based ont he lessons learnt in this pilot project, parametric products can be used in extreme heat risk adaptation if:

1. the index and data sources are defined and accepted by all local parties.

2. a strong local distribution channel is present

3. strong capacity is built to deal with basis risk

How to cite: Tuinenburg, O., Smith, W., Brahmbhatt, B., Gorana, R., and Hartell, J.: Extreme heat index for Parametric Risk Transfer in Northern India, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7269, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7269, 2022.