Published works

Published works

How do island communities balance disaster resilience and what can mainlanders learn from that?

TitleHow do island communities balance disaster resilience and what can mainlanders learn from that?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSutton, S
Conference NameAFAC16
Date Published08/2016
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Conference LocationBrisbane
Abstract

This paper will look at the aspects of the character and balance of disaster risk reduction behaviour and resilience in island contexts focusing on the case study of Pulau Simeulue (Simeulue Island). The paper is in four parts, each setting out a context for understanding the relevance of islands for disaster risk reduction. The first will introduce the case study of Simeulue and its relevance to our understanding of disaster risk reduction (‘DRR’). The second section discusses the way in which islands have a special place in individual and community narratives and perceptions. It is argued that, far from being esoteric matters, the fact that we are capable of documenting different and deep-seated perceptions can lead to some wider lessons about mechanisms to build community resilience. The third section considers a biogeographic model of islands and the role they have played in the natural world, but also the how we have come to understand that world. Through a close examination of variability on and between islands we have come to a deeper understanding of biology generally. This context potentially lends itself to a wider understanding of DRR. Finally it will identify some of the specific properties of island communities that make them worthy of deeper consideration for a better understanding of DRR and growing community resilience in ‘mainland’ contexts.

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