An integrated community and ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk reduction in mountain systems

Klein et. al., 2019

The devastating 2015 earthquakes in Nepal highlighted the need for effective disaster risk reduction (DRR) in mountains, which are inherently subject to hazards and increasingly vulnerable to extreme events. As multiple UN policy frameworks stress, DRR is crucial to mitigate the mounting environmental and socioeconomic costs of disasters globally. However, specialized DRR guidelines are needed for biodiverse, multi-hazard regions like mountains. Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) emphasizes ecosystem conservation, restoration, and sustainable management as key elements for DRR. We propose that integrating the emerging field of Eco-DRR with community-based DRR (CB-DRR) will help address the increasing vulnerabilities of mountain people and ecosystems. Drawing on a global mountain synthesis, we present paradoxes that create challenges for DRR in mountains and examine these paradoxes through examples from the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.