ID08: Assessing vulnerabilities and resilience to mountain hazards
Losses and negative impacts caused by natural hazards increase worldwide. Research, however, is targeted mainly at the assessment of the natural processes themselves, rather than on their interaction with the built environment and affected communities. The understanding of this interaction and its assessment is the key to vulnerability reduction and increasing of resilience to natural hazards in mountain areas and beyond.
In this session, we welcome studies unveiling the dynamic root causes of vulnerability and aiming at the analysis and reduction of all its dimensions (physical, economic, social, environmental, cultural and institutional). Moreover, contributions focusing on the resilience of affected communities and the built environment to natural hazards in all phases of the disaster cycle and particularly the reconstruction phase (“build back better”) are of special interest. Additionally, we invite submissions concentrating on knowledge management, innovative data collection techniques, and citizen science related to the vulnerability and resilience of the elements at risk.
Abstract ID 520 | Date: 2022-09-14 16:00 – 16:15 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Seminar room SR1 |
Romagnoli, Federica; Cadei, Alberto; Costa, Maximiliano; Marangon, Davide; Nardi, Davide; Pellegrini, Giacomo
Università degli studi di padova, Italy
Keywords: European Mountain Forests, Windstorms, Multidisciplinary Approach, Socio-Ecological Systems, Resilience, Natural Hazards
Mountain forests fulfil essential socio-ecological functions. They provide goods and services fundamental for ensuring adequate livelihood and wellbeing of local communities, while ensuring protection against natural hazards and mitigating global climate change effects. Nonetheless, mountain forests are among the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change and are exposed to a growing number of stressors.
The increase in frequency and intensity of natural and human-induced disturbances play a central role in incrementing the vulnerability of mountain forests. Among natural disturbances, windstorms have been identified as the main disturbing abiotic agents for European forests, affecting a multiplicity of socio-environmental dimensions. Considering current and future scenarios, it is mandatory to investigate windstorm consequences with an integrated and systemic approach able fully represents the broad range of impacts and cascade effects among all the dimensions composing mountain forest socio-ecological systems.
Despite the existence of a vast literature documenting windstorm repercussions on forests, a relevant gap of knowledge in terms of multidimensional analysis of impacts exists. Research mainly adopts a uni-dimensional and sector specific approach, prioritizing impacts on environmental dimensions, leaving aside the understanding of human-nature interactions in shaping overall resilience of forest mountain system.
Through the adoption of an interdisciplinary approach this contribution aims at improving current knowledge on windstorm impacts on European mountain forests. Within the framework of Vaia-Front project, a detailed literature review was developed to simultaneously disentangle windstorm impacts on multiple forest related dimensions. A systemic approach was used to collect most relevant direct and indirect windstorm impacts on ecological, pest risk, geomorphological, forest operations, economic, socio-cultural and institutional forest related dimensions. Direct impacts and cascade effects retrieved are summarized and visualized in a causal map. The map aims at giving a detailed overview of cascade dynamics arising from windstorms repercussions on forests SESs and at improving the comprehension of human-nature interactions that influence socio and ecological resilience and post windstorm recovery in mountain forest SESs. Our study stresses the importance of implementing a multidisciplinary approach to assess windstorms and, more in general, extreme events impacts in order to design effective and long term recovery strategies, and tackle multiple challenges connected to natural hazards intensification.
Abstract ID 222 | Date: 2022-09-14 16:15 – 16:30 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Seminar room SR1 |
Kumar, Shekhar; Rao, K Nageswara
Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India
Keywords: Climate Change, Exposure, Sensitivity, Adaptive Capacity, Vulnerability
Progress in climate change assessment studies has revitalized the concept of vulnerability. Who is vulnerable and for what reasons has considerable diversity. Some societies, age groups, regions, environments, and nations are predominantly more vulnerable to climate change. An understanding of spatio-temporal patterns of present and projected future climates is critical for the mankind to get better equipped for addressing the impacts of climate change by formulating locally relevant mitigation and adaptation strategies. Here we applied an indicator based assessment for understanding the extent and spatial variations in vulnerability to climate change over Beas river basin. The extent of vulnerability was derived using relevant indicators determining the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity for each district falling in the study area. A huge difference in relief, climate, soil, altitude, demographics, culture, beliefs and society were noted in the upper and lower basin. The upper Beas river basin was found to be primarily dominated by mountainous relief and the lower basin was occupied with alluvial depositional plains. Further, it was observed that the high altitude mountainous regions of upper basin were frequently exposed to hazards like earthquakes, landslides, cloudbursts, avalanches, flash floods etc. Therefore, it had lower capacity to adapt to the adverse conditions. Whereas, the lower basin with supportive relief and developed socio-economic infrastructure had high adaptive capacity. It was concluded that Beas basin as a whole was moderately vulnerable to climate change with moderate exposure, low sensitivity and moderate adaptive capacity.
Abstract ID 797 | Date: 2022-09-14 16:30 – 16:45 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Seminar room SR1 |
Favargiotti, Sara; Pasquali, Margherita; Chioni, Chiara; Pianegonda, Angelica
University of Trento, Italy
Keywords: Fragile Landscapes, Water Ecosystems, Inner Territories, Co-Design, Branding4resilience
The circumstances that we are experiencing have activated many reflections about the relation among natural and urban environments. The mountains, the hamlets, the inner territories are among the most valuable places to live, work, relax, and enjoy everyday life. Very often these areas coincide with the most fragile territories for natural and human risks, where a new development path has to be defined. In Italy, Inner Areas (SNAI 2014) are often lacking successful regional policies and systemic territorial approaches to achieve effective transformations. These issues are addressed by the project "B4R Branding4Resilience" (Ferretti et al. 2021) and this contribution aims to present and discuss the first results of the research in Trentino (Italy).
Studies have often focused on economic, services and infrastructure marginality, supporting the classification of the "inner areas'' on quantitative indicators. The value of natural resources and the innovative practices to manage landscape and building heritage in extreme alpine contexts have never been taken into account as indicators of quality of life. In accordance with B4R topics, the main goal of the Trento research unit is to pursue leadership in "innovating with nature" through locally implementable co-design actions in small thermal villages, specifically focusing on the Val di Sole pilot area. The aim is to create a territorial strategy on the value of water resources, by promoting the enhancement of their territorial capital through spatial transformation. The interdisciplinary methodology is based on landscape ecology, territorial metabolism, cultural resilience, mapping, and circular economy as integrated systems. An in-depth data collecting process is used to explore the identity of the Val di Sole.
The contribution will illustrate the results of the exploration and the co-design workshop: the "Val di Sole Blueprint" as a tool to imagine sustainable development scenarios that connect places, humans and earth others for a better quality of life. Three specific themes were addressed offering strategies and project proposals to support local stakeholders in Val di Peio and Val di Rabbi: territories of proximity, co-creative communities, new forms of living. The research approach proposes a territorial brand that promotes adaptive resilience, whose change's processes and subsequent benefits are to be assessed in space and time through community's inclusion, in order to preserve the local unicity. To increase resilience, the development of nature-based activities is promoted to valorize the natural identity of the territory: a system of ecological, physical and immaterial features, qualities, and needs of local communities.
Abstract ID 951 | Date: 2022-09-14 16:45 – 17:00 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Seminar room SR1 |
Demmel, Sophia; Steinkogler, Walter; Langeland, Stian; Meier, Benjamin; Wyssen, Christian
Wyssen Avalanche Control AG, Switzerland
Keywords: Avalanche Risk Management, Information Platform, Digitalisation, Decision-Making Framework
Decision-making frameworks incorporate the large amounts of data from a variety of sources on which avalanche professionals base their decisions. In the daily operations, new software tools aid with the collection and interpretation of relevant information. We present a platform (WAC.3®) that digitalizes a hazard or risk-based decision workflow with the goal of optimizing the time and resources needed in the operational phase of avalanche safety projects.
After three operational winters with several partners in Switzerland (avalanche services of municipalities as well as ski resorts), the integration of a variety of input data and sensors into a single platform has proven to be accepted very well amongst practitioners. The software tool allows for better documentation and reporting as a key element for liability issues. Moreover, the platform allows to bring the local knowledge of individual people into the organization and preserves it in an easily accessible way for the next work shift or the next generation.
Today's immense availability of data is a challenge to any information platform. Novel automatic methods of merging the critical information situationally and smart can further support the operational workflow of avalanche professionals by generating an added value.
Abstract ID 959 | Date: 2022-09-14 17:00 – 17:15 | Type: Oral Presentation | Place: SOWI – Seminar room SR1 |
Pittore, Massimiliano (1); Haslinger, Klaus (2); Tagliavini, Fabrizio (3); Teich, Michaela (4); Borga, Francesca (5)
1: EURAC Research, Italy
2: ZAMG, Austria
3: ARPAV, Italy
4: BFW, Austria
5: EPC Srl, Italy
Extreme hydrometeorological events such as late autumn and winter storms are being increasingly observed in southern Europe and particularly in the Alps, where they threaten environmental and socio-economic systems. An example is the 2018 Vaia (also known as Adrian) storm (Oct 28-Nov 04), which strongly affected Italy, Austria, France and Switzerland. This storm has been considered exceptional yet could foreshadow multi-hazard phenomena whose frequency and intensity are likely to be influenced by climate change. In such conditions, currently available risk assessment and prevention tools may prove inadequate, particularly on a cross-border level and in vulnerable mountainous regions. Therefore, there is a need to provide decision makers and stakeholders with improved and harmonised tools and standardised frameworks to conduct efficient (climate) risk assessments for cross-border areas. Current and future impacts need to be systematically investigated to adopt prevention and disaster risk reduction measures for the mitigation of inherent risks. The TRANS-ALP project has been analysing the occurrence of severe weather events that can be classified as extreme and their specific features in the cross-border area between Austria and Italy (Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol and Veneto). Our findings indicate a noticeable increase of extreme weather conditions that can lead to adverse consequences, also from a systemic perspective, and a complex interplay of damaging factors and chained impacts that can extend for years after the occurrence of the generating events. The findings also highlight the importance of a comprehensive multi-hazard and transdisciplinary approach to storm risk assessment within a framework harmonising Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) instances. In this contribution some of the results and insights of the project will be presented and discussed.
The described research activities have been carried out within the framework of the DG-ECHO project TRANS-ALP funded by the European Union (Grant Agreement 101004843)