By adopting an integrated and participatory action-research approach, this project explores how rural communities living in flood-prone river basins respond to increasing incidences of floods and changes to flood patterns under the influence of climate change and other risk factors, such as hydro-electric power development, forest conversion and environmental degradation. The focus is on Cambodia (Mekong River Basin at Prek Prasob District, Kratie Province) and Fiji (Ba Watershed in Northwestern Viti Levu) which are among the countries most seriously affected by climate change, natural disasters and additional environmental livelihood risks in the Asia-Pacific region.
The major aims are to:
(A1) identify the spatial extent and dynamics of flood hazards as a result of multiple risk factors associated with climate change.
Specific goals under the first aim are to:
- review current state of knowledge in respect to environmental modelling and monitoring in target basins;
- develop an integrated modelling framework to assess current and future flood/environmental risks using both quantitative measurements and semi-quantitative survey results;
- estimate changes in risk under various future scenarios using the environmental livelihood security nexus framework developed by the research team.
(A2) determine the various factors that can enhance resilience and adaptive capacities of flood-affected communities in a changing environment.
Specific goals under this second aim are to:
- analyze perceptions of flood-affected individuals regarding the causes and impacts of flood disasters and how they interact with other risk factors, such as environmental degradation or hydropower development;
- examine local management of excess water as well as the prevention of and response to flood disasters at individual, family and community levels;
- integrate local and scientific knowledge towards developing more effective disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation strategies
(A3) develop examples of successful community-based flood management and climate adaptation that can serve as best-practice models for flood-affected communities in the Asia-Pacific.
Specific goals under this third aim are to:
- integrate short- and medium term recovery and rehabilitation of flood-affected communities with long-term mitigation and adaptation planning at the local, regional and national level;
- develop disaster prevention plans that help improve future disaster management, recovery and adaptation at the community level and inform policy-making and disaster education in the two countries;
- disseminate project outcomes through feedback workshops for local stakeholders, policy briefs, brochures, social media and peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals