Special lecture on Climate Change Adaptation by Professor Andreas Neef at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) in Bangkok on 18 July 2017.
Professor Andreas Neef (University of Auckland, New Zealand), principal investigator of the APN-funded project “Climate Change Adaptation in Post-Disaster Recovery Processes: Flood-Affected Communities in Cambodia and Fiji” held a special guest lecture at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). The lecture was attended by more than 20 participants from ADPC and other Bangkok-based international organizations, such as the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Thailand Office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
In the lecture, Professor Neef presented the conceptual and methodological framework of the project and preliminary findings from fieldwork in several communities in Cambodia and Fiji, facing many challenges adapting to multi-hazard environments. A particular emphasis of Professor Neef’s talk was on tradeoffs between different adaptation strategies. One example from Fiji included how after flooding people built two-storey homes, only for them to be knocked down during a tropical cyclone.
His observations also found that while women are often seen as particularly vulnerable and disproportionately affected by disasters they can play a very strong role in disaster risk reduction. He and his fellow researchers observed women being involved in disaster preparedness activities, such as storing food and water for emergency situations, and planning recovery strategies.
Professor Neef ended his lecture stating that resilience and adaptation needs to be understood relative to a very localized context, and that communities just a few hundred meters apart had very different perceptions of risk and adaptation strategies.