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Planned relocation due to landslide-triggered tsunami risk in recently deglaciated areas
This article contributes to the literature by presenting insights and lessons from two case studies of unprecedented landslide-triggered tsunami risk in recently deglaciated areas that have not previously been described in the relocation literature: the unstable Svínafellsheiði slopes in south-east Iceland, and Karrat and Uummannaq Fjords in north-west Greenland. Climate change is contributing to the magnitude, frequency and location of natural hazards, including landslides and landslide-triggered tsunamis. As the costs of protecting against a given risk increase, relocation may become the only feasible option despite the socio-economic, human security and cultural consequences. The relocation of people represents one of the most complex governance challenges generated by climate change.
Our results draw attention to the need for planned relocation to be conducted in-line with international best practices, including those relating to the active involvement of affected people in decision-making, ensuring adequate compensation, and clarifying relocation planning schedules. This has occurred against a backdrop of colonial power dynamics, urbanisation trends, and the rise of tourism in these locations. Based on the findings, we recommend that the role of government pivot from determining risk management and relocation options, to providing a structure to underpin and support community agency.