This contributing paper aims to ascertain whether two designated sustainable pathways for economic development enable or constrain effective response to climate-related disaster risks. The study identifies the processes and outcomes of economic development that have changed the capacity of local community for managing the increasing risks of typhoon and flooding. Evidence is sought from two rural communities in southern China.
The study finds that local economic transition can enhance the capacities for addressing these risks and adapting to future climate change by attracting institutional attention and resources to a locality. However, it can also turn into a contested process of transformation that destabilizes some of the social conditions underlying existing coping and adaptive capacities. The emergent processes of a broadly sustainable pathway have reduced some vulnerabilities but reinforced other ones.