Document / Publication
A Scientific Report for the UNEP Asian Tsunami Disaster Task Force:
This study offers early but potentially meaningful guidance on the role of ecosystems in protecting the coastal areas, and further speaks for the sensible use of coastal areas. Following the tsunami that wreaked havoc in North Indian Ocean coastal areas on 26 December 2004, rapid rehabilitation of infrastructure is needed to help restore the livelihoods of local populations. A thorough understanding of factors leading to higher exposure to the tsunami is essential for improving coastal management, in order to rebuild near-shore infrastructure in a safer way. To initiate such a process, a spatial and statistical analysis was performed to identify which geophysical and biological configurations were susceptible to be associated with reduced tsunami impacts.
To be able to advise the affected countries and to fill the knowledge gap on the role of ecosystems in protecting the coast from tsunami waves, UNEP decided to carry our this study. The study aim was to identify which configuration of geophysical and biological parameters were leading to lower or higher exposure to tsunamis hazards. To this extent, global data sets were used to provide a first cut off as well as identifying the key parameters that are link to higher exposure to tsunami. Thus leading to potential explanations on why areas (even close to each others) presented a significant discrepancy in the width of flooded land strip.