Document / Publication
Natural Hazards, September 2015, volume 78, issue 3, pp. 1669–1691, doi: 10.1007/s11069-015-1795-6
This article presents a unique approach to reducing the primary and secondary effects of remobilized tephra on ecosystems and human health, increasing the initial survival of vegetation, and improving both social and ecosystem resilience to future tephra-fall events.
As outlined under the UNISDR Hyogo/Sendai Framework for Action, healthy ecosystems and environmental management are key actions in disaster risk reduction (DRR). Iceland’s most serious environmental problem is the degraded state of common rangeland in the highlands, where tephra-fall has been catastrophic. The opportunities that effective ecosystem management provides for DRR, in terms of decreasing the vulnerability of both people and ecosystems to future extreme events, should be given high priority in disaster management planning. Successful DRR for tephra-fall, through the revegetation of degraded land, will require effective governance, multi-sector coordination, and the alignment of policies on land use, agriculture, natural resource management, and climate change mitigation.