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  • SISRI knowledge notes: Managing population retreat from at-risk areas

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SISRI knowledge notes: Managing population retreat from at-risk areas

Source(s):  Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the (GFDRR)
World Bank Institute (WBG)

Relocating populations away from at-risk areas is a challenging process, but increasingly necessary in Small Island States where communities face imminent hazards to life and property due to factors such as sea-level rise, coastal erosion and flood risks. A participatory process of population retreat can save lives and enhance the livelihoods of community members. It has to be recognized though, that best practices are still emerging and will need to be adjusted for cases of long-distance population relocation resulting from sea level rise.

São Tomé and Príncipe and Samoa offer valuable lessons on how to manage such a process:

  • Empowering communities to identify the current hazards, and find options for safe relocation, helped to establish community support from the start.
  • Planning for livelihoods and services in the relocated communities helped build willingness to relocate.
  • Retaining access to the coast was important, to ensure that communities could relocate to higher land without losing established livelihoods and cultural preferences that require access to the sea.
  • Steps need to be taken to prevent people from settling bank in the hazardous areas.

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  • SISRI knowledge notes: Managing population retreat from at-risk areas
  • Publication date 2016
  • Number of pages 11 p.

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