Natural Disasters and Development: In a Globalizing World

By Mark Pelling | Go to book overview
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2000) is now taking hold in marginal areas in the form of chronic violence and social alienation. Transnational economic networks are taking advantage of the withdrawal of the state from isolated rural areas (and even no-go zones in the cities) by establishing smuggling, production of narcotics and other forms of illicit enterprise. This phenomenon suggests that there are heavy economic costs (in addition to ethical issues) stemming from conflict, criminality and social disintegration when services are withdrawn. Dismantlement of 'unsustainable development' has proved unsustainable as well.

If triage is to be used as an analytical concept for understanding the choices that actors make, and not as a recipe for exclusion, this will mean bringing risk management into the sphere of the ongoing national and international debates on the respective roles of government, civil society and the private sector. If we look at how policy decisions are being made based on triage, we can then ask 'what happens when vulnerability is ignored?'. The consequences of triage can be made more apparent. Risk management falls too often between the cracks of the policy debate. Calls for rights-based development may highlight failures, but provide little guidance for understanding how priorities can and must be determined. Making the choices and implications of these choices transparent is the first step in identifying where and why the political will may be found for reducing risk.

Agrawal, A. and Gibson (1999) 'Enchantment and disenchantment: the role of community in natural resource conservation', Available online:$FILE/FULLTEXT.html (accessed May 2002).
Ashley, C. and Maxwell, S. (2001) 'Rethinking rural development', Development Policy Review 19 (4), 395-425.
Bankoff, G. (2001) 'Rendering the world unsafe: "vulnerability" as Western discourse', Disasters 25 (1), 19-35.
Benson, C., Twigg, J. and Myers, M. (2001) 'NGO initiatives in risk reduction: an overview', Disasters 25 (3), 199-215.
Blench, R. and Marriage, Z. (1998) 'Climatic uncertainty and natural resource policy: what should the role of government be?', ODI Natural Resource Perspectives No. 31, April.
Callamard, A. and van Brabant, K. (2002) 'Accountability in humanitarian operations: a question of rights and duties', World Disasters Report 2002, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Carney, D. (ed.) (1998) Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: What Contribution Can We Make?, London: Department for International Development.
Charvériat, C. (2000) Natural Disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Overview of Risk, Inter-American Development Bank Working Paper No. 434, Washington, D.C.: IDB.
Christoplos, I. (1998) Sensemaking in Services: Perspectives from the Frontline in Relief and Development Practice, Agraria 92, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala.


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