Disasters occur first at the local level and affect local people. These localized impacts can then cascade to have national and international ramifications. As a result, the responsibility for managing such risks requires the linkage of local, national, and global scales. Some disaster risk management options are bottom-up strategies, designed by and for local places, while other management options are products of global negotiations that are then implemented through national institutions to local levels. Institutions, actors, governance, and geographic units of analysis are not uniform across these scales. Even within each scale there are differences. While some communities are able to cope with disaster risks, others have limited disaster resilience and capacity to cope with present disaster risk let alone adapt to climate variability and extremes. This is the topic of this chapter: to present evidence on where disasters are experienced, how disaster risks are managed at present, and the variability in coping mechanisms and capacity in the face of climate variability and change, all from the perspective of local places and local actors.
The chapter explores three themes:
- how disaster risks are managed at present;
- how the impact of climate extremes threatens human security at the local level;
- and the role of scale and context in shaping variability in vulnerability, coping, adaptive capacity, and the management of disaster risks and climate extremes at the local level.
Cutter, S., B. Osman-Elasha, J. Campbell, S.-M. Cheong, S. McCormick, R. Pulwarty, S. Supratid, and G. Ziervogel, 2012: Managing the risks from climate extremes at the local level. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation [Field, C.B., V. Barros, T.F. Stocker, D. Qin, D.J. Dokken, K.L. Ebi, M.D. Mastrandrea, K.J. Mach, G.-K. Plattner, S.K. Allen, M. Tignor, and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA, pp. 291-338.