Complementing Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: Stakeholders’ Perspectives Toward Climate Change Drought Risk in Taiwan

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:10
Oral Presentation
Shih-Yun KUO, National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction, Taiwan
Ya-Hsuan CHIU, National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction, Taiwan
En-Yu CHANG, Ming Chuan University, Taiwan
Liang-Chun CHEN, Ming Chuan University, Taiwan
Hung-Chih HUNG, National Taipei University, Taiwan
Drought is one of serious natural disasters in Taiwan due to its uneven precipitation distribution across seasons. However, it is observed and projected that climate change would very likely change the precipitation pattern (i.e., increased extreme wet-dry seasons), which results in possible enhanced drought risk in Taiwan. The potential water shortage problem would not only affect economic development and the daily life of the general public, but also cause social conflicts over the issue of justice and fairness of water allocation among various users.

Moreover, foreseeing climate change and disaster risks are both key threats to humans’ sustainability, many researchers and policy makers recognize the need to integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction for policy cohesion and synergy in practice. Therefore, it is of interest to investigate how these stakeholders perceive of this issue and how these perspectives can help complementing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Targeting Northern Taiwan—a relatively high drought risk area due to potential reducing precipitation and high water demand, this study first conducts in-depth interviews to collect valuable perspectives from several key institutions (i.e., Water Resource Agency, Irrigation Association, Taiwan Water Corporation, Industrial Park Service Center). The study then further conducts quantitative surveys to investigate and compare multiple stakeholders’ drought risk perception (i.e., farmers, manufactures, general public, and public sectors) (n>1300).

The preliminary results show that the relation between drought and climate change is disconnected in both sociological and political aspects. While stakeholders recognize the risk of climate change, they tend to more focus on short-term drought problems, which also reflects on current policy and practices. The study concludes that to complement climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction effectively, one key gap that needs to overcome is to produce and communicate policy-relevant scientific information that integrates multiple stakeholders’ perspectives.