Publications by authors named "Erin Coughlan de Perez"

3 Publications

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The role of international organizations in equitable and just planned relocation.

J Environ Stud Sci 2021 May 13:1-12. Epub 2021 May 13.

Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL USA.

Since 2010, States party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have recognized planned relocation as a viable adaptation to climate change. Planned relocation has been attempted in many communities globally and has raised serious issues of equity in some cases. Implementation driven by principles of equity is crucial in ensuring successful planned relocations that decrease loss and damage. In this Policy Analysis, we put forth a framework for equitable planned relocation rooted in theories of justice as a basis for implementation. The framework centers around three principles: comprehensive recognition of affected stakeholders in decision-making, consideration of socio-cultural risk factors relevant to relocation, and evaluation of multiple measures of well-being. There are many actors involved in planned relocation. Unique features and abilities of international organizations lend themselves to promoting equitable planned relocation in partnership with other stakeholders. Through the exploration of case studies, we identify best practices that international organizations have available to influence the design, implementation, and evaluation of planned relocation processes. These practices are relevant when striving for equity for all affected individuals and communities. Points of intervention include agenda-setting and advocacy, funding and implementation standards, and facilitation of international cooperation. International organizations also face barriers to supporting equitable planned relocation. Limitations include lack of enforcement mechanisms, limited resources, and fundamental dependence on existing governance structures and global collaboration. As the necessity of planned relocations grows, the need for leadership from international organizations in implementation is magnified, underscoring the importance of developing and evaluating approaches to just implementation.
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May 2021

Declining vulnerability to river floods and the global benefits of adaptation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015 May 20;112(18):E2271-80. Epub 2015 Apr 20.

Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands;

The global impacts of river floods are substantial and rising. Effective adaptation to the increasing risks requires an in-depth understanding of the physical and socioeconomic drivers of risk. Whereas the modeling of flood hazard and exposure has improved greatly, compelling evidence on spatiotemporal patterns in vulnerability of societies around the world is still lacking. Due to this knowledge gap, the effects of vulnerability on global flood risk are not fully understood, and future projections of fatalities and losses available today are based on simplistic assumptions or do not include vulnerability. We show for the first time (to our knowledge) that trends and fluctuations in vulnerability to river floods around the world can be estimated by dynamic high-resolution modeling of flood hazard and exposure. We find that rising per-capita income coincided with a global decline in vulnerability between 1980 and 2010, which is reflected in decreasing mortality and losses as a share of the people and gross domestic product exposed to inundation. The results also demonstrate that vulnerability levels in low- and high-income countries have been converging, due to a relatively strong trend of vulnerability reduction in developing countries. Finally, we present projections of flood losses and fatalities under 100 individual scenario and model combinations, and three possible global vulnerability scenarios. The projections emphasize that materialized flood risk largely results from human behavior and that future risk increases can be largely contained using effective disaster risk reduction strategies.
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May 2015