Participatory Methods in the Georgian Caucasus: Understanding Vulnerability and Response to Debrisflow Hazards

Valentina Spanu, George Gaprindashvili, Michael Keith McCall
2015 International journal of geosciences  
Assessment and emergency planning to cope with disaster risks are usually founded primarily on expert evaluations, in part because local governments and public bodies mainly finance the recovery activities. Local communities affected by disasters are scarcely really involved in the processes of information collection, problem analysis, or design of emergency plans. However, the development of good practices for incorporating local people's knowledge into disaster risk management, known as
more » ... ity-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM), is becoming more common. Scientific communities increasingly realize the importance of local knowledge, though in Georgia this is still uncommon. Georgia faces frequent natural disasters and threats to its fragile ecosystems caused by unsustainable natural resource management and agricultural practices, improper infrastructure and urban development, as well as by innate geological and climatic factors. In this context, the lack of communication between local communities and public administrations is absolutely deleterious. The article analyzes the effectiveness of participatory methods and tools for better comprehension of people's vulnerability and responses. Fieldwork in mountain areas of Caucasus involved local communities to investigate the direct participation of local people in Disaster Risk Management and assess their availability and interest to engage in hazard mapping and risk responses. * Corresponding author. V. Spanu et al. 667
doi:10.4236/ijg.2015.67054 fatcat:3i6smuqnhfau5pyacimkf3p25u