How can awareness in civil society and in governance be raised? Reducing risks from coastal hazards

Carlo Sass Sørensen, Martin Jebens

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    Risks to human life, the economy and the environment are increasing globally incoastal areas. There is therefore a strong need to implement holistic and highly developed flood risk management systems which incorporate both risk mitigation and climate change adaptation. Based on the implementation of the EU Floods Directive and of municipal level climate adaptation plans in Denmark, we explore shortcomings in the ways we coordinate disaster risk management (DRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA) between scientists, decision- and policymakers, and the public inrelation to coastal flooding and erosion. From top-down approaches to law enforcementat European and national levels on DRM and CCA, respectively, to the local bottom-up approaches and actual implementation of plans, we investigate and pinpoint areas where major improvement is needed to deal with current and future risks and vulnerabilities in the coastal zone. Major topics are: i) No political and financial links between DRM, where budgets are reduced for preparedness etc, and CCA where there is only a vague political opinion on how to proceed; ii) The gap must be closed between academia based provision of tools and maps, and the needs of decision makers and the public; iii) Lack of knowledge and awareness about risk and risk reduction in the public; iv) Lack of transdisciplinary work especially between natural and social sciences; v) Timing of actions for coastal protection and DRM/CCA. Although legislative frameworks and capacity building efforts are different to those in Australia, many of the Danish coastal challenges are comparable in relation to future as well as acute risks to coastal communities and individual property owners.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th New South Wales Coastal Conference
    Number of pages14
    Publication date2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventNSW Coastal Conference 2015 - Forster, Australia
    Duration: 10 Nov 201513 Nov 2015


    ConferenceNSW Coastal Conference 2015
    Internet address


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