Assessment of Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies in Coastal Environments of Taiwan
Department of Geography, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU)
162 He Ping East Road, Section 1, Taipei 10610, Taiwan
Taiwan’s rapid economic and industrial growth has put enormous pressure on its natural environment. This is especially visible in the coastal zone, where risks such as sea-level rise, coastal erosion, land subsidence, and flooding threaten the already vulnerable ecosystems. Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) is a management strategy that uses ecosystems to reduce disaster risks. While this type of strategy is promoted in the ‘Taiwan Coastal Zone Management Act’ (TCZMA), there is still a lack of data on the implementation of Eco-DRR methods in Taiwan. This study examines papers on policy analyses of the TCZMA, and five main barriers for implementation of Eco-DRR in Taiwan are identified. Subsequently, in order to assess Eco-DRR strategies in the coastal zone of Taiwan, case studies and evaluation data on ecosystem-based management strategies were assembled and evaluated. The results of this study show that initial strategies to plant mangroves for reduction of wave energy have not always been successful; in certain areas they were removed again due to invasiveness in endemic wetland ecosystems. Moreover, artificially building sand dunes can have negative side effects, like oversteepening of the dune profile or deteriorating the natural dune dynamics. To address and tackle aforementioned challenges, a novel framework is introduced for improved uptake of Eco-DRR in Taiwan and beyond, and suggestions for future strategies are proposed.
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