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Integrated Risk Management
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Background

In virtually all countries where they are found, mountain communities are marginalized, commonly separated both physically and culturally from the centres of political and economic activity of the country. The interrelated nature of hazard, risk and development in environments such as those found in mountains suggests that attempts to undertake either risk management or sustainable development as separate problems will have a limited chance of succeeding.

The hazards faced by these mountains peoples are mostly related to topography in which they live, compounded by the physical isolation associated with this topography.

Unconsolidated geologic materials, produces soil instability causing landslides, rock falls, and debris flows. Cloud bursts are a common occurrence, resulting sometimes into catastrophic flash floods. Destructive earthquakes are hazards associated with these mountains, as is flash flooding, produced by the failure of landslides or lake outbursts.  

Even in mountains, ecosystems are exposed to varying degree of vulnerabilities throughout landscape associated with topographic, geographic and meteorological properties.

The complex three dimension environmental mosaic of the high mountains complicates identification of hazards and the specific villages that may be threatened by specific hazards.

A hazard may have no direct and obvious geographical association with a specific village, or villages, but will be connected along an energy gradient represented by e.g. a slope or stream channel.

Mountains specifically have a long history and experience in dealing with potential hazards. However it only came clear in 2013 in the aftermath of Kedarnath tragedy known as Mountain Tsunami that structural measures are alone not sufficient to assure safeguard.

Since then, the spatial planning (land use planning) to ensure sustainable and hazard-conscious land use has become much more of priority. The notion that water mediated risks in mountains shall be given specific attention is now widely been accepted.

Furthermore, many events have shown that modern concepts of protection can significantly help to limit the damage or loss, which include investing into resilient structures, mainstreaming risk reduction approaches into development programmes, and building climate change adaptation mechanisms.

Hence, to address these issues specifically of mountain watershed Himalayan Action Research Centre undertook the concept of Integrated Risk Management approach in order to achieve a level of security which is ecologically acceptable, economically viable and socially acceptable.

The centre envisions enhancing implementation of Integrated Risk Management in state by enabling Civil Society Organization engagement on specific policy, investment and practice trajectories to support implementation of Sendai Framework for Action, which aims to understand disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to build back better.

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