Community-Based Knowledge and Local Environment: The Scope of Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Community-based practices, ecosystems-based adaptation, and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction are some of the contemporary areas of disaster management which focus on the local environment and community-based knowledge. There are many approaches to community-based disaster risk reduction strengthened by both local and international policies, mainly focusing on implementation and monitoring levels. However, the integration at the decision-making level is yet minimal. Local communities know about the dynamic processes of their local environment and how disasters behave within these environments. Therefore, it is essential to integrate community based knowledge to understand the disaster dynamics before the planning stage. Accordingly, this study aims to explore the knowledge of communities in understanding the disasters within their local environment. The study adopted a case study approach based in Sri Lanka, where members of local communities who reside in landslide and flood-prone areas were interviewed. Key findings were extracted based on a thematic analysis, and the conclusions were drawn after a few validation interviews. The results highlighted that apart from a few members of the communities, people have limited knowledge about their local environment and the environmental processes. Apart from the knowledge transferred by the relevant authorities and the basic awareness of their surrounding environment, there is limited new knowledge to be extracted from the communities about the behaviour of disasters. Some experts believe that due to the commercial economy, industrialization, and service-oriented job markets, people are detaching from their local environment. People do not have time to observe and engage with their local environmental processes, which has resulted in the decaying of knowledge of the local communities. Therefore, preservation of the limited community-based knowledge is something important under disaster preparedness when making communities resilient.
Period13 Sep 2022
Event title5th International Workshop on Building Resilience in Tropical Agro-Ecosystems
Event typeConference
Conference number5
LocationHuddersfield, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational