Planned Relocation due to Landslide-triggered Tsunami Risk in Recently Deglaciated Areas

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Climate change is contributing to the magnitude, frequency and location of natural hazards, including landslides and landslide-triggered tsunamis. As the costs of protecting against a given risk increase, relocation may become the only feasible option notwithstanding the socio-economic, human security and cultural consequences. The relocation of people represents one of the most complex governance challenges generated by climate change. This article contributes to the literature by presenting insights and lessons from two case studies of unprecedented landslide-triggered tsunami risk in recently deglaciated areas that have not previously been described in the relocation literature: the unstable Svínafellsheiði slopes in south-east Iceland, and Karrat and Uummannaq Fjords in north-west Greenland. Our results indicate that elements of international planned relocation best practices were not followed, including those relating to the active involvement of affected people in decision-making, ensuring adequate compensation, and clarifying relocation planning schedules. This has occurred against a backdrop of colonial power dynamics, urbanisation trends, and the rise of tourism in these locations. Based on the findings, we recommend that that the role of government pivot from determining risk management and relocation options, to providing a structure to underpin and support community agency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103536
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume86
Number of pages19
ISSN2212-4209
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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