Disasters in coastal and maritime environments: problems and challenges

Joana Freitas (IELT, FCSH)
Ana Cristina Roque (Centro de História da Universidade de Lisboa)
Ana Cristina Roque
Joana Gaspar de Freitas
Bloco 1, Sala 0.06
Start time:
13 July, 2017 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel focus on the cultural responses to coastal and maritime disasters. From historical cases to present situations the human component of a disaster is a key-factor to understand its causes and consequences. It can also provide relevant information for facing future challenges.

Long abstract:

Natural events only become disasters when they have negative impacts on humans. So, in disasters two factors must be considered: natural phenomena and cultural responses. Storms, hurricanes, tsunamis, coastal erosion and flooding have been affecting coastal areas since ever; but, in the Anthropocene, disasters seem to be increasing worldwide. Global climate change is being pointed as the cause for these extreme events. However, climate change is far from being the main explanation. The human component in disaster is many times neglected and it must be analyzed too. Within this perspective, this panel intends to be a sort of platform for the discussion on disasters in coastal and maritime environments. Storms and tsunamis, coastline retreat, sea mean level rise, menaces to cities, islands and human activities, will be considered, any time and place, the focus though will be on the human responses to these disasters. Therefore, we welcome proposals considering communities' reactions to extreme events; practices or techniques developed to prevent damages; cases of learning and adapting; sustainable solutions and side-effects of technology in risk prevention; social justice in disaster management; vulnerability and resilience examples; ecological refugees and other humanitarian problems. Our main purpose is to debate how societies' options contributed for many of the Anthropocene problems and point, if possible, positive narratives, good practices and sustainable solutions that can help us to face future challenges.