The Indian Ocean tsunami that struck December 26, 2004 killed an estimated 283,000 people. Following the event, an enormous relief and recovery effort was undertaken by the donor community. Reports from the field point to inefficient and uncoordinated relief efforts that caused unintended effects to local ecosystems. The poor rural coastal communities rely heavily on services and functions provided by coastal ecosystems. Although direct impacts by the tsunami were minimal, reconstruction efforts inadvertently reduced the regional ecosystem’s ability to provide for local people.
Please join us for this presentation featuring ELP Fellow Chris Dunbar, who spent almost 5 years working on the relief effort in Thailand.
This webinar will:
* Discuss the reduction in ecosystems services and functions as unintended consequences of relief efforts including the overall increased pressure on marine resources was found due to ‘over-giving’ of replacement boats and relocation of fishing boats and upland redevelopment in the agriculture sector which caused secondary effects to other biotopes such as mangrove forests, sea grass beds and coral reefs.
* Provide participants with a greater understanding of the roles that government and non-government agencies play in disaster management in Thailand
Chris Dunbar is a coastal marine scientist, hydrographer and captain. The focus of his technical work has been the integration of hydro-acoustic underwater remote sensing technologies to solve problems relating to hazardous material remediation and marine resource management. Most recently Chris has been working to understand the social linkages between ecological services and functions, the communities who rely on them for livelihoods and local governing agencies in tsunami affected areas along the Andaman Sea coast. Chris has spent 7 years living in Thailand, first as a Peace Corps volunteer in the mid 1990s, then again following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami recovery effort initiating Community-Based Disaster Management, Sustainable Livelihoods development and Participatory Resource Co-Management. Chris also served as Programme Technical Adviser for the Strengthening Andaman Marine Protected Areas Network (SAMPAN) Programme, and cooperative program between the Thai Department of National Parks and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Chris is currently a master’s degree candidate in the Geo-Information Science program Salem State College and is focusing on the integration of social, environmental and economic geospatial information to inform decision makers on policy, development and disaster mitigation issues.