Socio-ecological aspects informing community resilience in a disaster-prone area: A Case Study of the Traditional Koa community in East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to attempt to understand how the socioecological aspects existing in a traditional community contribute to that community's resilience when facing natural hazards. This paper views resilience through a socio-ecological perspective. Here, resilience is defined as the capacity of a community, potentially exposed to hazards, to adapt to threats of a disaster by retaining its essential function, structure, identity, and ability to deal with negative feedback. The discussion is based on a case study of the traditional community of Koa that has a history of being regularly exposed to volcanic hazards, as the community is located downhill from the volcano known as Mt. Rokatenda, which is in East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. This paper suggests that resilience is a dynamic condition, and therefore it may shift due to the changing nature of the hazards faced. The study identified four socio-ecological aspects that play important roles in maintaining resilience of the traditional community of Koa, these being (i) utilization of natural resources, (ii) changing in consumption patterns, (iii) local knowledge and practices, and (iv) disaster management policies set up by the local authorities. The study concluded that the characteristics of a disaster change over time, which led to changes in the effects of a disaster. Eruptions and tsunamis damage the environment and thus affect the community's way of life, particularly a traditional community like Koa, whose life mostly depends on natural resources available in its environment. Therefore, adaptation measures based on identified socio-ecological aspects are strongly advised as a key to strengthen resilience of traditional communities, when they are obliged to deal with survival-threatening situations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Future for Human Security
Subtitle of host publicationSociety, Cities and Governance
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Pages351-367
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789811054334
ISBN (Print)9789811054327
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017

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