J40.4 Climate Resilience in a Coastal City in Ecuador: Linking Disaster Risk Reduction and Urban Health in Duran

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 9:15 AM
153B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Mercy J. Borbor-Cordova, Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral, Guayaquil, Ecuador; and M. D. P. Cornejo-Rodriguez, A. Valdiviezo, G. Menoscal, D. Ochoa, M. Arias–Hidalgo, D. Matamoros, G. Ger, I. Nolivos, and G. Rincon

Latin America cities are recurrently impacted by climate variability and change. In this context, urban health outcomes emerge as a consequence of complex interactions among the political, ecological and built environment, socio-economic development, and disaster risk reduction as a crosscutting service. In this paper, we present the results of collaboration between the municipal government of Duran and research institutions to identify strategies for resilience to reduce the impacts of flooding in Duran, a coastal city of 250,000 inhabitants in Ecuador. We applied the IPCC risk and vulnerability framework and a technological tool (RESCLIMA) to map the urban sectors and risk factors at the census track scale in order to characterize vulnerable populations. We found that the most impacted populations resided in informal settlements, young families and children with no access to piped water and sanitation infrastructure, and no urban runoff management. Duran is endemic for arboviruses and other tropical infectious diseases, thus exposure to annual flooding and extreme flooding during El Niño events may increase the risk of vector- and water-borne disease outbreaks. We identified the opportunity for city stakeholders to better understand the urban determinants of health through interactions with the science community, the urban planning and disaster risk management offices, and the public health department. Workshops and interviews with city officers and health practitioners allowed us to identify “low regret” climate change adaptation strategies that may be employed by linking health governance with disaster risk management, urban planning, and access to green space, and sanitation. In conclusion, data and integrated contextual information within a technological platform may help city planners, disaster risk managers, health officers and the local community to make more informed decisions about flood risk management, as well as monitor impacts, and assess plans and programs at the city and community level.
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