Particularizing adaptation to non-predominant hazards: a history of wildfires in County Donegal, Ireland from 1903 to 2019

Jeffers, J.M (2021) 'Particularizing adaptation to non-predominant hazards: a history of wildfires in County Donegal, Ireland from 1903 to 2019.' International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 58. e102211. ISSN 2212-4209

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102211

Abstract

Recent years have seen a historical turn in research on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. This has included a call for historical research that particularizes adaptation in specific locations. This paper responds to this call by using newspaper archives to construct a history of wildfires in County Donegal, Ireland. This study goes beyond existing research that particularizes adaptation, by using this history as a lens through which to evaluate current adaptation policy. In doing so it uncovers problematic mismatches between the experience of local communities living with wildfire hazards and current climate change adaptation policies. National adaptation policy in Ireland presents uncontrolled wildfires as a largely new and unfamiliar hazard that requires innovative management approaches. However, newspaper archives reveal that local communities have adopted a variety of adaptive practices for wildfire hazards for over a century, and that these practices have coevolved with shifting economic, social, political, and cultural contexts. This paper also introduces the concept of non-predominant hazards, that is hazards that are often overlooked, forgotten, or neglected. Historical research on non-predominant hazards can play an important role in making visible trajectories of adaptation for such hazards. This study also points towards how deeper particularization studies that examine the long-term usage of specific adaptation practices can also be used to test the effectiveness of these practices through time, and to offer lessons for contemporary adaptation. These results have implications for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to non-predominant hazards in a variety of contexts.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: adaptation, hazards, wildfires, history, climate, Ireland
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: School of Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102211
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2021 11:35
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:56
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