12 research outputs found

    The 1902–3 eruptions of the Soufriùre, St Vincent: Impacts, relief and response

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    Retrospective analysis of the contemporary colonial and scientific records of a major explosive eruption of the SoufriĂšre of St Vincent from 1902 to 1903 reveals how this significant and prolonged event presented challenges to the authorities charged with managing the crisis and its aftermath. In a small-island setting vulnerable to multiple hazards, the spatial footprint of the volcanic hazard and the nature and intensity of the hazard effects were rather different to those of other recurrent hazards such as hurricanes. The eruption affected the same parts of the island that had been impacted by prior explosive eruptions in 1718 and 1812, and hurricanes in 1831 and 1898, with consequences that disproportionately affected those working in and around the large sugar estates. The official response to the eruption, both in terms of short-term relief and remediation, was significantly accelerated by the existence of mature plans for land-reform following the collapse of the sugar market, and ongoing plans for rebuilding in the aftermath of the destructive hurricane of 1898. The picture that this analysis helps to illuminate provides insights both into the nature of the particular eruptive episode, and the human and social response to that episode. This not only informs discussion and planning for future explosive eruptions on St Vincent, but provides important empirical evidence for building effective responses in similar multihazard context

    Global Mapping of Citizen Science Projects for Disaster Risk Reduction

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    Citizen science for disaster risk reduction (DRR) holds huge promise and has demonstrated success in advancing scientific knowledge, providing early warning of hazards, and contributed to the assessment and management of impacts. While many existing studies focus on the performance of specific citizen science examples, this paper goes beyond this approach to present a systematic global mapping of citizen science used for DRR in order to draw out broader insights across diverse methods, initiatives, hazards and country contexts. The systematic mapping analyzed a total of 106 cases of citizen science applied to DRR across all continents. Unlike many existing reviews of citizen science initiatives, relevance to the disaster risk context led us to ‘open up’ our mapping to a broader definition of what might constitute citizen science, including participatory research and narrative-based approaches. By taking a wider view of citizen science and opening up to other disciplinary practices as valid ways of knowing risks and hazards, we also capture these alternative examples and discuss their relevance for aiding effective decision-making around risk reduction. Based on this analysis we draw out lessons for future research and practice of citizen science for DRR including the need to: build interconnections between disparate citizen science methods and practitioners; address multi-dimensionality within and across hazard cycles; and develop principles and frameworks for evaluating citizen science initiatives that not only ensure scientific competence but also attend to questions of equity, responsibility and the empowerment of those most vulnerable to disaster risk

    Assessment of Indoor and Outdoor PM Species at Schools and Residences in a High-Altitude Ecuadorian Urban Center

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    An air monitoring campaign to assess children’s environmental exposures in schools and residences, both indoors and outdoors, was conducted in 2010 in three low-income neighborhoods in Z1(north), Z2(central), and Z3(southeast) zones of Quito, Ecuador - a major urban center of 2.2 million inhabitants situated 2850 meters above sea level in a narrow mountainous basin. Z1 zone, located in northern Quito, historically experienced emissions from quarries and moderate traffic. Z2 zone was influenced by heavy traffic in contrast to Z3 zone which experienced low traffic densities. Weekly averages of PM samples were collected at schools (one in each zone) and residences (Z1=47, Z2=45, and Z3=41) every month, over a twelve-month period at the three zones. Indoor PM2.5 concentrations ranged from 10.6±4.9 ÎŒg/m3 (Z1 school) to 29.0±30.5 ÎŒg/m3 (Z1 residences) and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations varied from 10.9±3.2 ÎŒg/m3 (Z1 school) to 14.3±10.1 ÎŒg/m3 (Z2 residences), across the three zones. The lowest values for PM10–2.5 for indoor and outdoor microenvironments were recorded at Z2 school, 5.7±2.8 ÎŒg/m3 and 7.9±2.2 ÎŒg/m3 , respectively. Outdoor school PM concentrations exhibited stronger associations with corresponding indoor values making them robust proxies for indoor exposures in naturally ventilated Quito public schools. Correlation analysis between the school and residential PM size fractions and the various pollutant and meteorological parameters from central ambient monitoring (CAM) sites suggested varying degrees of temporal relationship. Strong positive correlation was observed for outdoor PM2.5 at Z2 school and its corresponding CAM site (r=0.77) suggesting common traffic related emissions. Spatial heterogeneity in PM2.5 concentrations between CAM network and sampled sites was assessed using Coefficient of Divergence (COD) analysis. COD values were lower when CAM sites were paired with outdoor measurements (\u3c 0.2) and higher when CAM and indoor values were compared (\u3e 0.2), suggesting that CAM network in Quito may not represent actual indoor exposures

    Reducing the environmental impact of surgery on a global scale: systematic review and co-prioritization with healthcare workers in 132 countries

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    Abstract Background Healthcare cannot achieve net-zero carbon without addressing operating theatres. The aim of this study was to prioritize feasible interventions to reduce the environmental impact of operating theatres. Methods This study adopted a four-phase Delphi consensus co-prioritization methodology. In phase 1, a systematic review of published interventions and global consultation of perioperative healthcare professionals were used to longlist interventions. In phase 2, iterative thematic analysis consolidated comparable interventions into a shortlist. In phase 3, the shortlist was co-prioritized based on patient and clinician views on acceptability, feasibility, and safety. In phase 4, ranked lists of interventions were presented by their relevance to high-income countries and low–middle-income countries. Results In phase 1, 43 interventions were identified, which had low uptake in practice according to 3042 professionals globally. In phase 2, a shortlist of 15 intervention domains was generated. In phase 3, interventions were deemed acceptable for more than 90 per cent of patients except for reducing general anaesthesia (84 per cent) and re-sterilization of ‘single-use’ consumables (86 per cent). In phase 4, the top three shortlisted interventions for high-income countries were: introducing recycling; reducing use of anaesthetic gases; and appropriate clinical waste processing. In phase 4, the top three shortlisted interventions for low–middle-income countries were: introducing reusable surgical devices; reducing use of consumables; and reducing the use of general anaesthesia. Conclusion This is a step toward environmentally sustainable operating environments with actionable interventions applicable to both high– and low–middle–income countries

    Fireside tales: understanding experiences of previous eruptions among other factors that influence the decision to evacuate from eruptive activity of VolcĂĄn de Fuego

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    VolcĂĄn de Fuego (Guatemala) is an active stratovolcano capable of large (VEI -≄2) explosive eruptions like that of 3rd June 2018, which triggered pyroclastic flows that devastated the community of San Miguel Los Lotes and caused hundreds of fatalities and severe long-term socio-economic impacts. Future volcanic risk mitigation efforts are likely to involve temporary evacuation of local communities, the success of which requires co-operation between locals, scientists, and decision-makers. However, locals' experiences of eruptive activity, and how these experiences influence their responses to evacuation, have not been studied in detail. In 2019 we conducted an investigation of these themes through qualitative research methods involving semi-structured interviews that focussed on direct experience as opposed to volcanic risk perception. We found substantial differences between scientists' and locals' observations of Fuego's activity. Furthermore, a clear disparity emerged between communities on Fuego's west and east flanks in terms of direct prior experience of eruptions and communication with authorities. These findings have serious implications for future evacuation efforts at Fuego and at other highly populated active volcanoes

    Workshop Synthesis and Actionable Learning Report - The Quito Hub

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    The two Review and Learning Workshops of the Quito Hub took place on the 4th and 11th September 2020. These workshops aimed at analysing and discussing the challenges and opportunities of our work until now, and at learning relevant lessons to guide our future work. During Workshop 1, the Quito Hub members presented their research progress across themes and subthemes. They revealed the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of this research, the connections established between the humanities, social, and physical sciences, and the strong interactions and linkages between the Quito Hub members from Ecuador and the UK. Workshop 2 aimed at discussing three important topics for the Quito Hub, including our impact agenda in relation to the Theory of Change (TOC), the role of interdisciplinarity in our work, and the equitable partnerships within and outside the Quito Hub. Different relevant points for the Quito Hub emerged from the discussion, such as: the importance of reflexivity; the ethical dilemma and the political nature of our research; the importance of co-produced knowledge; the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinarity; the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on our work and research participants; the opportunities of the TOC to guide our research; the role of curiosity and openness; the challenges of formal and informal communication; the role of hierarchies and power in our interactions; the need to make visible the hidden work; and the need to talk about gender. From these points, we have identified different forms of actionable learning that can support to Quito Hub moving forward its research agenda, as outlined in the report
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