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The effects of human activities on the environment have caused increasing concerns since the 1970s. These activities consequently have attributed to over 80% of the natural disasters that have produced catastrophic outcomes globally. Human induced
    1 | NATURAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND PREPAREDNESS: ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY, THE CASE OF TURKEY AND MALAWI. Yohane V.A. Phiri Kocaeli University Master of Science in Urbanization and Environmental Problems Department of Politics and Public Administration Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences or  Abstract The effects of human activities on the environment have caused increasing concerns since the 1970s. These activities consequently have attributed to over 80% of the natural disasters that have produced catastrophic outcomes globally. Human induced natural disasters are rather not random occurrences but their distribution vindicates underlying social, economic, political and environmental problems. It undeniably holds to argue that environmental conservation for sustainability helps in the prevention of the occurrence of the wide spread natural disasters. Well-managed ecosystems have the capability to reduce the impact of varied natural hazards, such as landslides and flooding to mention a few. The extent to which an ecosy stem buffers against extreme events totally depends on an ecosystem’s health. UNISDR in Sendai -Japan developed,  presented and countries adopted the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030. With basic four priorities, number three outlines the need for investing in DRR for resilience through a variety of channels; environmental conservation as prime element. Comparatively, this paper establishes governments need in ensuring provision of resources and funds towards the plans, activities, policies, laws and regulations channeling for disaster risk reduction for resilience through environmental conservation. Additionally, it relatively evaluates whether environmental conservation may be considered an effective and efficient methodology towards DRR in both countries; Malawi and Turkey. KEY WORDS: Environmental Conservation, Environmental Sustainability, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Environmental Degradation  2 | 1.0   INTRODUCTION The UNISDR (2009:6-9) defines DDR as reduction of disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the casual factors of disasters. Thus the systems include reduction to exposure to hazards, lessening vulnerability of people and property, land and environmental management and preparedness for adverse events. And yet on the other hand environmental conservation refers to the responsible management of the environment and its resources. Environmental conservation for sustainability, is a terminology adopted from the priorities of 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs), referring to an act of subjecting environment resources to responsible management for now and ensures that the natural resources will be used in a manner that will meet the present day needs for the resource; without jeopardizing the supply of the resource for future generations (Cunningham, 2017). Currently, the above definitions have been debatable in economic terminologies as regards to what they mean, specific reference to environmental conservation and sustainability. Though the terminologies being highly contestable; it is undeniably true that globally the environment, supporting our daily lives, is deteriorating yearly due to numerous factors. Not exclusively, population growth, economic growth, but other factors too have resulted in ecological destruction, environmental pollution, water scarcity, and increasingly frequent natural disasters which have significantly affected our lives (JICA, 2015). Thus this excessive exploitation and large scale land use has led to the rapid obliteration of the natural environment globally. Evidenced by reduction in the global forest cover, wetlands, and extinction of some species, environmental degradation is now order of the day. The relationship between humanity and the environment, presented above, highlights the neglect humanity has given to the role the natural environment has in supplying various essential resources and thus requires immediate readdress as to maintain the essential harmony between humanity and the ecosystem (JICA, 2016). As highlighted earlier, over 80% of the natural disasters that occur globally are rather avoidable through different means, the most important methodology being environmental conservation for sustainability. A  paper titled ‘Environmental Protection and Disaster Risk Reduction - Community Leaders Guideline’ highlights that humans live within the natural environment and are an integral part of it. Therefore, the social and economic activities that impact the environment and change the manner in which the components interact with each other can solely be managed by advocating for environmental conservation (UNEP-UNISDR, 2004:28-38). UNEP (2008:5-19) further adds that an all-inclusive methodology to DRR must acknowledge the role of the environment in triggering disasters and protecting the communities. Humanity must understand potential contributions the different environmental management activities have towards reducing disaster risks. Estrella and Saalismaa (2013: 26  –  54) and CBD (2009) introduced two important terminologies that argue for the need of using environmental friendly methodologies in addressing DRR issues. Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction refers to the sustainable management, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems to reduce disaster risk, with the aim of achieving sustainable and resilient development. In this definition the vital vindictive terms are those that highlight conservation and restoration of the ecosystem (environment) as to reduce disaster risks occurrences. This backs the idea of using environmental conservation to be the back bone of all the activities aimed towards DRR (Estrella & Saalismaa; 2013: 26  –  54). Ecosystem-based Adaptation on the other hand, refers to the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. This concept further indicates the need to use methodologies that will reduce the devastation of the natural environment and hence result in increased vulnerability to disaster occurrences. These methodologies may  be viewed as an encouragement of the use of environmental conserving technologies as to ensure effective and efficient reduction of the impact from disasters (CBD, 2009). The concepts highlighted by the two terminologies above are currently deemed to be undermined due to frequency of environmental degradation, settlement patterns, livelihood choices and human behavior which are the main factors contributing to disaster risks. These conditions in turn results in even more harmful effects on humans, their development and environment (Fabrice et al., 2016:1-33; 133). The question of whether the environment, human activities and disasters are interconnected is hardly disputed; though the  3 | multidimensional role of the environment has caused considerable confusion. Thus while recognizing that ecosystems or our living environment can be affected by disasters; humanity has often escaped the idea that  just by protecting the living environment through conservation methodologies can both save lives and  protect its livelihood from the adverse effects of natural disasters (UNEP, 2005:5). This paper, therefore, aims to highlight a detailed account on a number of concepts ranging from a basically the need of using environmental conservation for sustainability as a tool for DRR comparatively in Malawi and Turkey. Further, an evaluation of whether the two countries have support for environmental conservation activities shall be critically presented. It will also consider whether the implementation of the environmental conservation activities has been effective and efficient DRR tool in general. But to begin with, a presentation of the geographical background of the two countries in question, a basic highlight of the cause and occurrence of natural disasters and the causal relationship of these disasters to environmental degradation is significant. 2.0   METHODOLOGY The part below discusses how the information was collected and later analyzed in this desk study. Presented information on general geographical background, causes and common disasters affecting the countries and establishing whether the two countries have environmental conservation programs in place was done through a desk study. Information was gathered through different sources and randomly selected based on the relevance to the topic in question. The information was searched and selected from the web engine “google academic”, “Kocaeli University Library Archives” and hard copies available in “Kocaeli university  books catalogue”. Additionally, to establish whether the countries support environmental conservation  programs as a tool for DRR and whether if the programs implemented have been effective and efficient enough; special articles relevant to the questions in discussion were chosen. A perusal through websites and critical selection of published articles from relevant ministries responsible for overseeing these  programs implementation in both countries, Malawi and Turkey, were collected. The aim was to solicit information as regards to the support the governments offer towards the implementation of such environmental conservation programs. Finally an analysis of published documents, from the government websites and academic papers read, aimed at gathering information as regards to effectiveness and efficiency of acclaimed environmental conservation programs was done. 3.0   GEOGRAPHICAL BACKGROUND OF TURKEY AND MALAWI Disasters whether natural or not have always been considered destructive to humankind in history. They have varied in manifestation due to a number of reasons of which most common are geographical position of an area and vulnerability influencing factors. Environmental degradation in almost all of the regions where disasters occur has been pointed out to be the reason for the increased vulnerability of the regions regardless of geographical position; as this factor only accounts for the lesser percentage of the occurrences (Srinivas, 2015). Therefore the interaction between geographical position and vulnerability of an area, due to human induced factors like overpopulation, deforestation and in general environmental degradation, has resulted in devastating outcomes of disasters (Guha-Sapir et al., 2004:13-34). To begin with, being located as a bridge between Asia and Europe, Turkey is within the tectonic plate region exposing it to a wide variety of natural disasters. Surrounded by a number of seas and water bodies within the country; these disasters range from a large percentage of earthquakes, landslides and floods (Erdurmuş, 2015). According to the same report (Erdurmuş, 2015) close to 68% of Turkey is located within the earthquake prone areas and almost 70% of its approximated 80million population lives in these zones. Additionally, in the coastal regions of the country, frequency of floods has been evidenced over the last decade. Estimations show that over 15% of the total losses due to disasters are attributable to occurrence of floods. The condition seems to be worsening due to a number of factors that include excessive deforestation, which has also lead to massive erosions, and ignorant development activities (Akin & Seymen, 2016). Aydin (2016) highlights that landslides are also another common natural disaster that has been prevalent in Turkey for the past decade. An estimated 25% of the area of Turkey is believed to be prone to occurrence of landslides and about 11% of the country’s population is believed to be living in the area prone to  4 | landslides occurrence. To date estimates show that 16% of the total losses in Turkey for the past decade are attributable to occurrence of these landslides. Malawi unlike Turkey, is rather a land locked country located in the south-eastern part of Africa and shares  boarders with Tanzania in the North, Mozambique surrounding the boarders of Malawi from East-Southern to South-Western parts and Zambia in the Western side. It covers a total land area of about 119000 square kilometers and estimates have shown that 79% is land whilst 21% are waterbodies (Kayuni & Tambulasi, 2005). The largest of these waterbodies is Lake Malawi which runs from the northern part of the country through the central region to the southern part. This is followed by the longest river, Shire, which runs from Lake Malawi and connects to the Zambezi River in Mozambique. The other waterbodies are spatially distributed within the country (Misomali, 2013:3-5). Over the last decade the frequency of occurrence of natural disasters has been on the shoot. A wide range of natural disasters have been experienced in Malawi; with the major ones being draughts, landslides, mudslides, earthquakes and floods. Floods have been considered to be the most common disaster in Malawi. Recently, floods have been widespread and data shows that nearly 1.1 million people were affected by these floods in the 2015/2016 rainy season (Malawi Drought Report 2015-2016, 2017:61-64). Published data though, has argued that floods have covered the major percentage of the losses by natural disaster in Malawi amounting to over 70%. Thus, dating back from 1979 until 2010, cumulatively a total number of 21.7 million people had been affected by natural disasters and about 2596 lost their lives; meaning 70% of these victims were due to frequent occurrence of floods (ECA, 2015). Unlike Turkey, Malawi is expected to have minimal occurrence of natural disasters as it is located at least in the most stable region of the earth. On the contrary, the number of people affected by natural disasters in Malawi remains on the higher side. As this paper was being written, a number of people had been affected  by floods all around Malawi in the rainy season of 2017/2018. This follows another flood occurrence that had affected over 1.1 million people in the 2015/2016 rainy season and left 6.5 million people in a draught situation in the 2016/2017 agricultural season (Malawi Drought Report 2015-2016, 2017). The shared denominator in the occurrence of these disaster for both Turkey and Malawi is argued to be as a consequence of environmental degradation. Akin and Seymen (2016), Aydin (2016) and  Erdurmuş (2015)  all agree that despite the fact Turkey is located within a region prone to occurrence of natural disasters; the magnitude, frequency and impact of these disasters has been worsened due to poor environmental management practices. Thus poor land management policies, overpopulation and crowded settlement  patterns, and deforestation have resulted in aggravated impacts of disasters. Consequently, a similar situation is evident in Malawi and may be depicted to be the worst considering the fact that Malawi is located within the safest zones of the planet earth. AFIDEP (2012) and Kalipeni (1992) represents that environmental degradation in Malawi is order of the day. Gradual overpopulation in Malawi over the years has resulted in pressure on land hence deforestation, overgrazing, overuse of land for subsistence agriculture and government development strategies that favors large scale agricultural development to support the  population. This wanton and careless destruction of forest and forest reserves has resulted in the exposure of the countries soils to forces of erosion. Thus the impact, magnitude and frequency of occurrence of floods and other disasters have continued to worsen due to the above aforementioned factors in Malawi (UNDP, 2010). 4.0   WHY ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION IN DRR AND PREPAREDNESS Over the last years disasters have occupied headlines in different parts of the world. The magnitude, impact and frequency has also been increasing over the last decade attributable to human activities and this condition has been worsened by climate change (Fabrice et al., 2016:1-33). The impact of these disasters on the lives and economic growth of countries is rather widely recognizable. The most common of these disasters in countries like Turkey and Malawi include earthquakes, floods and landslides. Over time the emphasis on the need of taking care of our environment has constituted the best defense we have against natural disasters as argued by a variety of scholars. Categorically, a healthy or a well-managed ecosystem  5 | has a greater potential to mitigate certain hazards, provide a buffer against hazardous impacts and as well as enhance community resilience through provision of basic needs and livelihood support (Thomalla et al; 2006). Unfortunately, till today the potential role of connecting the mother-nature and ecosystem-based resolutions in order to minimize climate change and disaster risks largely remains unscathed globally. Clear definitions of the terms, environmental conservation, DRR, and Disaster Risk Preparedness (DRP)  provide a better indulgent start up to the topic why do we need environmental conservation as a tool in DRR for countries like Turkey and Malawi. A document by UNISDR (2009)  provide universal explanations to the words used in DRR by providing a variety and rather comprehensive definitions of those terminologies. As presented in the introductory paragraphs of the paper, environmental conservation refers to the act of using the environmental resources in manner that is responsible. Thus using resources with a mindset of  preservation for the future generations and a harness of the relationship between nature and humanity. DRR is rather the systematic adoption of methodologies that enables reduction of the impact, magnitude and frequency of disasters. Unlike DDR, DRP indicates the readiness communities will have towards oncoming disasters. Thus it refers to build the resilience needed to the frequently occurring disasters in a region. The need for environmental conservation as a tool for DRR, should rather not be overemphasized but  presented as a general ideology with the prime importance it holds. It is undeniable that the well-being of humans globally depends on a wide variety of goods and services as provided by the ecosystem (environment). Thus food, fuel, water, air, construction materials and natural protection from disaster hazards are all obtained freely from the environment. Though this is the case, the environment is under increasing pressure from unsustainable ecosystem deteriorating use and other wide variety of threats (Sudmeier-Rieux & Ash, 2009). The ultimate solution to the problem raised previously is by promoting sound management of the ecosystem through wider applications of a harnessed ecosystem-humankind approaches. Thus, both at field and policy level, a realization of perfectly integrated management of land, water and living resources considered human needs; ultimately must become a major concern and vision of a just world that values and conserves nature (UNESCO, 2015). To highlight further, the need for environmental conservation as a tool for DRR dates back long as 30 years ago in Stockholm, where leaders from almost all over the world signed a memorandum of understanding to fight environmental deterioration. Later in the 1990s, leaders were far more shocked with the increase in environmental degradation. In the 1992 Rio de Janeiro-Brazil, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, an endorsement of the ‘Agenda 21’ world programme underscored the need for environmental protection in sustainable development. Later in 2002, during the Johannesburg Summit world leaders further highlighted the need for managing natural resources as a base for sustainable development thus in addition to other citations agreed (UNEP, 2004). A special focus in the above conferences is their concern toward implementation of activities that aim to conserve the environment. They recognize the vital role played by the environment and highlight reasons why environmental protection has to be adopted by all member states. The understanding by the member states in the attendance of the conferences is typically in line with the thought of environmental conservation as a tool for DRR. The  basic interaction between environmental conservation and DRR is vital to be understood. First of all we must recognize the avaibility of social processes that affect the natural processes of disasters. And adopt the understanding that only health ecosystems provide sufficient natural defense and the unhealthy ones consequentially reduce our commu nities’ resilience. Further if the unhealthy ecosystems are affected by disasters may lead to secondary environmental impacts, which would rather be difficult to manage, resulting in frequency of disasters. Where environment degradation is order the day disasters are likely to occur and there is no sustainable development in areas frequenting disasters as these are a hazard to development. Environmental conservation is therefore a must tool for development and rather not DRR only (UNEP, 2004). Degradation of the environment in all parts of world over the years has increasingly led to serious impacts on human well-being. Increased spread of diseases, reduced availability of good and services and reduced economic activities are evident due to environmental deterioration (Miththapala, 2006:10-16). A variety of factors attributable to the evident effects of environmental degradation include the global population
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