DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B51/S20.001

A COMMUNITY-BASED ASSESSMENT OF THE EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND EXTREME EVENTS IN THE BANAT PLAIN (ROMANIA)

A. Costache, D. Balteanu, M. Sima, M. Dumitrascu, I. Grigorescu, C. Dragota
Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2014, www.sgem.org, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-17-9 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 19-25, 2014, Book 5, Vol. 1, 3-10 pp

ABSTRACT
The Banat Plain is currently exposed to multiple pressures associated to anthropogenic environmental changes, climate change related signals and extreme events with significant impact at local scale (floods, storms, hail). All these factors are jeopardizing the livelihoods of the local communities. Recently, a participatory assessment of the exposure to the above mentioned stressors was carried out, in a broader framework, focused on assessing the vulnerability of human communities to environmental change and extreme events in the Banat Plain. The research, conducted in May 2013, directly involved local stakeholders, through a questionnaire-based survey, applied in about 100 households from 15 villages, and through structured interviews with local decision makers. Results showed that local people perceive landscape changes as consequences of human intervention and of socio-economic changes produced after the collapse of the communist regime, in 1989 (e.g. the emergence of agricultural associations; degradation of drainage infrastructure; and upgrading settlements as a result of financial investments). Regarding the awareness of exposure to floods, the local population does not perceive flooding as a significant threat to the region, although the most recent event occurred 9 years ago. This attitude is highly harmful in terms of individual adaptation to flooding and it can be explained by the sense of security offered by institutional measures implemented post-event.

Keywords: Banat Plain, questionnaire-based survey, environmental change, extreme events