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Disasters, Conflicts and Natural Resource Degradation-Zef_ar_2001_02

Nov 22, 2014



Zentrum fr Entwicklungsforschung Center for Development Research Universitt Bonn

ZEF BonnAnnual Report 2001/2002

ZEF-Essay "Disasters, Conflicts and Natural Resource Degradation: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Complex Emergencies"

ZEF Bonn Center for Development Research Annual Report 2001/2002

Table of ContentsPreface

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ZEF's International Advisory Board Essay: Disasters, Conflicts and Natural Resource Degradation: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Complex Emergencies1. Disasters: definitions, trends and patterns 1.1 Definitions 1.2 Concepts and determinants of vulnerability to hazards 1.3 Trends in numbers of disasters 1.4 Global trends in lost lives 1.5 Global trends in losses of tangible assets due to natural disasters War-caused disasters and war as hazard 2.1 Conflict patterns since 1989 2.2 Changing policy approaches to internal wars and conflict Natural resource degradation: the long-term perspective in the case of land degradation Preliminary conclusion References

56 6 7 9 11 13 14 14 16 20 25 27


3. 4. 5.

ResearchCross-cutting themes 1. Theories of Development and Change 2. Poverty and Equity 3. Natural Resource Scarcity 4. Governance and Governability

3030 31 31 34 40

Specific Research Areas1. 2. Department of Political and Cultural Change State Building and Ethnic Conflict / Human rights / Culture, Knowledge and Development Department of Economics and Technological Change Poverty Reduction / Trade and Macroeconomic Issues of Development / Efficiency in Resource Utilisation and Technologies for Development Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management Atmosphere and Water Management / Sustainable Land Use Systems / Ecosystems in a Development Context

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Teaching1. 2. 3. The International Doctoral Program for Development Studies Scholarships and Funding The Doctoral Courses The Doctoral Students of the Academic Year 2001/2002

6060 60 60 61

Policy Dialogue and Public Awareness Management and Central Facilities ZEF Evaluation ZEF - in brief Appendices

62 67 68 74 7575 83 84 93 94 95

Staff, Guest Researchers and Fellows Workshops and Conferences Selected Publications Projects at ZEF 2001/2002 Co-operation Partners Donors

ImprintPublished by: Zentrum fr Entwicklungsforschung Center for Development Research ZEF Bonn Walter-Flex-Str.3 D-53113 Bonn Germany Editors: Co-ordination / Assistance: Ulrike Grote, Conrad Schetter, Rolf Sommer Christina Scherges, Lena Horlemann Telephone: +49 (0) 228 73 1811 / 1846 Facsimile:+49 (0) 228 73 5097 Internet:


PrefaceThis Annual Report of ZEF has been redesigned in accordance with the proposals made by the ZEF Advisory Board. We highlight a relevant development theme in an essay that may be debated further and followed up by ZEF, its collaborators and others. This year we have put forward the theme of Disasters, Conflicts and Natural Resource Degradation: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Complex Emergencies". The rest of the Annual Report is again structured along the lines of the ZEF Strategy for the Future", which was released last year. Progress in the crosscutting research themes, which allow for transdisciplinary integration, is reported on (theories of development and change, natural resource scarcity, poverty and equity, and governance and governability). As usual, activities by the three departments are reported and the many different initiatives of ZEF researchers, partners and guests are documented. One of the important highlights of 2001/02 was the external evaluation of ZEF by a high-level panel of experts. We are extremely pleased with the favourable assessment and the panel's findings and conclusions, and we are following up with adjustments in the small number of areas where the panel suggested change. We include an English summary of the conclusions in this Annual Report. Following the evaluation, the University of Bonn and the Land of North RhineWestphalia have signed an agreement that assures core funding of ZEF on a significant scale, ensuring the Center's sustainable after 2004, when Federal Government pump-priming support ends. This report demonstrates that ZEF has seen further growth, integration, and consolidation of research and teaching programs in 2001/2002. Also, new initiatives in global networking as well as its distance learning scheme have been launched. The research of ZEF's doctoral students is more and more closely related to ZEF's major research programs on crosscutting themes and has become an integral part of its overall research agenda. ZEF's visiting professors and senior researchers are playing a key role in facilitating these developments. Our sincerest thanks goes to all those who have contributed to making the past year a successful one, to our staff, their families and to ZEF's international and German partners.

Joachim von Braun

Paul L.G. Vlek

Andreas Wimmer


ZEF Bonn Center for Development Research Annual Report 2001/2002

ZEF board members and directors at their meeting in July 2002

ZEF's International Advisory BoardProf. Klaus Tpfer Dr. Margarita Marino de Botero Mr. Erich Stather Dr. Jrgen Asshauer Prof. Klaus Borchard Prof. Yehuda Elkanaa Prof. Hans R. Friedrich Ms. Christiane FriedrichDirector General of the United Nations Environment Program, Kenya (chair) National Fund for Science and Technology, Colombia (vice-chair) State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (vice-chair) Former Member of the Executive Board of Aventis Crop Science, Germany Rector, University of Bonn (ex officio), Germany Central European University Budapest, Hungary Director General, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany State Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia Institute of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Science, China St. Antony's College, Oxford, Great Britain Former Director General of various international research institutes (e.g. CIMMYT, Winrock), U.S.A. Duke University North Carolina, U.S.A. Former State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Kenya Swaminathan Research Foundation, India Former Senior Vice President of the World Bank, Germany

Prof. Dong Fu-Reng Sir Marrack Goulding Dr. Robert D. Havener Prof. Donald L. Horowitz Dr. Volkmar Khler Dr. Harris Mule Prof. Monkombu S. Swaminathan Dr. Willi A. Wapenhans



EssayDisasters, Conflicts and Natural Resource Degradation: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Complex EmergenciesJoachim von Braun, Paul L.G. Vlek, Andreas WimmerThe purpose of this essay is to highlight disasters in a broader sense as an important area of development research and policy. The disaster-related information base is weak, research is still in its early stages and current political responses are piecemeal. Our suggestion is to take a closer look at natural, economic and political factors responsible for major disasters to develop a basis for an integrated policy approach. Some of the world's major disaster areas, such as in Afghanistan, Somalia or Ethiopia, are simultaneously the locus of protracted conflict and war, natural disasters and a long-term degradation of natural resources. War, famines, epidemic diseases and resource depletion seem to occur in the same locations, just like with the series of plagues in the scriptures. Despite this apparent concurrence, the relation between political conflict, poverty and natural resource degradation in the causation of such complex emergencies is still hazy. While there are obvious feedback mechanisms, for example, between conflict, institutional breakdown, poverty, and vulnerability to hazards, the precise nature of these linkages remains to be determined. Interdisciplinary research is especially needed on the linkages between man-made and naturally caused complex disasters, on each of their causes and on effective ways of their mitigation and prevention.

Interdisciplinary research is needed on the linkages between issues such as conflict, poverty and vulnerability to hazards.

On the policy-making side, too little attention is paid to improving the situation of the poor in conflicts and disasters: disaster prevention resources flow largely to where capital damage can be reduced, not to where poor peoples' livelihood can be sustained. While the politics of prevention, both of vulnerability to hazards and of violent conflict, are by now well established, we lack a solid comparative evaluation of the various approaches and their context-dependent efficiency. An integrated approach that addresses both short-term vulnerability to disasters and violent conflict and long-term policies for natural resource utilisation, poverty reduction and democratisation that prevent hazards has yet to be developed. In the following, we first describe and discuss definitions, trends and changing patterns of man-made as well as natural disasters. Second, we highlight the interlinkages between long-term and creeping degradation of natural resources, especially soil, and natural disasters. Third, we discuss the relation between political conflicts and man-made disasters such as wars and famines. We are thus only addressing some of the linkages in an obviously far more complex causal pattern. Much needs


ZEF Bonn Center for Development Research Annual Report 2001/2002

to be done in order to understand the entire set of causal relationships at work in the production of disasters. The concluding section hints at some possible paths for future research.

1.1.1The onse