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Bookshelf Spotlight: Southeast Asia, Natural Disasters, & Response


Featured Books

* A Land On Fire: The Environmental Consequences of the Southeast Asian Boom
* Mining and Natural Hazard Vulnerability in the Philippines: Digging to Development or Digging to Disaster?
* Natural Disaster Reduction: South East Asian Realities, Risk Perception and Global Strategies
* Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Lessons from Aceh
* The Indian Ocean Tsunami: The Global Response to a Natural Disaster

A Land On Fire: The Environmental Consequences of the Southeast Asian Boom


by James David Fahn
Westview Press, 2003

The future of Earth’s environment will be decided in Asia, home to 60 percent of the world’s population and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. As an award-winning investigative journalist based in Bangkok, James Fahn spent a decade grappling with the challenges facing the region’s mega-cities, tropical forests, coastlines, and societies dashing toward modernity.

In A Land on Fire, he shares his findings – the profound implications for global issues such as climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the greening of world trade. He explores Southeast Asia’s environmental battles through the eyes of the people fighting them, and recounts his many adventures while covering them. Whether chasing down log smugglers along the Thai-Burmese border, exposing the dumping of toxic mercury into the Gulf of Thailand by multinational oil corporations, or covering the controversy surrounding the filming of the movie The Beach, Fahn provides unique insight into the relationship between sustainable development and democracy, the crippling impact of corruption, and the environmental challenges facing us all.

Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Mining and Natural Hazard Vulnerability in the Philippines: Digging to Development or Digging to Disaster?


by William N. Holden, R. Daniel Jacobson
Anthem Press, 2012

The Philippines is a nation highly prone to a variety of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, typhoons, and El Niño induced droughts. These various natural hazards have a high potential to adversely interact with the potential for environmental degradation inherent in mining. Earthquakes can destabilize tailings storage facilities, typhoons can flood tailings ponds, and mine pit dewatering can enhance the competition for groundwater resources during droughts. This study shows how natural disasters can amplify the environmental harm prevalent in mining and pose a substantial threat to the livelihoods of archipelago’s poor, who depend upon subsistence agriculture and subsistence aquaculture.

Anthem Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Natural Disaster Reduction: South East Asian Realities, Risk Perception and Global Strategies


by Dilip Kumar Sinha
Anthem Press, 2007

In the aftermath of considerable seismic unrest caused by the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, this volume focuses on exposing the coastal vulnerability of the region. Despite a plethora of enquiries [sic] into natural disasters in different parts of the globe, there is now a more conspicuous concern than ever for the South East Asian region. This global concern has become all the more prevalent since the Hyogo Declaration in January 2005 and the recent Asian Summit in Indonesia. The purpose of this treatise is to bring the characteristics of the disastrous events of the region to the fore, seeking to present not only the continuing fatalities and fragilities of the area, but also the possibilities for coping with natural disasters. The book’s layout is specifically shaped by the nature of the damage and threat caused by these disasters, particularly concerning the communities at risk and their responses. This book will appeal to those involved in both global and local organizations as administrators, facilitators, stakeholders and activists, as well as Governmental / Non Governmental agencies, societies including organizations such as ESCAP, UNDP, WMO, UNESCO, UNCRD.

Anthem Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Lessons from Aceh


by Matthew Clarke, Sue Kenny, Ismet Fanany
Earthscan, 2010
On Sunday 26 December 2004, a tsunami of up to 30 meters high hit the northern tip of Sumatera in Indonesia, causing immediate destruction and the deaths of at least 130,000 in Indonesia alone. The scale of the devastation and ensuing human suffering prompted the biggest response endeavor to any natural disaster in history.

Post-Disaster Reconstruction will be the first major book that analyzes the different perspectives and experiences of the enormous post-tsunami reconstruction effort. It looks specifically at the reconstruction efforts in Aceh, one of the regions most heavily-hit by the tsunami and a province that has until recently suffered nearly three decades of armed conflict. Positioning the reconstruction efforts within Aceh’s multi-layered historical, cultural, socio-political and religious contexts, the authors explore diverse experiences and assessments of the reconstruction. They consider the importance of the political and religious settings of the reconstruction, the roles of communities and local non-government organizations and the challenges faced by Indonesian and international agencies. From the in-depth examination of this important case study of disaster reconstruction–significant not only because of the huge scale of the natural disaster and response but also the post-conflict issues–the editors draw together the lessons learned for the future of Aceh and make general recommendations for post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction-making.

Earthscan | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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The Indian Ocean Tsunami: The Global Response to a Natural Disaster


by Pradyumna P. Karan and Shanmugam P. Subbiah
University Press of Kentucky, 2010

On December 26, 2004, a massive tsunami triggered by an underwater earthquake pummeled the coasts of Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and other countries along the Indian Ocean. With casualties as far away as Africa, the aftermath was overwhelming: ships could be spotted miles inland; cars floated in the ocean; legions of the unidentified dead — an estimated 225,000 — were buried in mass graves; relief organizations struggled to reach rural areas and provide adequate aid for survivors.

Shortly after this disaster, researchers from around the world traveled to the region’s most devastated areas, observing and documenting the tsunami’s impact. The Indian Ocean Tsunami: The Global Response to a Natural Disaster offers the first analysis of the response and recovery effort. Editors Pradyumna P. Karan and S. Subbiah, employing an interdisciplinary approach, have assembled an international team of top geographers, geologists, anthropologists, and political scientists to study the environmental, economic, and political effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The volume includes chapters that address the tsunami’s geo-environmental impact on coastal ecosystems and groundwater systems. Other chapters offer sociocultural perspectives on religious power relations in South India and suggest ways to improve government agencies’ response systems for natural disasters.

A clear and definitive analysis of the second deadliest natural disaster on record, The Indian Ocean Tsunami will be of interest to environmentalists and political scientists alike, as well as to planners and administrators of disaster-preparedness programs.

University Press of Kentucky | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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