Natural Hazards

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 105–136 | Cite as

Maximising Multi-Stakeholder Participation in Government and Community Volcanic Hazard Management Programs; A Case Study from Savo, Solomon Islands

  • Shane J. Cronin
  • Mike G. Petterson
  • Paul W. Taylor
  • Randall Biliki


Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods and philosophies were trialed in a volcanic risk management planning and awareness activity for Savo Island, a historically highly destructive volcano in the Solomon Islands. Through a combination of methods we tried to combine the roles of facilitators and educators, and to involve the input of all stakeholders (from community to national government) in the process of volcanic risk management. The PRA approach was an ideal way to address the fundamental differences in outlook, education, needs, and roles of individuals and groups involved or affected. It was also an important catalyst to Savo island- or community-based planning initiatives, which are arguably the most important step toward the preparedness of the 2500 inhabitants of the island for any future destructive volcanic activity. We adapted almost every tenet of the PRA philosophy through inexperience, self-perceived importance and desire to combine both scientific and traditional views for Savo volcanic risk management planning. Nevertheless, what emerged from our experiences was an idea of how fundamentally well suited many PRA approaches are to initiating dialogue within diverse stakeholder groups, and deriving combined scientific/geologic and local/community risk assessments and mitigation action plans. The main challenge remaining includes increasing the involvement or voice of less powerful community members (women, youth, non-landowners) in risk management decision-making in such male-dominated hierarchical societies.

Volcanic hazards volcanic risk community education participatory rural appraisal PRA Savo Solomon Islands 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shane J. Cronin
    • 1
  • Mike G. Petterson
    • 2
  • Paul W. Taylor
    • 3
  • Randall Biliki
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Natural ResourcesMassey UniversityNew Zealand
  2. 2.British Geological SurveyKeyworth, NottinghamUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Australian Volcanological InvestigationsPymbleAustralia
  4. 4.National Disaster Management OfficeHoniaraSolomon Islands

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