Anticipatory Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Dewald van NiekerkEmail author
  • Aïda Terblanché-Greeff
Living reference work entry

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Humans can change the forces of nature that they are subjected to. We have the ability to imagine alternative futures and to formulate solution to facilitate human development. However, we have had a tendency to focus on the past on which future adaptation is based. Cardinal elements in human survival are the anticipation of future risk and the adaptation of behavior that will reduce disaster risks. Anticipation is, however, not an innate ability, but rather a skill to be mastered. In this chapter, the foci will be placed on the concept of disaster risk reduction to investigate the relations between anticipation and disaster risk reduction, and its role in the disaster risk domain. Disaster risk within complex adaptive systems will be discussed, because cognition of anticipation is found within the processes thereof. Subsequently, the phenomenology of anticipation will be introduced as present in the social sphere. To explain the relation between anticipation and disaster risk reduction, anticipatory methods (double-loop learning, scenario planning, and action learning) for disaster risk reduction enjoys attention.


Disaster risk reduction Action learning Adaptation Transformation 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural SciencesNorth-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa

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