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This chapter defines natural hazards and their relationship to natural resources (they are negative resources), to environment (they are an aspect of environmental problems), and to development (they are a constraint to development and can be aggravated by it). The planning process in development areas does not usually include measures to reduce hazards, and as a consequence, natural disasters cause needless human suffering and economic losses. Although humans can do little or nothing to change the incidence or intensity of most natural phenomena, they have an important role to play in ensuring that natural events are not converted into disasters by their own actions. Earthquakes are caused by the sudden release of slowly accumulated strain energy along a fault in the earth's crust, Earthquakes and volcanoes occur most commonly at the collision zone between tectonic plates. Volcanoes are perforations in the earth's crust through which molten rock and gases escape to the surface. Hazards associated with volcanic eruptions include lava flows, falling ash and projectiles, mudflows, and toxic gases.
Recent development literature sometimes makes a distinction between "environmental projects" and "development projects." "Environmental projects" include objectives such as sanitation, reforestation, and flood control, while "development projects" may focus on potable water supplies, forestry, and irrigation.
Indeed, in high-risk areas, sustainable development is only possible to the degree that development planning decisions, in both the public and private sectors, address the destructive potential of natural hazards.
Experiences both in and out of Latin American and the Caribbean show that the record of hazard mitigation is improving.
A study in the San Fernando Valley, California, after the 1971 earthquake showed that of 568 older school buildings that did not satisfy the requirements of the Field Act (a law stipulating design standards), 50 were so badly damaged that they had to be demolished.
Mitigation techniques can also lengthen the warning period before a volcanic eruption, making possible the safe evacuation of the population at risk. Sectoral hazard assessments conducted by the OAS of, among others, energy in Costa Rica and agriculture in Ecuador have demonstrated the savings in capital and continued production that can be realized with very modest investments in the mitigation of natural hazard threats through vulnerability reduction and better sectoral planning. Two types of flooding can be distinguished: (1) land-borne floods, or river flooding, caused by excessive run-off brought on by heavy rains, and (2) sea-borne floods, or coastal flooding, caused by storm surges, often exacerbated by storm run-off from the upper watershed. Storm surges are an abnormal rise in sea water level associated with hurricanes and other storms at sea.
The most significant damage often results from the direct Impact of waves on fixed structures. Hooding of deltas and other low-lying coastal areas is exacerbated by the influence of tidal action, storm waves, and frequent channel shifts. Land-borne floods occur when the capacity of stream channels to conduct wafer is exceeded and water overflows banks.
Tsunamis are long-period waves generated by disturbances such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, and undersea landslides. Hurricanes are tropical depressions which develop into severe storms characterized by winds directed inward in a spiraling pattern toward the center.
Desertification, or resource degradation in arid lands that creates desert conditions, results from interrelated and interdependent sets of actions, usually brought on by drought combined with human and animal population pressure. Overgrazing Is a frequent practice In dry lands and is the single activity that most contributes to desertification. Soil erosion and the resulting sedimentation constitute major natural hazards that produce social and economic losses of great consequence.
Saline water is common in dry regions, and soils derived from chemically weathered marine deposits (such as shale) are often saline.
Earthquake-resistant construction and floodproofing of buildings are examples of measures that can increase the capacity of facilities to withstand the impact of a natural hazard.
The high density of population and expensive infrastructure of cities makes them more susceptible to the impacts of natural events.
For small towns and villages non-structural mitigation measures may be the only affordable alternative. The physical characteristics of the land, land-use patterns, susceptibility to particular hazards, income level, and cultural characteristics similarly condition the options of an area in dealing with natural hazards.3.
Planning agencies are often unfamiliar with natural hazard information, or how to use it in development planning.
Line ministries similarly have little familiarity with natural hazard information or with the techniques of adapting it for use in planning. The emergency preparedness community has tended to view its role exclusively as preparing for and reacting to emergencies and has therefore neglected linking preparedness to long-term mitigation issues. The scientific and engineering community often sets its agenda for research and monitoring on the basis of its own scientific interests without giving due consideration to the needs of vulnerability reduction or emergency preparedness. Technical cooperation agencies do not normally include natural hazard assessment and vulnerability reduction activities as a standard part of their project preparation process. Development financing agencies engage actively in post-disaster reconstruction measures, yet do not insist on hazard assessment, mitigation, and vulnerability reduction measures in their ordinary (non-disaster-related) development loans, and are reluctant to incorporate such considerations into project evaluation. Other institutional considerations: Knowledge of and experience with hazard management techniques are rare commodities in most agencies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
At the national level, giving a single entity total responsibility for hazard management tends to cause other agencies to see it as an adversary. Similarly, at the project level responsibility for mitigating the impact of natural hazards does not lie with a single individual or component but is an overall responsibility of the project, requiring the cooperation of all components. Post-disaster reconstruction activities often lack support for hazard assessments intended to ensure characterize potential hazardous events. For purposes of this discussion, development planning is considered the process by which governments produce plans-consisting of policies, projects, and supporting actions-to guide economic, social, and spatial development over a period of time. The natural hazard management process can be divided into pre-event measures, actions during and immediately following an event, and post-disaster measures. An accurate and timely prediction of a hazardous event can save human lives but does little to reduce economic losses or social disruption; that can only be accomplished by measures taken longer in advance. Disaster mitigation also includes the data collection and analysis required to identify and evaluate appropriate measures and include them in development planning.
Studies that assess hazards provide information on the probable location and severity of dangerous natural phenomena and the likelihood of their occurring within a specific time period in a given area. Vulnerability studies estimate the degree of loss or damage that would result from the occurrence of a natural phenomenon of given severity. Even short notice of the probable occurrence and effects of a natural phenomenon is of great importance in reducing loss of life and property. Some hazards, such as hurricanes and floods, can be forecast with high accuracy, but most geologic events cannot. Major sources of livelihood of the population, such as industries, banking and commerce buildings, public markets, agroprocessing plants and areas of agricultural production, livestock, forestry, mines, and fisheries production. Buildings such as schools, churches, auditoriums, theatres, public markets, and public and private office buildings.
Buildings of significant cultural and community value or use, and buildings of architectural importance.
Emergency preparedness is aimed at minimizing the loss of life and property during a natural event. Two levels of preparedness can be identified: public safety information and hazard awareness planning. Concurrent with or immediately after relief activities, post-disaster rehabilitation is carried out to restore the normal functions of public services, business, and commerce, to repair housing and other structures, and to return production facilities to operation. Education and training, both formal and informal, prepare people at all levels to participate in hazard management.
Informal learning can be delivered through brochures, booklets, and audio and video tapes prepared by national and international agencies involved in disaster preparedness and mitigation programs, and through the national media. Finally, direct observation after a disaster has proved to be one of the most effective means of learning.
Integrated development planning is a multidisciplinary, multisectoral approach to planning.
Issues in the relevant economic and social sectors are brought together and analyzed vis-a-vis the needs of the population and the problems and opportunities of the associated natural resource base. This presentation of the procedures of an integrated study features the incorporation of hazard management considerations at each stage. How and by whom can the assessment information be summarized for project formulation and action plan preparation? In Phase I, the team analyzes the study region and arrives at detailed estimates of development potentials and problems of the region and selected target areas.
At the end of Phase I a development strategy and a set of project profiles are submitted to the government. The fourth stage of the development planning process helps implement the proposals by preparing the institutional, financial, and technical mechanisms necessary for successful execution and operation. Even though integrated development planning and hazard management are usually treated in Latin America and the Caribbean as parallel processes that intermix little with each other, it is clear that they should be able to operate more effectively in coordination, since their goals are the same-the protection of investment and improved human well-being-and they deal with similar units of space.
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The chapter demonstrates that the means of reducing the impact of natural hazards is now available. From the early stages, planners should assess natural hazards as they prepare investment projects and should promote ways of avoiding or mitigating damage caused by floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural catastrophic events. A physical event, such as a volcanic eruption, that does not affect human beings is a natural phenomenon but not a natural hazard. It is important to understand that human intervention can increase the frequency and severity of natural hazards. Subsidence occurs in waterlogged soils, fill, alluvium, and other materials that are prone to settle.
Explosions pose a risk by scattering rock blocks, fragments, and lava at varying distances from the source. Flows vary in nature (mud, ash, lava) and quantity and may originate from multiple sources.
Volcanic activity may also trigger other natural hazardous events including local tsunamis, deformation of the landscape, floods when lakes are breached or when streams and rivers are dammed, and tremor-provoked landslides. Landslides can be triggered by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, soils saturated by heavy rain or groundwater rise, and river undercutting.

These often collect at the cliff base in the form of talus slopes which may pose an additional risk.
If the displacement occurs in surface material without total deformation it is called a slump.
Although associated with gentle topography, these liquefaction phenomena can travel significant distances from their origin.
Rockfalls are obvious dangers to life and property but, in general, they pose only a localized threat due to their limited areal influence.
In this sense, too, natural hazards must be considered an integral aspect of the development planning process.
But the project-by-project approach is clearly an ineffective means of promoting socioeconomic well-being. This approach is particularly relevant in post-disaster situations, when tremendous pressures are brought to bear on local, national, and international agencies to replace, frequently on the same site, destroyed facilities. The installation of warning systems in several Caribbean countries has reduced the loss of human life due to hurricanes.
Experience of the city of Los Angeles, California, indicates that adequate grading and soil analysis ordinances can reduce landslide losses by 97 percent (Petak and Atkisson, 1982). But all of the 500 school buildings that met seismic-resistance standards suffered no structural damage (Bolt, 1988).
Sensitive monitoring devices can now detect increasing volcanic activity months in advance of an eruption. Indirect impacts include flooding and undermining of major infrastructure such as highways and railroads. Floods are natural phenomena, and may be expected to occur at irregular intervals on all stream and rivers. They are generated over warm ocean water at low latitudes and are particularly dangerous due to their destructive potential, large zone of influence, spontaneous generation, and erratic movement. Damage results from the wind's direct impact on fixed structures and from wind-borne objects. The quantity of rainfall is dependent on the amount of moisture in the air, the speed of the hurricane's movement, and its size.
Dry-land farming refers to rain-fed agriculture In semiarid regions where water is the principal factor limiting crop production. Erosion occurs in all climatic conditions, but is discussed as an arid zone hazard because together with salinization, it is a major proximate cause of desertification.
Sediment movement and subsequent deposition in reservoirs and river beds reduces the useful lives of water storage reservoirs, aggravates flood water damage, impedes navigation, degrades water quality, damages crops and infrastructure, and results in excessive wear of turbines and pumps.
Usually, however, saline soils have received salts transported by water from other locations.
Measures such as zoning ordinances, insurance, and tax incentives, which direct uses away from hazard-prone areas, lead to impact avoidance.2. Mitigation measures are both more critically needed and more amenable to economic justification than in less-developed areas. Such settlements rely on the government to only a limited extent for warning of an impending hazard or assistance in dealing with it.
Projects for the development of road, energy, telecommunications, irrigation systems, etc., often lack hazard mitigation consideration. Furthermore, emergency centers have paid insufficient attention to the vulnerability of their own infrastructure. For example, a volcano may be selected for monitoring because of its scientific research value rather than its proximity to population centers. But they usually have little opportunity to participate in the preparation of large infrastructure and production projects that impinge on them, and even less in setting agendas for natural hazard assessment and vulnerability reduction. Thus, if a technical cooperation agency proposes to incorporate these ideas into planning and project formulation, it invariably has to overcome the skepticism of the relevant local personnel. For example, casualty insurance companies could offer a large premium differential for earthquake- and hurricane-resistant construction. Instead, each agency that formulates projects as part of its standard activities should appreciate the importance of introducing hazard considerations into the process of project formulation. Ideally, a natural hazard assessment promotes an awareness of the issue in a developing region, evaluates the threat of natural hazards, identifies the additional information needed for a definitive evaluation, and recommends appropriate means of obtaining it. The hazard management process consists of a number of activities designed to reduce loss of life and destruction of property.
Included in the concept of disaster mitigation is the basic assumption that the impact of disasters can be avoided or reduced when they have been anticipated during development planning.
The prediction of a natural event is a direct outcome of scientific investigation into its causes and is aimed at establishing the probability of the next occurrence in terms of time, place, and range of severity. Preparedness includes actions taken in anticipation of the event and special activities both during and immediately after the event. The first includes a number of efforts aimed at increasing the amount of information disseminated to the public and at promoting cooperation between the public and the authorities in case of an emergency. However, their efforts must usually be complemented with those of national or regional authorities. However, mitigation is often ignored in this phase: rehabilitation proceeds without any measures to reduce the chances of the same impact if the event happens again. Universities, research centers, and international development assistance agencies play the leading formal role in preparing individuals in a variety of skill levels such as natural hazards assessment, risk reduction, and natural phenomena prediction. Additionally, courses, workshops, conferences, and seminars organized by national and international disaster assistance agencies disseminate great amounts of information on natural hazard management strategies. Post-disaster investigations describe the qualitative and quantitative aspects of natural hazards, often improving on information produced by modelling and conjecture by indicating areas where development should be extremely limited or should not take place. A key element of this process is the generation of investment projects, defined as an investment of capital to create assets capable of generating a stream of benefits over time.
The relationships of the integrated development planning process, the hazard management process, and the project cycle are summarized in Figure 1-4. Experience has shown that this joint effort of OAS staff and local planners and decision-makers is frequently the most critical event in the entire study. For example, the National Environmental Study of Uruguay conducted by the OAS with financial support from the Inter-American Development Bank determined in the preliminary mission that natural hazards were an important environmental problem, and consequently an assessment of all significant hazards, to be conducted by reviewing existing information, was programmed for Phase I. If they are not, determine what additional data collection, hazard assessment, remote sensing, or specialized equipment will be needed for the next stage of the study. From this analysis a multisectoral development strategy and a set of project profiles are prepared for review by government decision-makers. Identify cause-and-effect relationships between natural events and between natural events and human activity. Examples of such studies include those for the development of the San Miguel-Putumayo River Basin, conducted in support of the Colombia-Ecuador Joint Commission of the Amazon Cooperation Project, and for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Frontier Development Projects. For hurricanes and geologic hazards, the existing information will probably suffice; if the information on geologic hazards is inadequate, an outside agency should be asked to conduct an analysis.
For example, the multimillion-dollar program for the development of the metropolitan area of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, featured landslide mitigation components. If not, will additional assessment activities take place within or outside of the planning study? Efforts made to consider hazards in previous stages will be lost unless mitigation measures are closely adhered to during the projects' execution. Point out hazardous situations for which the study did not propose vulnerability reduction measures. The possibility increases if they are part of specific development projects rather than stand-alone disaster mitigation proposals. For example, geographic information systems created for hazard management purposes can serve more general planning needs.
In the Jamaica study of the vulnerability of the tourism sector to natural hazards, for example, solutions were proposed for most of the problems identified, but no economically viable solutions were found for others. For example, when a planning team determines that a volcano with short-term periodicity located close to a population center is not being monitored, it can recommend a change in the priorities of the agency responsible. A clear example of this situation was the landslide mitigation components of the metropolitan Tegucigalpa study: the principal beneficiaries were the thousands of the city's poor living in the most hazard-prone areas. GIGABYTE offers all the same high-end components of their top motherboard’s in a smaller form factor.
Once you understand how they work you can modify the code to handle member logins and permissions. The classroom web page is a learning portal open for business twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week. Extreme care was taken to enhance all aspects of her comfort and style, while maintaining her pedigree as a true performance yacht. The factors that influence susceptibility to vulnerability reduction-the nature of the hazard, the nature of the study area, and institutional factors-are discussed.
For example, when the toe of a landslide is removed to make room for a settlement, the earth can move again and bury the settlement.
This process uses methods of systems analysis and conflict management to arrive at an equitable distribution of costs and benefits, and in doing so it links the quality of human life to environmental quality. Rows and lateral spreads (liquefaction phenomena) are among the most destructive geologic hazards.
In contrast, slides, avalanches, flows, and lateral spreads, often having great areal extent, can result in massive loss of lives and property.
Development projects, if they are to be sustainable, must incorporate sound environmental management. It is at such times that the pressing need for natural hazard and risk assessment information and its incorporation into the development planning process become most evident. Prohibition of permanent settlement in floodplains, enforced by selective insurance coverage, has significantly reduced flood damage in many vulnerable areas. Still more sophisticated assessment, monitoring, and alert systems are becoming available for volcanic eruption, hurricane, tsunami, and earthquake hazards. Water level is controlled by wind, atmospheric pressure, existing astronomical tide, waves and swell, local coastal topography and bathymetry, and the storm's proximity to the coast. The cycles of dry and wet periods pose serious problems for pastoralists and farmers who gamble on these cycles. The failure to properly price water from irrigation projects can create a great demand for such projects and result in misuse of available water, causing waterlogging and salinization.
But techniques are becoming available, experiences are being analyzed and transmitted, the developing countries have demonstrated their interest, and the lending agencies are discussing their support. Urban areas are likely to have or are able to establish the institutional arrangements necessary for hazard management. Thus organizing the local community to cope with hazards is a special aspect of hazard management. These varied and sometimes conflicting viewpoints can add to the constraints of planning and putting into operation a hazard management program, but having advance knowledge of the difficulties each may present can help the practitioner deal with them. Furthermore, ministries tend to have little experience in collaborating with each other to identify the interrelationships between projects or to define common information requirements so that information that suits the needs of many users can be collected cooperatively.
Valuable information on hazards is often published in scientific journals in abstruse language.

Hazard considerations must be introduced earlier in the process so that projects are prepared with these constraints in mind.
He suggests that governments should specify the desired outcome of policy, but leave the method of achieving that outcome to the economic actors. Planning agencies should take an advocacy position on hazard management and on introducing non-structural mitigation strategies early in the planning process. Mitigation of disasters usually entails reducing the vulnerability of the elements at risk, modifying the hazard-proneness of the site, or changing its function. Between November 1982 and June 1983, heavy rains created the most dramatic series of floods reported this century, affecting 12,000 square kilometers in this region, with total losses estimated at US$1,200 million. Historical information, both written reports and oral accounts from long-term residents, also helps characterize potential hazardous events. Increasingly sophisticated monitoring stations, both manned and remote, collect information of potentially hazardous events for more accurate prediction. In the case of tsunamis, for example, the Pacific Warning Center, which constantly monitors the oceans, provides advance notice that varies from ten minutes to a few hours. In the course of an event, or in its aftermath, social and public behavior undergoes important changes.
The keystones of post-disaster relief are the preparation of lifelines or critical facilities for emergency response, training, disaster rehearsals, and the identification and allocation of local and external resources.
In developing countries, road systems that are flooded or blocked by landslides year after year are commonly rebuilt at the same site and with similar design specifications. These activities are also carried out by operational entities such as ministries of agriculture, transportation, public works, and defense. A project may be independent or part of a package of projects comprising an integrated development effort.
Because the process is cyclical, activities relating to more than one stage can take place at the same time.
Phase I also includes a detailed assessment of natural hazards and the elements at risk in highly vulnerable areas which facilitates the early introduction of non-structural mitigation measures.
In the hilly Chixoy region of Guatemala, for example, it was found that inappropriate road construction methods were causing landslides and that landslides, in turn, were the main problem of road maintenance. For flooding, landslides, and desertification, the planning team itself should be able to supplement the existing information and prepare analyses. The study of the vulnerability of the Ecuadorian agriculture sector to natural hazards and of ways to reduce the vulnerability of lifelines in St. Flood alert and control projects were central elements in the comprehensive Water Resource Management and Flood Disaster Reconstruction Project for Alagoas, Brazil. Use personnel who participated in the studies in public meetings to promote the concept of vulnerability reduction. Furthermore, including vulnerability reduction components in a development project can improve the cost-benefit of the overall project if risk considerations are included in the evaluation.
Essentially chat messages that your members enter into the chat window will be "posted" (think of a web form submit) to your web application server. The core of the chapter explains how to incorporate natural hazard management into the process of integrated development planning, describing the process used by the OAS-Study Design, Diagnosis, Action Proposals, Implementation-and the hazard management activities associated with each phase. It is hoped that familiarizing planners with an approach for incorporating natural hazard management into development planning can improve the planning process in Latin America and the Caribbean and thereby reduce the impact of natural hazards.
Hazards to human beings not necessarily related to the physical environment, such as infectious disease, are also excluded from consideration here. In the planning work, then, the environment-the structure and function of the ecosystems that surround and support human life-represents the conceptual framework. Although landslides are highly localized, they can be particularly hazardous due to their frequency of occurrence. Mudflows, associated with volcanic eruptions, can travel at great speed from their point of origin and are one of the most destructive volcanic hazards.
By definition, this means that they must be designed to improve the quality of life and to protect or restore environmental quality at the same time and must also ensure that resources will not be degraded and that the threat of natural hazards will not be exacerbated.
Characteristics of coastal flooding caused by tsunamis are the same as those of storm surges. During wet periods, the sizes of herds are increased and cultivation is extended into drier areas. The nature of dry-land farming makes it a hazardous practice which can only succeed if special conservation measures such as stubble mulching, summer fallow, strip cropping, and clean tillage are followed. Salts accumulate because of flooding of low-lying lands, evaporation from depressions having no outlets, and the rise of ground water close to soil surfaces.
If these favorable tendencies can be encouraged, significant reduction of the devastating effects of hazards on development in Latin America and the Caribbean is within reach.
The scientific community should ensure that data are translated into a form suitable for use by hazard management practitioners. The problem lies with both the lender and the recipient: the stricken country rarely includes this item in its request, but when it does, the lending agencies often reject it.
Mitigation measures can have a structural character, such as the inclusion of specific safety or vulnerability reduction measures in the design and construction of new facilities, the retrofitting of existing facilities, or the building of protective devices. Subsequently, Peru transferred six of the most affected villages to higher elevations (a non-structural mitigation measure), and introduced special adobe-building techniques to strengthen new constructions against earthquakes and floods (a structural mitigation measure). Ideally, a natural hazard assessment promotes an awareness of the issue in a developing region, evaluates the threat of natural hazards, identifies the additional information needed for a definitive evoluation, and recommends appropriate means of obtaining it. The techniques employed include lifeline (or critical facilities) mapping and sectoral vulnerability analyses for sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, tourism, and housing. At best, these warnings provide enough time to withdraw the population, but not to take other preventive measures.
The main elements of the process are shown in Figure 1-2, and a synthesis of the activities and products of each stage is shown in Figure 1-3.
Vincent and the Grenadines, landslides were determined to be a serious problem, and landslide assessments were included in the work plan for Phase I.
In Ecuador, the discovery that most of the infrastructure planned for the Manabí Water Development Project was located in one of the country's most active earthquake zones prompted a major reorientation of the project. Kitts and Nevis, for example, both generated project ideas which could be studied at the prefeasibility level in Phase II. A dramatic example is the case study on vulnerability reduction for the energy sector in Costa Rica. The chapter goes on to show how the impact of natural hazards on selected economic sectors can be reduced using energy, tourism, and agriculture as examples. Figure 1-1 presents a simplified list of natural hazards, and the boxes on the following pages briefly summarize the nature of geologic hazards, flooding, tsunamis, hurricanes, and hazards in arid and semi-arid areas.1.
In areas where there are no human interests, natural phenomena do not constitute hazards nor do they result in disasters. Volcanoes erupt periodically, but it is not until the rich soils formed on their eject are occupied by farms and human settlements that they are considered hazardous. In the context of economic development, the environment is that composite of goods, services, and constraints offered by surrounding ecosystems.
In the San Francisco Bay area post-1960 structures swayed but stayed intact, while older buildings did not fare nearly as well. Later, drought destroys human activities which have been extended beyond the limits of a region's carrying capacity. Desertified dry lands in Latin America can usually be attributed to some combination of exploitative land management and natural climate fluctuations.
Salinization results in a decline in soil fertility or even a total loss of land for agricultural purposes.
For example, international emergency relief organizations such as the International League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have stated that they will devote more effort in developing countries to prevention. Reconstruction projects, especially when they are very large, are often managed by newly created implementation agencies. Non-structural mitigation measures typically concentrate on limiting land uses, use of tax incentives and eminent domain, and risk underwriting through insurance programs. In Latin America and the Caribbean vulnerability to natural hazards is rarely considered in evaluating an investment even though vulnerability to other risks, such as fluctuating market prices and raw-material costs, is taken into account as standard practice.
Hazard information and education programs can improve public preparedness and social conduct during a disaster. This process proceeds from the establishment of development policies and strategies, the identification of project ideas, and the preparation of project profiles through prefeasibility and feasibility analyses (and, for large projects, design studies) to final project approval, financing, implementation, and operation. A comprehensive set of guidelines for executing a study following this process is given in Regional Development Planning: Guidelines and Case Studies from OAS Experience. The study of the Paraguayan Chaco included flood and desertification assessments and multiple-hazard zoning. Valuative criteria are applied, including net present value, internal rate of return, cost-benefit ratio, and repayment possibilities. Finally, the significance of a hazard management program to national and international development institutions is discussed. This definition is thus at odds with the perception of natural hazards as unavoidable havoc wreaked by the unrestrained forces of nature. An ecosystem is a coherent set of interlocking relationships between and among living things and their environments.
In certain instances, farmland abandoned because of salinity problems may be subjected to water and wind erosion and become desertified.
This results in a drain of the already limited supply of technical personnel from the existing agencies and complicates coordination between long-term development and short-term rehabilitation.
The execution of these hazard-related activities did not distort the time or cost of the development diagnosis.
Finally, the team assembles packages of investment projects for priority areas and prepares an action plan. It shifts the burden of cause from purely natural processes to the concurrent presence of human activities and natural events. Destruction of coral reefs, which removes the shore's first line of defense against ocean currents and storm surges, is a clear example of an intervention that diminishes the ability of an ecosystem to protect itself. For example, a forest is an ecosystem that offers goods, including trees that provide lumber, fuel, and fruit.
Buildings on solid ground were less likely to sustain damage than those constructed on landfill or soft mountain slopes (King, 1989).
The forest may also provide services in the form of water storage and flood control, wildlife habitat, nutrient storage, and recreation. It requires a fixed period of time in which to reproduce itself, and it is vulnerable to wildfires and blights. These vulnerabilities, or natural hazards, constrain the development potential of the forest ecosystem.

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