Japanese Journal of Conservation Ecology
Online ISSN : 2424-1431
Print ISSN : 1342-4327
Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction around river confluences: A case study of paddy fields along the Nakagawa River
Takeshi OsawaKentaro TakiHiromune Mitsuhashi
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: 2030


Recent decades have brought increased interest in ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) as a framework for modern-day infrastructure due to lower start-up and maintenance costs relative to traditional disaster mitigation infrastructure, and the potential benefits of associated ecosystem services. Paddy farming, a dominant agricultural practice in Asia, has been evaluated as an Eco-DRR approach to reducing flooding. The conservation of paddy fields in areas of high flood risk appears to be effective for controlling and reducing the impacts of flooding. Here, we aimed to identify areas of high flood risk along the Nakagawa River, Japan, based on the activity of Typhoon 19, which passed through the area in 2019, using a randomised null model approach. We found that confluence areas along the Nakagawa River were the most vulnerable to flooding, although we note that the number of flood records was limited. There were large areas of hydrophilic vegetation around these confluences, which suggests that flooding may contribute to regional biodiversity. There was generally less cover of paddy fields and urbanised areas around these confluences relative to the entire study area, but these differences were not substantial. Conserving paddy fields around confluences in the Nakagawa River may provide a variety of ecosystem services, including disaster risk reduction, biodiversity conservation, and food production.

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