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Assessing Perceptions and Adaptation Practices of Climate Change Disasters in Rural Communities
rural regeneration community
The research objective of this dissertation is 'Assessing Perceptions and Adaptation Practices of Climate Change Disasters in Rural Communities'. In this research, 300 rural communities in Taiwan with experience in implementing Rural Regeneration Project are selected as the study materials. The main approaches include collecting primary data of communities by questionnaires, synthesizing survey data, and then analyzing data by One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), path analysis and spatial analysis. The major findings are: First, after examining how Rural Empowerment Project (REP) affects the perceptions on climate change and adaptation behavior of communities, it was found that the REP course is highly effective in increasing the community's understanding and recognition of the government's strategy for climate change adaptation. Regarding to improve the community's understanding on promoting climate change adaptation independently, results presented a moderate effect. It showed a low effect on rising awareness of climate change impacts and the extent to which community residents themselves must participate in practicing climate change adaptation. REP courses have no significant effects on increasing the perceptions of climate change and disaster experiences. Second, if communities have been experiencing disasters caused by climate change, it will help them understand threats that may be triggered by climate change. Furthermore, if a community has faced disasters before and understands impacts of climate change thoroughly, the individuals' willingness to participate in community disaster prevention will be higher. Regarding promoting the climate change adaptation strategy, both the residents' willingness of cooperation with the government and their degree of recognition will also be higher. Third, different types of rural communities present different perceptions of climate change disasters. Specifically, communities which are more prone to sea level rising disasters understand the risks of climate change disasters better. The communities facing potential disasters of drought and extreme rainfall recognize more about various impacts caused by climate change and benefits of adaptation policies implemented by government. Moreover, the communities located in potential debris flow areas have more experiences of hazards but lower perceptions of climate change impacts. Communities with a high compound disaster potential generally agree that climate change will increase the probability of disaster occurrence. Fourth, this research suggests that communities with high potentials of sea level rise, extreme rainfalls, and compound disasters, but low awareness of disasters should work with government closely to improve the adaptive ability to disasters of communities. For the communities that are prone to droughts and landslides and with a low awareness of disasters, the cooperation among individuals, communities, and governments is highly recommended; especially on recruiting more residents into disaster prevention and management system. In summary, this research demonstrates that REP courses are beneficial to improve the disaster awareness and adaptation behavior of rural regeneration communities. The understanding degree of disasters and disaster experiences will affect the willingness of residents and the entire community to participate the implementation of adaptation practices and to cooperate with the government's policy. It will also influence the perception of whether the related adaptation strategy is effective or not. In addition, rural regeneration communities facing different types of potential climate change disasters present different perceptions toward disasters. Therefore, implementation of adaptation practices should be adjusted accordingly when governmental organizations provide assistance in pre-disaster prevention, disaster relief, and post-disaster restoration.
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