Aerial photo after flooding in the Greater Makassar region by Micah Fisher
Although floods are not the most lethal of disasters, they are the most common risk of disaster worldwide (Lyu et al. 2016), resulting in some of the most severe and chronic economic and social impacts. The likelihood of flooding is also increasing around the world. The 2020 World Disaster Report commissioned by the International Federation of the Red Cross highlighted that more than 83% of natural hazard disasters were triggered by weather-related and climate-induced incidents in the past decade, and more than half of those were in the form of flooding (IFRC, 2020).
Such phenomena are increasingly common across the Asia-Pacific, which is a vast, multi-faceted, and populous region that ranges in hazard complexities and flood profiles. For example, the region is home to some of the largest river basins in the world, that span great distances and cross international borders and lead to complex inundation dynamics. Meanwhile, numerous coastal and island communities are increasingly facing floods from sea level rise, land subsidence, and storm surges (Oppenheimer et al. 2019). The continuous increase of hydrometeorological events results in more pronounced and severe flooding and has surpassed historical events in size and frequency, particularly in tropical regions (Thomas and Lopez, 2015). During 2000-2016, floods accounted for over 40% of all disaster incidents in Asia and are particularly significant compared to the prevalence of other significant natural disasters, including earthquakes, landslides, extreme temperatures, storms, drought, wildfire, and epidemics (Ashraf et al. 2017). The OECD (2019) estimates that the number of people at risk of flooding will increase from 1.2 to 1.6 billion people between now and 2050.
With more significant climate variability and anticipated development trajectories, flooding will be both a rural and an urban challenge, one that has already resulted in widespread displacement and migration (Dun, 2011). The rapidly urbanizing character of the Asia-Pacific region is resulting in rapid expansion of impermeable surfaces, adding to flood vulnerability. The higher concentration of populations and assets in cities leads to greater exposure and more pronounced damages (Diakakis et al., 2017). Hence, flood events create heightened vulnerabilities to significant populations, presenting a major barrier to achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) and pointing to the need to emphasize flood interventions as a fundamental goal of climate change adaptation (IPCC, 2018). Meanwhile, rapid land-use changes and development projects for more intensive purposes, such as plantation agriculture, have also reshaped flood dynamics in rural areas (Kelley and Prabowo, 2019).
Flood risk management (FRM) is driving academic debates and policy discussions, as well as raising controversy across its normative and theoretical framings (Kuhlicke et al., 2020; Raska et al., 2019; Mees et al., 2016). FRM is a multi-dimensional issue, complicated through the processes of involving multiple actors that interact at different governing scales (Raska et al. 2019), and thus calls for increasing multi-disciplinarity. In this special issue, we aim to engage theoretically and empirically towards a greater understanding of flooding and its relationship to vulnerability and resilience in the Asia-Pacific region. This includes a critical examination of existing FRM models and practices, as well as the various politics and discourses that shape the complexity of flood regimes and governing systems.
We welcome studies from multiple backgrounds that contribute to a greater understanding of flood risk in the Asia-Pacific, especially those with a geographic focus on Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:
- Flood risk management/flood mitigation/disaster risk reduction - involving formal, informal, adaptive, indigenous, and polycentric institutions and governance
- Climate change adaptation and resilience
- Urban / rural dimensions of flooding
- Floods and environmental justice
- Flood systems, including forecasting, early warning, and response systems.
- Mass media & communication, disruptive technology, and flood risk management/flood mitigation
- Submission: February – December 2021
- Peer review: From submission until April 2022
- Publication: April 2022
- For further information, read the full instruction for authors. We also provide a template for submission here
- Submit your paper via the journal’s online submission site:
- Please contact the editors for any queries at,
- Lei Xie: email@example.com
- Micah Fisher: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jiwnath Ghimire: email@example.com
- Lisa Kelley: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nurul Hasfi: email@example.com
- Muhammad Alif K. Sahide: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashraf, N., Field, E., Voena, A., & Ziparo, R. (2017). Maternal Mortality Risk and the Gender Gap in Desired Fertility. IGC Contract CPR-ZMB-IGR-2012-CPP-41025 Final Report. Retrieved from https://www.theigc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Ashraf-et-al-2017-Final-Report.pdf
Diakakis, M., Deligiannakis, G., Pallikarakis, A., & Skordoulis, M. (2017). Identifying elements that affect the probability of buildings to suffer flooding in urban areas using Google Street View. A case study from Athens metropolitan area in Greece. International journal of disaster risk reduction, 22, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.02.002
Dun, O. (2011). Migration and displacement triggered by floods in the Mekong Delta. International Migration, 49, e200-e223. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00646.x
IFRC. 2020. World Disaster Report 2020: Come Heat or High Water - Tackling the Humanitarian Impacts of the Climate Crisis Together. Geneva.
IPCC, 2018. Global warming of 1.5 °C, Special Report, https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/
Kelley, L. C., & Prabowo, A. (2019). Flooding and land use change in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Land, 8(9), 139. https://doi.org/10.3390/land8090139
Kuhlicke, C., Seebauer, S., Hudson, P., Begg, C., Bubeck, P., Dittmer, C., ... & Bamberg, S. (2020). The behavioral turn in flood risk management, its assumptions and potential implications. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 7(3), e1418. https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1418
Lyu, H. M., Wang, G. F., Shen, J. S., Lu, L. H., & Wang, G. Q. (2016). Analysis and GIS mapping of flooding hazards on 10 May 2016, Guangzhou, China. Water, 8(10), 447. https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100447
Mees, H., Crabbé, A., Alexander, M., Kaufmann, M., Bruzzone, S., Lévy, L., & Lewandowski, J. (2016). Coproducing flood risk management through citizen involvement: insights from cross-country comparison in Europe. Ecology and Society, 21(3). https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1418
OECD (2019), Applying the OECD Principles on Water Governance to Floods: A Checklist for Action, OECD Studies on Water, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/d5098392-en
Oppenheimer, M., B.C. Glavovic, J. Hinkel, R. van de Wal, A.K. Magnan, A. Abd-Elgawad, R. Cai, M. Cifuentes-Jara, R.M. DeConto, T. Ghosh, J. Hay, F. Isla, B. Marzeion, B. Meyssignac, and Z. Sebesvari, 2019: Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-Lying Islands, Coasts and Communities. In: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, M. Tignor, E. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Nicolai, A. Okem, J. Petzold, B. Rama, N.M. Weyer (eds.)]. In press.
Raška P., Slavíková L., Sheehan J. (2019) Scale in Nature-Based Solutions for Flood Risk Management. In: Hartmann T., Slavíková L., McCarthy S. (eds) Nature-Based Flood Risk Management on Private Land. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-23842-1_2
Raška, P., Warachowska, W., Slavíková, L., & Aubrechtová, T. (2020). Expectations, disappointments, and individual responses: Imbalances in multilevel flood risk governance revealed by public survey. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 13(3), e12615. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfr3.12615
Thomas, V., & López, R. (2015). Global increase in climate-related disasters. Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series, (466). https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2709331