PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (7): 771-777.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.07.001

• Original Articles •     Next Articles

Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in China

WEN Jiahong1, YAN Jianping2, YIN Zhan'e1, MENG Qingjie1, YIE Xinliang1,3   

  1. 1. Department of Geography, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China|
    2. Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP, Geneva, Switzerland|
    3. Department of Business Administration, Shanghai University of Engineering Science, Shanghai 201620, China
  • Received:2010-01-01 Revised:2010-05-01 Online:2010-07-25 Published:2010-07-25


This paper aims to explore the importance of natural disaster risk management to significantly reduce the impacts of disasters in China. Lessons learnt from the Wenchuan earthquake disaster, a catastrophic disaster that rarely occurred in China’s history, have shown that earthquake forecasting or prediction is a misconception in earthquake disaster reduction because it can not greatly help reduce the impacts of disasters. Therefore, it is high time for our country to shift its conception of disaster management from hazard forecasting or prediction to risk management, an effective and efficient way to reduce the impacts of disasters, in terms of the international progresses in disaster management theory and practices. The essential ways and measures to mitigate the seriousness of earthquake disasters in China include improvement of risk analysis and assessment of earthquake disasters, reduction of exposure and vulnerability in high risk areas through structural and non-structural measures, strict implementation of the building code for seismic design to insure the quality of buildings, especially for the critical facilities, establishment of modern systems of earthquake risk transfer, and enhancement of the national and local capacities to cope with disasters.

Key words: China, integrated disaster risk management, natural hazard, risk assessment, Wenchuan earthquake disaster