Author(s): Faith Ka-Shun Chan; Gordon Mitchell; Adrian Mcdonald; Xiaotao Cheng
Linked Author(s): Xiaotao Cheng
Keywords: Climate change; Flood risk management; Pearl River Delta and sustainability
Abstract: Flood risk is one of the most serious environmental threats facing the Pearl River Delta (PRD). This risk is growing, as a result of climate change induced sea level rise and extreme weather events, and land use change required to support a growing population in this urban mega-delta region. As flood risk increases, so does the need for management of that risk, in a sustainable manner, recognising diverse and often competing needs in the region. Drawing on global flood management literature, this paper develops a generic sustainable flood risk appraisal (SFRA) framework that can be used to benchmark flood risk management (FRM) practice against sustainability objectives. The framework addresses social, environmental, and economic concerns, and further illustrates climate change and governance are two main drivers to achieving sustainability in flood risk management. Currently in the Pearl River Delta, hard engineered protection measures are still dominated for three decades, the past flood histories implied such strategy was unable to reduce impacts. It has imperative to adopt such SFRA framework to mitigate flood risks in the rapidly urbanising PRD for the long term. This paper further explains how the template could be of value in recuperating the SFRM practice in the PRD.