A UN report recently found that the Asia Pacific is the world’s most disaster-prone region. Indeed, considering that the region accounts for more than half of the total number of disasters in the world, building capacity and resilience to mitigate the devastating impact of disasters is a pressing task for local actors.

This book takes a regional, multidisciplinary and multi-actor approach to improve understandings of how various actors respond to natural and human-induced disasters in the Asia-Pacific region. It examines the ideas and activities of four different categories of agents: civil society; military and state institutions; local cultural knowledge and the media; and economic initiatives, and these themes are approached from various academic disciplines, ranging from anthropology and cultural studies to economics, human geography and political science. The contributors draw their findings from a variety of countries in the region, including China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar and Samoa, and importantly, focus on the interconnection between vulnerability and resilience. In turn, the book highlights how the nature and magnitude of disasters are influenced by social conditions, and aims to contribute to policies that prioritize development opportunities to enhance resilience. Further, it explores the complicated and multifaceted role of agency in building resilience, and presents a comparative framework for analysis and key findings from the Asia-Pacific region.

The focus of this book on recent and ongoing disasters makes it a topical and timely contribution to the growing field of disaster management, and as such it will appeal to students and scholars of environmental studies, development studies and Asian politics.

Introduction 1. Coping with Disaster: Agency and resilience in the Asia-Pacific context  Part I: Civil society 2. Responding to Disasters in the Asia-Pacific Region: State and civil society relationships 3. Key Factors for Capacity-Building of Disaster Relief Operations: Indonesian examples 4. Fostering Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Relief in Japan: Challenges and prospects for sustainable future operations  Part II: Military and state institutions 5. The Military and Disaster Relief in China: Trends, drivers and implications 6. Myanmar, Cyclone Nargis and Regional Intermediaries 7. Temporalities of Planning and Disaster: Slum demolition and the rebuilding of lives at the margins of Delhi  Part III: Local cultural knowledge and the media 8. The Politics of the Mount Merapi Eruption in Central Java, Indonesia 9. Coping with Floods in Urban Fiji: Responses and resilience of the poor 10. From Early Warning System to Trauma Healing: Alternative media and disaster relief in Central Java  Part IV: Economic initiatives 11. Agrarianism, Capitalism or Protectionism? Exploring economic restructuring and local responses amidst global change in Samoa 12. Responding to Natural versus Human-made Disasters: Lessons from Fiji  Part V: Conclusion 13. Lessons from Disaster Relief in the Asia-Pacific