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Community cooperation with natural flood management: a case study in the Scottish Borders

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The cooperation of communities and landowners in the upper catchment is vital for the successful implementation of natural flood management (NFM) projects as few incentives are in place to reward them to host such projects. The aim of this paper is to initiate an exploration of the issues that affect a community's decision to cooperate. The results of a case study in Scotland show that willingness to cooperate is affected by concern about alternative flood management techniques, a sense of responsibility to help connected communities at risk of flooding and the expectation of beneficial impacts from the project. Indeed, these issues appeared to over-ride the hostility generated towards the project as a result of poor communication and engagement with the community from organisations associated with the proposed project. The results of the research suggest that if NFM projects are to proliferate, close attention must be paid to community attitudes towards flood management and related communities at risk, and that NFM projects must be developed and implemented according to well-established principles of public participation.

Keywords: Scotland; cooperation; flood risk management; natural flood management; semi-structured interviews

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: CECS, The School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JF, Email: 2: SERG, Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH

Publication date: September 1, 2009


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