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Under the Volcano: Mount Mayon and Co-Volcanic Societies in the Philippines

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Rich volcanic soils have long attracted human settlements, which have traded the risk of eruption against the benefits of higher agricultural yields. Yet little research has been done on how societies have normalised the risks and adapted to living in proximity to volcanoes, or how those modifications, in turn, might have influenced the effects of eruptions and their consequent hazards. In short, people have co-evolved with volcanoes to create 'co-volcanic societies'. By looking closely at the Philippines and focusing on one region of southern Luzon around Mount Mayon, this article addresses the question of how people and the volcano have 'co-adapted' to living in proximity to one another over time. It also suggests that to make societies more resilient to volcanic hazards, a better understanding of this relationship is required not only to improve current disaster risk reduction policies but even to inform everyday urban planning and civil engineering decisions.
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Keywords: Co-volcanic societies; Mount Mayon; Philippines; volcanoes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2018) of 0.800. 5 Year Impact Factor: 0.918.
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