An Analysis of the Resilience Factors of Rural Economy to Floods (Case Study: The East of Guilan Province)

Article Type:
Case Study (دارای رتبه معتبر)

In today's world, the resilience is recognized as the most important factor in sustaining the economy of rural settlements in the face of natural hazards and minimizing costs in times of crisis. Many studies have been conducted in many countries and they have tried to pay special attention to it as much as possible. The present study sought to evaluate and analyze the constructive and resilience factors of rural economy to flood crisis. The aim of this study was applied that has been done using descriptive-analytical methods based on the reliable sources and field studies (questionnaire). The research population were the rural heads of households living in the study area, 379 people were selected using the Cochran's formula and spatial-cluster sampling method. To analyze the data, statistical methods based on the comparison of means, Spearman's correlation and T-test were used. The results showed that there is a correlation of over 50% between the factors of economic resilience. Diversity in rural economy activities is the most important factor in increasing resilience with an average value (2.63) than the compensation capacity of damage in the economic resilience. Also, the basis of work for spatial analysis was considered hierarchically through the study. In this regard, the final map of economic resilience to environmental hazard (flood) was presented by ranking of study area in the East of the Guilan province in terms of the combined resilience indicators and relying on TOPSIS in the GIS software. Extended Abstract Introduction Floods are natural phenomena, and more than any other disaster, endanger the economic conditions of human communities. Many countries and academic societies pay attention to the economic resilience as an effective strategy in the risk management process, improving residents' preparedness against economic instability due to the natural disasters, and aiming to make them more livable for human settlements, including urban and rural ones. Statistics from recent decades show that they are more affected by natural hazards such as floods and earthquakes. One of these areas is on the Caspian Sea and in the eastern part of Guilan province, which has been affected by periodic and destructive floods in recent years, and in this regard, it directly and indirectly affects the rural economy, which is based on agricultural products and supply to local markets, etc. Accordingly, increasing the resilience of rural settlements and rapid reversibility along with improving the sustainability of the rural population is one of the important points to be considered in the current situation of rural planning in Iran. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze and measure the resilience factors of the rural economy against floods. Finally, the current research seeks to answer the question, what are the factors and indicators of resilience in the rural economy against the risk of flooding in the eastern region of Guilan province and how are they evaluated?MethodologyThe method was applied in terms of purpose. It has been conducted using a mixed model. The data were collected through descriptive and analytical methods using library and field methods (questionnaire). Out of a total number of 15 departments and 40 districts in the eastern cities of Guilan province in terms of natural conditions, 18 villages are located in plains (sample number 208 people, equal to 54.88%) and 13 villages are located in mountain base (sample number 135, equal to 35.62%) and 9 villages are located in a mountainous location (the number of samples is 36 people equal to 9.50 percent) and they include 379 heads of rural households (under the influence of floods) who were selected based on Cochran's formula and using a cluster-spatial sampling method. Also, to analyze the collected data, descriptive statistics (frequency distribution table in percentage, average) and inferential statistics (one-sample T-test, and Spearman's correlation test), Excel software, SPSS software, and Topsis model were used.Results and discussionRelying on the review of theoretical literature and studies of the research environment to measure and analyze the factors influencing the economic resilience of rural settlements in the east of Guilan province, two main factors (stability and economic capacity) have been identified and specified in the form of three components including employment status, diversification of economic activity and ability to compensate of damages in the framework of 11 measurable variables. Studies showed that the highest correlation was "ability to compensate of damage" with a value of r = 0.825, then the factor of "employment status" with a value of r = 0.745, and "diversification of economic activity" had the lowest value of correlation with a value of r = 0.651. Also, the explanation of the general state of resilience, showed that the amount of economic resilience from the average sum of the mentioned factors was equal to 2.57. The average difference of -0.431 indicated that the desirability of resilience is not at a suitable level. The current research indicated the high importance of economic resilience factors through the criteria of economic resilience (employment and diversification), economic capacity to compensate for damages (financial-insurance support) in improving the level of resilience of rural communities against floods. The research showed that "hope to find a new job in case of losing the previous job" has the lowest mean value (2.26). The highest mean value is the "tendency to develop economic and complementary activities" around (2.87) and the means showed a range less than the average (3). Although there is a correlation relationship of over 50% among the economic resilience factors, the values obtained from the measurement of the respondents under economic indicators are lower than the mean (3) and they are not mainly in favorable conditions. In this regard, the research showed that "hope to find a new job in case of losing the previous job" has the lowest mean value (2.26) and the "tendency to develop economic and complementary activities" has the highest mean value  (2.87) and the means' value showed a range less than the average of 3. The results were in line with the studies of Sajasi Gheidari et al. (2018), Kaye-Blake et al. (2019), Bazrafshan et al. (2018), and Mishra et al. (2019). According to the surveys available for ranking and leveling in the map unit, the results of these surveys showed that the rural settlements in the central parts of Siahkol and Lahijan, Rankuh Amalesh are in excellent resilience and the rural settlements in Rahimabad district in Rudsar, Rudbaneh district in Lahijan and Kiashahr district in Astaneh-Ashrafieh have unfavorable resilience conditions.ConclusionResearch findings indicated that economic stability (employment and diversification) plays a significant role in compensation capacity of damage (financial-insurance supports) in having a sustainable resilience, so these functions are bilateral and supplementary. Therefore, it is suggested that, the mechanisms for providing employment facilities should be expanded and facilitated in order to create stability in the level of work and sustainable development of economic activities in rural areas. Also, trying to attract investment to diversify the economic activities and home businesses to increase their financial capacity, and paying attention to the performance of various types of insurance, including accident insurance, agricultural products, and developing the insurance system for rural products, etc. needed a new approach to improve the resilience of the rural economy in the east of Guilan province according to the existing capacities of rural settlements based on their geographical and study locations.FundingThere is no funding support.Authors’ ContributionAll of the authors approved the content of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work.Conflict of InterestAuthors declared no conflict of interest.AcknowledgmentsWe are grateful to all the persons for scientific consulting in this paper.

Geographical Studies of Coastal Ereas Journal, Volume:3 Issue: 4, 2023
21 to 40  
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