On behalf of SDC Bolivia, GEOTEST Ltd has developed a tool that systematically calculates the risk of natural hazards and analyses the cost-effectiveness of protection measures, taking resilience into account. This “MiResiliencia” toolbox provides the Bolivian authorities with important inputs for decision-making in natural hazard management.
Bolivia is increasingly affected by disasters caused by natural hazards. The reasons for this are climate change and the increasing population density in regions at risk. The Bolivian government is therefore faced with the major challenge of implementing efficient and effective protection measures. In order to plan and implement protection measures fairly and uniformly, the risks and resilience must be calculated according to standardised criteria. Based on the calculated risks and the clearly proven effectiveness of the planned protection measures, the cost-effectiveness can be verified.
In Switzerland, “EconoMe” is used for this purpose – the tool specified by the federal government for calculating the cost-effectiveness of protection measures against natural hazards. GEOTEST has co-developed this tool since 2005. In 2017, SDC Bolivia commissioned GEOTEST to develop a WebGIS application for the calculation of risks and cost-effectiveness using EconoMe as a model. The Swiss methodology had to be adapted to the Bolivian context and further developed to include resilience.
The result is a user-friendly application in which perimeters, intensity maps and all damage potential can be recorded digitally. When this information is combined with the costs of the protection measures, which are also recorded and calculated with the toolbox, the cost-benefit ratio of the planned measures becomes apparent.
The Swiss Ambassador in La Paz delivered the “MiResiliencia Bolivia” toolbox to the Bolivian authorities in an official ceremony in autumn 2018. As part of the handover, GEOTEST led several workshops to instruct the technical staff of the local and national authorities, the private sector and NGOs on hazard and risk analysis, as well as the use of the WebGIS application.
There is a high risk of debris flow disasters in the La Taquiña catchment area. Devastating incidents have occurred there in the past.