Since the Indian Ocean tsunami took place on December 26, 2004, the significant outcome of a devastating hazard has occurred. Strategies that we can mitigate the impacts have been the central research theme of the international academic communities. A similar event had happened in Taiwan several years ago. On September 21, 1999, a devastating earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale struck central Taiwan, and caused over 2 400 deaths and 8 000 injuries. After the earthquake, a lot of landslides occurred and had made the land use and land cover transformed.
The purpose of this research is to interpret how people perceive a hazard and through what kind of personal, social and political mechanisms that can help them construct the resilience and adapt to the impact. It's especially significant that after the devastating earthquake, people in the impacted areas have not only adapted to the impacts, but also changed the previous land uses. Most of these areas were economically-weak agricultural and aboriginal regions, before the earthquake occurred, these areas had had high percentage of illegal and inappropriate land uses which often induced serious landslides after heavy rains. Now, six years after the earthquake, most of the previous land uses have been abandoned; environment-friendly agriculture and eco-tourism now become the major livelihood.
In this research, we'll use remote sensing and GIS to express land use and land cover changing process during different stages, and will examine the endowment, entitlement and the social capital of the local people to deal with the impact. Our aims are to analyze the mechanism and to develop a conceptual model that could strengthen people's resilience and adaptive capacity to cope with the impacts and reduce the vulnerability.