Speaker Profile


Katinka de Balogh
Senior Animal Health and Production Officer
Cultural Factors in Livestock Emergency Management: A comparison between local farming communities in volcanic areas and external emergency preparedness approaches

Despite the institutionalization of volcano eruption early warning and response systems, casualties are still seen among local farmers who are reluctant to evacuate or prematurely return to their farms for saving livelihoods and taking care of animals that remained behind. Case studies and media records show the importance of understanding cultural belief systems when developing contingency plans. For example, in 2010 the spiritual gatekeeper of Mount Merapi in Indonesia and people who took guidance from him did not evacuate. Traditional outlooks generally consider risk rationales that differ from scientific risk calculation and modelling. By reviewing literature from different scientific disciplines in relation to volcano eruptions and livestock emergency preparedness, we identify differences in the underlying risk and control paradigms, including the meaning given to volcanos and livestock. A framework for addressing and attuning cultural differences in risk and control strategies is explored to enhance local learning and participation. With disaster emergencies on the rise, lessons from this study can be useful for strengthening culture sensitive emergency management and preparedness programme design and implementation.

[:en]Dr. Katinka de Balogh is a veterinarian with a Doctorate in Tropical Parasitology and Specialization in Veterinary Public Health and over 30 years of progressive professional experience in international development, animal and zoonotic disease control, outbreak investigation and crisis management. She has held positions at the World Health Organization and worked as lecturer at the veterinary faculties in Zambia, Mozambique and the Netherlands. Over the last 17 years she has been working for the Food and Agriculture Organization at its Headquarters in Rome, Italy and presently holds the position of Senior Animal Health and Production Officer at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok, Thailand where she is the lead technical officer for projects ranging from animal production and breeding to controlling epizootics and disaster response.[:]