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Under the volcano: Mount Mayon and co-volcanic societies in the Philippines

Bankoff, Greg


Greg Bankoff


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.


Bankoff, G. (2020). Under the volcano: Mount Mayon and co-volcanic societies in the Philippines. Environment and History, 26(1), 7-29.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 26, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 20, 2019
Publication Date 2020-02
Deposit Date Nov 1, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 4, 2019
Journal Environment and history
Print ISSN 0967-3407
Publisher White Horse Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 7-29
Keywords Co-volcanic societies; Volcanoes; Mount Mayon; Philippines
Public URL
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