Science, Uncertainty and Decision-Making in the Mitigation of Natural Risks

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STSMs 2016/2017

The action has funded 6 STSMs over the coming months! 

Successful meeting on Project Risk & Asset Management Uncertainty Assessment

October 2016: The Action held a workshop on Project Risk & Asset Management Uncertainty hosted by colleagues at TU Delft

Expert Judgement Workshop, 26th August 2016

An expert judgement workshop is being held at the University of Strathclyde on Friday 26th August!

Science, Uncertainty and Decision-Making in the Mitigation of Natural Risks, Rome

File DownloadTitle Summary 
Annemarie ChristophersonExpert elicitation in natural hazard and risk assessment in New Zealand We present two examples how expert elicitation contributes to hazard and risk assessment of natural phenomena in New Zealand.
Chris NewhallScientists advising decision-makers - experiences from Mount St. Helens and Mount Pinatubo Some scientific help to decision-makers is based on classic science, and is quantitative, evidence-based, and impersonal. Most scientists understand that they must produce good data and forecasts of what the volcano can produce and, increasingly, probabilities of each scenario and associated uncertainties. These are indeed very helpful -- but insufficient. What else is needed?
Ellie ScourseUsing expert elicitation to characterise long-term tectonic risks to radioactive waste repositories in Japan Siting and designing technological facilities that need to be located in regions susceptible to major tectonic events requires evaluation of the full range of knowledge and appraisal of plausible alternative models and interpretations, all within a probabilistic framework. This challenge has been clearly demonstrated by the extreme effects of the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan and is nowhere more problematic than in siting facilities with hazard potentials that last for thousands of years, such as geological repositories for radioactive waste.
Fabrizio CurcioThe emergency planning for volcanic risk at Vesuvio and Campi Flegrei According to the Italian legislation, the President of the Council of Ministers is responsible for the orientation, promotion and coordination of the entire Service. The Civil Protection Department, which is a branch of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, is the focal point of the National Civil Protection Service, especially for the management of emergencies at national level. The Italian territory is subject to several natural and anthropic risks. In particular, volcanic risk directly affects 2 million people, about 1 million of them lives in Campania Region.
Frederic SgardScientific advice for policy-making: lessons learned from recent crises The OECD Global Science Forum initiated an activity related to scientific advice late 2012, following a discussion that was triggered by the conviction of scientists in connection with the L’Aquila earthquake. This activity comprised an analysis of the various organizational (and procedural) models that are in use or advocated to raise or optimize the quality of scientific advice, including during emergency crises, a study of the responsibility and/or liability of scientists who provide advice to governments, and relevant communication issues, and the identification of emerging issues related to scientific advice.
 Giulio ZuccaroAssessing vulnerability curves for natural risks Vulnerability constitutes the damage measurement of an exposed element (people, buildings, infrastructures, etc.) under effect of natural hazards. Today, vulnerability assessment is often conducted through use of vulnerability curves. They represent the probability that a specific vulnerability class of exposed elements reaches a certain level of damage (D0:No damage, D1: Slight damage, D2: Moderate damage; D3: Heavy damage, D4: Very heavy damage, D5: Destruction) in function of hazard magnitude.
Gordon WooFrom science to action: the risk analyst intermediary Progress in the basic understanding of natural hazards is the achievement of scientists specializing in volcanology, seismology, hydrology, meteorology etc.. Each of these domains of hazard science encompasses observational, experimental, theoretical and computational research fully occupying the time and attention of scientists. For any natural hazard in a populated region, there are stakeholders with diverse interests in the outcome of scientific studies, and there are civil protection authorities with responsibility for all the stakeholders, some of whom may wish to participate actively in the decision making process.
Luigi D'angeloThe Italian Civil Protection and scientific advice system The scientific community is asked to provide its support to the system when it comes, normally, to develop prevention activities. Of course if needed and when appropriate the scientific community, in its advisory role, is called to provide support in all the phases of the risk management cycle. The ways the scientific communities participate to this are several and certainty one of the most important is the 'National Committee for the Prevention and Preparedness of the Major Risks' which is composed by more than 80 experts divided in different sectors reflecting the risks that affect our country ( seismic, hydrogeological, volcanic, transports, etc...).
Michael K. LindellCommunicating hurricane risks to local officials for protective action decision-making Research and operational practice for hurricane evacuations in the United States have led to the development of planning concepts for local officials to use when deciding what protective actions to take when their jurisdictions are threatened by approaching hurricanes
Richard BrettonThe Role of Science within the Rule of  Law     Discourses about recent court cases involving natural hazards have overlooked the many different roles that laws (both national and international) play within the governance of risks. For societal risk governance, laws not only create the stakeholders (infrastructures, duty holders and beneficiaries) and the stakes (duties and rights) but also dictate the ultimate rewards (acceptable standards of safety and wellbeing).