MATRIX Synthesis

Scolobig A, Komendantova N, Gasparini P, & Patt A (2014). MATRIX Synthesis. Deliverable 6.4, FP7 MATRIX Project - New Multi-Hazard and Multi-Risk Assessment Methods for Europe (January 2014)

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This final deliverable of the MATRIX Workpackage 6 "Decision support for mitigation and adaptation in a multi-hazard environment" is based upon conceptual and empirical work of four research institutes from Austria (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis), Italy (Analisi e Monitoraggio del Rischio Ambientale - Scarl), France (Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres) and Germany (Karlsruhe Institut fuer Technologie) between 2010 and 2013. During this time, our interdisciplinary team investigated the benefits and barriers to the implementation of multi-hazard/risk assessment into current risk governance systems with the aim of providing recommendations for decision support.

By taking into account several historical case studies of multi-hazard disasters (e.g., the Messina earthquake of 1908; the Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in 2011) and real test sites in Italy (Naples) and the French West Indies (Guadeloupe), we examined the process through which practitioners and policy makers can take advantage of new knowledge about multi-hazard and multi-risk and effectively implement this knowledge into existing institutional and governance structures. The following hazards are considered within the test sites: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods, tsunamis, fires, cyclones and marine inundations.

The research design included documentary analysis and extensive empirical work involving policy makers, private sector actors and practitioners in risk and emergency management. This work was informed by 36 semi-structured interviews, three workshops with over seventy participants from eleven different countries, feedback with questionnaires and focus group discussions.

Our results reveal that in the present single-risk centred governance systems (which evolved in parallel with the single-risk centred risk assessment systems), practitioners rarely have the opportunity to discuss multi-risk issues, including triggered events, cascade effects and rapid increase of vulnerability during successive hazards. Therefore, a first step to bridge the gap between research and practice would be to create these fora for discussion at the local level, including researchers, practitioners and local advisors. These .local multi-risk commissions" can have several tasks, such as to provide suggestions for the integration of multi-risk assessment in land use planning, to identify priorities for future research and for the development of local capacities, to discuss what kind of new partnerships can be built between the public and private sector, etc. Among the other catalysts for an effective implementation of multi-risk assessment, there is the development of multi-risk platforms for data and knowledge exchange between researchers and practitioners and the engagement in a permanent dialogue between different risk communities (both in research and practice, with a focus on the divide between geological and meteorological hazards).

Risk and emergency managers clearly observe the benefits of integrating a multi-risk approach into their everyday activities, especially in the urban planning sector, but also into emergency management and risk mitigation. Decisions on building constraints for urban planning have to take into account the results of multi-risk assessment. Also, new options for protection - e.g., insurance schemes, new forms of public-private responsibility sharing - have to be suitable for households exposed to multi-risks.

Finally, since we worked in close cooperation with practitioners from different authorities, we could also compare their views. The lessons learnt through these interactions led us to address our recommendations not only to policy makers and practitioners, but also to researchers. Efforts on both sides are needed in order to overcome the barriers to a successful implementation of multi-risk assessment.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV)
Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Bibliographic Reference: Deliverable 6.4, FP7 MATRIX Project - New Multi-Hazard and Multi-Risk Assessment Methods for Europe (January 2014)
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Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:51
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2016 10:15

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