The initial stages of formation of this commission will involve the bringing together of a dynamic group of workers with interest and experience in related fields, the definition of a list of working goals and objectives, and putting into place a schedule of activities.
The following is a list of high-priority activities we envisage the commission to work on during the first 5 years, these will be discussed and refined during the initial year of the commission activities:
- The initial 5-year project plan will result in a series of products – review documents on hazard-related issues. These products would be in the form of documents that provide community-driven guidelines and that can be given an IAVCEI stamp of approval. This would be the central focus of the commission’s initial efforts. Examples include:
- IAVCEI Guidelines for the Development of Volcanic Hazard Maps
- IAVCEI Guidelines for Hazard Assessments
- IAVCEI Guidelines for Risk Assessments
- IAVCEI Guidelines for the analysis of Risk Perception and Communication
- IAVCEI Guidelines for Science into Policy
These guidelines would balance having some level of specificity but also be flexible enough for local implementation in different cultural, political, and scientific environments. The documents would provide a concise common starting place for workers embarking on these various topics which nucleate and focus discussions within the volcanology community and give IAVCEI a strong and practical tie to tools that would be used “on the ground.” Such an effort would also form a focused basis for linking in other related efforts such as the Tephra Working Group, and Model Benchmarking Group, etc.
- Collaborate with, support and attend existing workshops and meetings held which relate to volcanic hazards. There are currently several international projects which hold regular workshops and meetings on volcanic hazard related topics (e.g. VOPB, STREVA, GVM, VUELCO). We propose, instead of proposing a plethora of additional workshops and meetings, this commission will concentrate efforts and strengthen what is already being planned (where appropriate).
The main objectives at these initial meetings will be to advertise the goals and objectives of this commission, and recruit long-term members, but also to ensure that relevant project outcomes feed into the wider commission products, where they can then be used to benefit a much wider community.
- Promote the integration of cyberinfrastructure approaches. Use and promote the use of cyberinfrastructure initiatives like VHub. VHub is a major knowledge exchange infrastructure, which can fundamentally alter the landscape of how collaborative work in volcanic hazards can be undertaken.
- Promote the profile of volcanic hazards within the broader international Natural Hazards and Disaster Community
1. Hazard Mapping: The methods and best practices of generating effective hazard maps based on an understanding of the physical processes involved. Including integration of field and where appropriate modeling methods (both deterministic and probabilistic) for different hazards associated with volcanic eruptions.
2. Hazard Assessments: The methods and best practices of estimation of hazard, or hazard assessment (which do not always include maps). The integration of field and modeling methods for all hazards associated with volcanic eruptions including those for individual volcanic edifices, site-specific assessments, regional volcanic hazards, and volcanic hazards associated with volcanic field volcanism.
3. Risk Assessments: Integration of hazard assessments with exposure and vulnerability studies, and thus a highly multidisciplinary area.
4. Risk Communication and Perception: An emerging but critically important field and again a highly multidisciplinary area. Risk communication is the means by which warnings or technical information about volcanic activity is used and understood by populations around volcanoes in order to formulate decisions that reduce individual and societal risk. The effectiveness of communication can be modulated by complex social and political issues as well as varying perceptions and expectations of activity or even warnings. The lack of effective translation of warnings or technical information into actions to reduce risk provides a significant additional input to risk. Efforts here would be to promote new analyses of these processes and their impact, encouraging improved collaboration between volcanologists and social scientists and to apply these findings with more effective interactions between physical volcanologists and those involved in research or policy decisions that act to mitigate risk.
5. Science into Policy: An emerging but critically important field, involving two-way knowledge transfer between scientists and end-users. A key aspect of this work will be to help guide the needs-defined development of hazard science and products in order to tailor our science better to what is needed by the community. Efforts here may include engineering amelioration as well as issues and policy that affect a society’s capacity to recover; building resilient and sustainable communities in volcanically active regions.
This list is ambitious, but not exhaustive. As the commission matures, we expect other topics to become the focus of its work.