2018 IAVCEI/GVM Workshop: From Volcanic Hazard to Risk Assessment

2018 IAVCEI/GVM Workshop: From Volcanic Hazard to Risk Assessment


Geneva, 27-29 June 2018

The complexity of volcanic risk assessment typically resides in the interaction of multiple hazard, vulnerability and exposure aspects dynamically acting over various spatial and temporal scales. Risk models provide an evidence-based approach to development and implementation of proactive policies of risk reduction before an event, yet no comprehensive and multidisciplinary methods for vulnerability and risk analysis currently exist.

In this context, the first IAVCEI-GVM workshop “From Volcanic Hazard to Risk Assessment” took place in Geneva on 27-29 June 2018. The main goal of the workshop being to evaluate the state of the art of risk assessment in volcanology and to identify research priorities that would enable research scientists to more effectively engage with DRR and to work across disciplines (http://www.unige.ch/hazards/iavcei-gvm-workshop-2018/). The workshop was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the University of Geneva, the Société Académique de Genève, the British Geological Survey and IAVCEI (through the sponsorship of the IAVCEI Commission of Hazard and Risk). About 40 participants from 15 countries working in various aspects of hazard, vulnerability, exposure and risk assessment attended. Specific workshop objectives included to identify: i) the benefits of risk assessment for decision makers, current gaps and potential areas for improvement; ii) key vulnerability aspects that need to be assessed for a comprehensive and efficient risk assessment in a multi-hazard context; and iii) the optimum hazard and vulnerability products necessary for risk assessment at different scales.

Workshop conclusions include that risk assessment is a key step towards empowering various users to effectively manage and reduce risk, in particular when an assessment is co-designed and co-produced with stakeholders. When stakeholders are involved in risk assessment and risk reduction it can enhance their awareness encouraging them to get prepared and, therefore, increase their resilience. Crucial aspects of risk assessments include the identification of primary objectives and applications depending on stakeholder uses and time scale (before, during or after an event). Ideally, when calculating volcanic risk, multiple hazards and various types of vulnerability (e.g. physical, social, systemic) should be accounted for and risk assessments should regularly be updated in order to adjust to new technologies and new information when this is made available.

It was highlighted that there is a need to strengthen collaborative research and partnership across disciplines and engage more with the stakeholder community. A common language, coordinated resources and a risk platform are also needed to facilitate collaboration across the volcanic risk community and optimize the research effort across disciplines. Guidelines/good practices need to be defined for risk assessment, and associated data collection, data usage and data sharing. There is also a need to develop a framework to record and catalogue post-eruption damage and impact data that is widely accepted, recognized and used by the volcanic risk community.

A comprehensive consensual document is under compilation and will be made available through our website. A discussion is also undergoing to identify the structure and theme of the 2nd IAVCEI-GVM Workshop. We believe that a series of workshops can contribute to strengthening the volcanic risk community and favour multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration in order to build more efficient and sustainable DRR strategies worldwide.

The organizing committee

Costanza Bonadonna, Sebastien Biass, Eliza Calder, Corine Frischknecht, Chris Gregg, Susanna Jenkins, Sue Loughlin, Scira Menoni, Shinji Takarada, Tom Wilson