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Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or room to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
THU5.4: Critical infrastructures III
Time: Thursday, 30/Aug/2012: 2:40pm - 4:10pm
Session Chair: Nina BECKER, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research- UFZ
Session Chair: John HANDMER, RMIT University
Location: Seehorn



Disasters in arctic areas


University of Stavanger, Norway, Kingdom of

An overview of arctic disasters is important for Norwegian building industry, petroleum industry and shipping has an enhanced actuality since future activities in the northern areas will increase. This article provides an insight into important characteristics of relevant disasters as background knowledge for disaster risk assessments and associated risk reduction measures. We claim that the uncertainty dimension is vital to this discussion. Epistemic (knowledge based) uncertainty related to observable quantities, such as whether a major accident occur or not, the capacities of risk reduction measures, execution time for safe evacuation, dynamics of disaster phenomena, magnitude of accidental loads, response performances, instability effects etc., are important and should influence the choice of design approach. We also explore structures that are employed to work/transit arctic climates in order to recommend considerations upon design approaches.

Identifying and preparing for threats to critical infrastructure during protests or civil unrest

Suzanne Naomi BERNIER

SB Crisis Consulting, Canada

Recently, the emerging threat of protests, riots and civil unrest during mass gatherings has become a disturbing reality across the globe. Given the current global economic crisis, we will undoubtedly see an increase in these civil disturbances. As critical infrastructure sectors are often key targets during such events, it is essential that plans be developed in advance to mitigate and respond to these new and emerging threats. This session will highlight the various types of threats to critical infrastructure that could occur during mass gatherings, and the types of plans that should be in place to mitigate and respond to civil disturbances. The session will also review Lessons Learned from recent protests/civil disturbances that have occurred throughout the globe.

Mastering the ante in critical infrastructures – a Swiss approach to visualizing trends, realizing opportunities and defeating threats

Marco GRUBER1, Adolf DOERIG2

1Gruber Partner AG, Switzerland; 2Doerig + Partner AG, Switzerland

Critical infrastructures are networks and services in various areas: telecommunication and information services, energy services (electrical power, natural gas, oil and heat), water supply, transportation of people and goods, banking and financial services, government services and emergency services. Disasters always have serious effects on critical infrastructures, such as cutting populations off from clean water, power, transportation or emergency supplies. For the latter, groundbreaking initiatives such as “One Health” by GRF Davos helped greatly in developing awareness and a common understanding among public and private authorities around the world: for they have realized the imperative of protecting their critical infrastructures to increase public trust based on security, transparency and governance. The business case for further developing sustainable and successful initiatives with respect to critical infrastructures specifically depends on the knowledge and understanding of the relevant trends, scenarios, opportunities and threats within a well-defined governance framework. With that focus in mind, it’s becoming increasingly important to ask, to understand and to answer the following questions: (1) Are we aware of the trends in a world full of discontinuities – and how do we document them with respect to critical infrastructures? (2) Which scenarios are we taking into account – and how do we visualize them? (3) Do we know the strategic opportunities and threats in critical infrastructures – and how do we deal with them? (4) Do we have an appropriate governance structure in place – and how do we develop it even further? (5) How do we support and monitor the execution of the activities – and how do we communicate? Adolf J. Doerig and Dr. Marco Gruber will present best-practice cases with respect to trendfinding, opportunity and risk management, business continuity management and infrastructural development in the public and private sector of Switzerland.

The Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD): announcing a new dataset

Jennnifer GIROUX1, Peter BURGHERR2

1Center Security Studies (CSS) / ETH Zurich; 2Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)

This presentation will provide an overview of the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD) - an open-source resource developed by the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) that structures data on reported (criminal and political) global attacks to energy infrastructure (EI) since 1980, by non-state actors. The development of EIAD was inspired by a knowledge deficit in this area where extensive empirical analysis and scenario modeling was lagging behind due to the lack of specialized, publicly available databases with detailed coverage of non-state threats to EI. In fact, most non-commercial databases dealing with non-state threats tend to focus exclusively on terrorist attacks, however today’s violent non-state actors are fluid and oftentimes toggles between different motivational spaces which are then overlooked by such specific databases. To fill this research gap we adopted a data-based approach to structure information on threats to EI and in doing so answered some general yet important questions, such as: In what regions/states is EI targeted? In regions where EI is targeted, what are the causes? What tactics, techniques, and weapons are used and how are they composed? What are the impacts of attacks (local and global)? In addition to answering these questions by providing a summary of EIAD's key findings and overarching trends we will also discuss the coding methodology and development.

Critical infrastructure vulnerability assessments for disaster risk reduction

Claudia BACH

United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Germany, Federal Republic of

Critical infrastructures (CI) and particularly electricity supply build the backbone of modern societies. Infrastructures such as information and communication technology, water supply, or transport today are so interconnected that the failure of one of them could lead to cascading effects into a variety of sectors. Natural hazards thereby pose a threat to the maintenance of these services. This is especially relevant, as infrastructure services are particularly needed during and in the aftermath of a disaster in order to decrease the direct effects of the event on population and environment. It is thus important to understand the vulnerability of critical infrastructures towards different natural hazards (slow and sudden onset) which can have very different effects on the systems considered. Whereas sudden onset hazards have a devastating effect on the system components and destroy them physically, slow onset hazards such as heat waves and droughts rather affect processes. Regarding electricity supply, the 2003 European heat wave showed that mainly energy generation was restricted due to several reasons including shortages in coal deliveries as well as a lack of water availability for the cooling of power stations. Relating to this, the presentation will give an insight into quantitative, indicator based as well as on qualitative vulnerability assessment methods towards critical infrastructure for slow and sudden onset hazards using the example of flash floods and heat waves/dry spells. Methodologies were derived in cooperation with the German cities Wuppertal and Karlsruhe and encompass the vulnerability assessment of critical infrastructure systems themselves (primary effects) as well as society’s vulnerability in case of a failure (secondary effects) of the mentioned hazards.

Proposed seismic risk reduction program for lifelines in the megacity of Tehran, Iran


Tarbiat Modares University, Iran, Islamic Republic of

The overall seismic risk of Tehran shows that this megacity has high potential of seismic hazard and vulnerable city elements such as: residential, commercial, official, and general buildings, lifelines, and infrastructure. Lifelines and infrastructures are important facilities for maintaining the standard of human life.

The total length of Tehran highways and streets are about 10,000 km. The road network covers physically well the whole area in the megacity of Tehran. However, in the southern parts of the city, areas with narrow roads (3–6 m width) exist. Bridge structures are considered together with the road network. The inventory list of bridges in Tehran includes about 250 bridges. In Tehran, nearly 80 water reservoirs exist and primarily concentrate in the northern parts of the city due to the geographic topology. Water transmission pipes with a total length of 9,000 km are located in the urban areas. The material types are precast reinforced concrete, steel, and ductile iron with varying diameters. The total length of natural gas pipes in Tehran is about 1,310 km. This 40-year-old gas pipeline is made of approximately 80% carbon steel and 20% polyethylene.

The information about seismic damage of infrastructures and lifelines is very important for the preparation phase of seismic disaster management plan. The lessons from previous earthquakes in the various cities in the world show that almost all infrastructures will go out of operational services. However, gas damage may cause a serious secondary disaster.

Considering the high level of seismic hazard and the number of existing vulnerable Infrastructures and lifelines, it is absolutely essential to prepare a regional seismic disaster prevention plan to mitigate possible seismic damage in Tehran. This paper is an attempt to propose a seismic risk reduction program for Infrastructures and lifelines of the city.

Rebuilding Cities after crises: Lessons learnt from urban disaster and conflicts


UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya

Urban disasters have a profound effect on local, regional, national and global socio-economic life. In 2011 alone, the cost of these is estimated at over $380 billion with the largest impacts in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sendai Province in Japan, and Bangkok and the delta regions surrounding it. The impacts of these events were not only felt within the countries they occurred: tangential impacts occurred throughout the affected countries, and around the world. Haiti earthquake in 2010 amplified the challenges humanitarians are facing in responding to emergencies in urban contexts. The latest wave of violence and conflict in Syria and Libya and ongoing humanitarian conflicts in Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan all demonstrate huge gaps in policies, tools, knowledge, coordination and approaches, which are based on rural and camp settings. While some of humanitarian organizations are exploring new methodologies for working within cities, relatively few have built internal capacity to function efficiently and effectively outside the rural theaters where current systems of delivery have been refined over the past decades where humanitarian work has concentrated. UN-Habitat is strengthening its capacity to provide support to these and other agencies, primarily through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) representing much of the humanitarian community. Our Organization’s key comparative advantage is our ability to field competent urban systems professionals to provide such support to other humanitarian agencies through an advisory function. The presentation will highlight lessons learnt from the agency’s engagement in responding to crises in urban contexts and present the ongoing work to strengthen this area within the IASC.

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