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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
TUE4.7: Assessment and decision making in risk management
Time: Tuesday, 28/Aug/2012: 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Session Chair: Pane STOJANOVSKI, Asia Risk Centre, Inc.
Location: Sanada 2



The need of disaster loss data - assessment of droughts in global databases

Angelika WIRTZ, Marius HENSELI

Munich Reinsurance Company, Germany, Federal Republic of

Loss data relating to current and historical natural catastrophes are needed by researchers, governments, UN and EU organizations and NGOs, and the financial sectors, and can be used for a variety of analyses and purposes. The methods employed for acquisition of the data and for assessing the damage must be consistent over the entire period and transparent for the data users. It is important that global and national database operators must follow internationally recognized standards. The Integrated Research on Disaster Risks Working Group “ disaster loss data and impact assessment” has identified the need for (1) identification of the requirement of loss data users; (2) comparable, transparent and accessible disaster loss data to support research and policy; (3) identification of existing loss database projects; (4) definition of "loss" and creation of a methodology for assessing the loss. The standards, especially the methodology for assessing the loss, should apply to every natural hazard in global or national databases. A particular challenge pose droughts. The combination of direct impacts, indirect linkages and multiplier effects implies that the recording and tracking of droughts are rather elusive. In scope of a master of science thesis at Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research a new framework has been developed which applies a standardized methodology to characterize drought events. This methodology is most likely consistent with all the natural hazards recorded in the Munich Re NatCatSERVICE-database. With this approach and the use of an effective drought vulnerability index - a standardized index that can be utilized to assess drought severity worldwide - an improved reference data set was created for the purpose of a more precise determination of drought durations, scales and economic impacts.

Integrated risk assessment tools for decision-making. A case study from landslide affected mountain areas in Central Nepal

Stephanie JAQUET1, Karen I SUDMEIER-RIEUX2, Marc-Henri DERRON3, Michel JABOYEDOFF3

1Global Risk Forum, GRF, Davos; 2Independent, France; 3University of Lausanne, Institute of Geomatics and Analysis of Risk

Policy makers, international donors and NGOs are seeking ways to improve decision making about what investments are needed to decrease risks facing vulnerable communities in mountain areas. There are however a multitude of both risk and vulnerability assessments designed to meet different objectives, depending on whether undertaken from a social science or natural science perspective. Participatory approaches to assessing and mapping vulnerability and risk have become more common yet may not always be accepted as a rigorous tools for decision making. This research was designed to fill this research gap by focusing on landslide-affected communities in Eastern Nepal, increasingly affected by shallow landslides greatly affecting rural lives and livelihoods. The objective of this interdisciplinary research was to provide a simple methodology that can be used by NGOs and local authorities to assess community vulnerability and risk in order to reduce losses from landslides. To do so, we established a methodology for quantifying and mapping vulnerability for comparison between households and in two communities in Central Nepal. This approach was based on assessing underlying social, ecological and physical risk factors that cause vulnerability and the multitude of variables that create risk. Data for our framework were collected based on multiple research techniques, such as remote sensing, GIS, qualitative and quantitative risk assessments, participatory risk mapping and focus groups. Our goal was to keep this method relatively simple, low cost and useful to decision-makers and NGOs for managing and designing integrated development and risk management approaches under changing climate conditions and increasing demographic pressures in Nepal. We compare a physical assessment of risk, a composite measure of risk including social and economic variables and finally a community assessment of risk. Our findings point to a relatively close measure of risk between the three methods with a number of conclusions on the “pros and cons” of each approach.

Area wide risk assessment – a best practice example in the Province of the Tyrol

Andreas KOLER, Angela Michiko HAMA, Stefan ORTNER

alpS GmbH, Austria, Republic of

Our changing climate and the increasing dependency on technology are just two out of many factors that will strongly affect all future decisions made by public authorities and cause substantial changes in the risk landscapes around the globe. At the same time, the number of critical infrastructure facilities keeps skyrocketing. This combination leads to increasing social, economic and cultural vulnerabilities of countries and municipalities, their inhabitants and economies.

To deal with these challenges, the Province of the Tyrol initiated a project that helps municipalities on their way towards an efficient and cost effective risk assessment to reduce vulnerabilities and losses. The Provincial Early Warning and Emergency Management Centre of the Tyrol, Austria together with the alpS – Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies developed a hands-on method for risk assessment in the public sector that follows the latest scientific findings as well the practical needs of public authorities. Together with the developed ORTIS-tool, it allows the implementation of a blended risk assessment method that combines expert- and community-based approaches and considers multi-hazard risks and cascading effects as well as the principles of local participation and cost efficiency. For these efforts and achievements in creating a sustainable, local solution, the Province of the Tyrol was chosen as a role model for community-based risk assessment, management and reduction of the 2010-2015 World Disaster Reduction Campaign: Making Cities Resilient: "My city is getting ready”, run by UNISDR.

This presentation will give deeper insights into the applied method and the ORTIS-tool. Besides, the costs and benefits of an implementation will be highlighted and a brief overview of the results of more than 300 workshops in 279 municipalities given. Finally, the nomination as a role model region within the UNISDR campaign will be addressed and options for future collaboration or application in other regions discussed.

Risk reduction index - methodology and preliminary findings

Nicolai STEEN, Belen CAMACHO, Belen PALEY

DARA International, Spain, Kingdom of

The content of DARA’s presentation will be the Risk Reduction Index (RRI) methodology. The RRI provides in‐depth analysis of existing conditions and capacities for disaster risk reduction (DRR) in a country. This analysis is carried out within geographically well‐defined, risk-prone areas called Representative Territorial Units (RTU), and is based on four risk drivers: (1) environment and natural resources; (2) socioeconomic conditions; (3) land use and the built environment; and (4) governance. Each of these risk drivers is made up of a respective system of indicators, and represents sectors where risks are mostly represented. In this way, the RRI focuses on identifying the underlying risk factors (Hyogo Framework for Action, Priority for Action 4) that increase people’s vulnerability to hazards. A first pilot phase of the RRI was carried out in seven countries in Central America during 2010. DARA is now undertaking a second phase in a similar number of countries in West Africa. A third phase is also in the planning stages, as the RRI aims to be a practical tool that can be applied to different risk contexts world-wide. The RRI methodology is innovative in its focus on measuring stakeholders’ perceptions of underlying risk factors, and its analysis at the sub‐national level, or within the RTU. These stakeholders represent six sectors in the RTU, a geographical area defined in terms of hazards and patterns of vulnerability, and not necessarily according to administrative boundaries. Findings, including policy recommendations and concrete action points related to existing capacities and conditions for DRR, are validated through multi‐stakeholder seminars that take place at RTU, national and regional levels. Our three‐tier approach (bottom‐up) ensures that local‐level risk drivers are brought to the attention of both national and regional policy-makers. The presentation will include lessons learned from Central America and preliminary data from West Africa.

FMEA, Most Common Risk Assessment Method in Industry


1NIS CERT, Tehran, Iran; 2INDM Conference (Founder), Tehran, Iran

Risks and Risk assessment have long been a focus point of different industries. For instance Aerospace scientists have always been worried about functionality of shuttles, safety of the foods, healthiness of astronomer, etc. Specialists in “automotive industry” have also done their best to predict and tackle all types of quality and safety risks that cars and drivers may encounter. And the list of risk dealers continues endlessly.

To tackle risks, different methodologies have been invented such as HAZOP, HAZID, JSA, FMEA, etc. Each of these methods has its own specifications and subsequently its specific pros and cons. Also, every method has a specific scope of application and there is NO generic and complete method for assessing all types of risks in all types of organizations. However, based on statistics and experience of authors, FMEA (created by NASA) is the most common method and has the biggest numbers of users in industry with a large scope of use; from quality, health and safety to environment, business continuity and information security.

This article will focus on the main elements of this methodology and will elaborate the phases that must be undertaken when an organization uses FMEA for assessing its risks. The features and Pros and Cons of FMEA form the ending section of the extended abstract.

Landslide risk management issues in SafeLand

Bjørn KALSNES1, Farrokh NADIM1, Joanne BAYER2, Anna SCOLOBIG2, Leonardo CASCINI3, Settimio FERLISI3

1Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, NGI, Norway; 2IIASA, Austria; 3University of Salerno, Italy

Landslide risk management represents a multi-faceted activity, varying from hazard and risk assessment at various scales in time and space, through possible use of monitoring techniques, to evaluation of appropriate risk management strategies. These issues were studied in SafeLand, a research project under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7). Part of the research focused on the effects of climate change and changing demography in Europe over the next decades, and identification of landslide hazard and risk hotspots in Europe. Risk mitigation and prevention measures, including early warning systems (EWS) are important issues for landslide risk management. EWS requires the knowledge and technology to predict and forecast landslides, and monitor key parameters such as slope deformations and rainfall. In SafeLand, risk management at a local scale was studied at Nocera Inferiore in the Campania region (southern Italy). The study included cooperative activities between geotechnical experts providing proposals for risk mitigation measures, and social scientists taking care of the decision-making process. Community stakeholders were involved through a number of meetings discussing various options for risk reduction. The mitigation packages were prepared on the basis of extensive fieldwork aimed at better understanding local views and perspectives. Each package included a different mix of active and passive measures, including relocation. On the basis of the results of the working groups, a compromise solution for risk mitigation was presented and discussed with the participants. In landslide risk management it is important to involve the population exposed to landslide risk in the decision-making process for choosing the most appropriate risk mitigation measure(s). The pilot study of Nocera Inferiore demonstrates the potential and challenges of public participation in decisions characterized by high personal stakes and intricate technical, economic and social considerations.

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