Risk and Resilience at the Science-Policy-Practice Interface

In spite of advances in our scientific knowledge, disaster losses continue to rise globally, and this trend is expected to continue under climate change. Several global frameworks call for greater attention to the interface between science, policy and action to achieve resilience and reduce disaster losses. This session explores innovations in the area of applied sciences for assessing and communicating risk and resilience. Themes include: (i) concepts and novel methods of data collection to measure risk and resilience, (ii) best practice for engaging with communities and schoolchildren, (iii) ways to visualise and share information and (iv) reflections on policy and frameworks.

Co-organized by EOS7
Convener: Faith TaylorECSECS | Co-conveners: Viktor RözerECSECS, Denyse S. DookieECSECS, Joel GillECSECS, Finn LaurienECSECS, Bruce D. Malamud, Colin McQuistan, Solmaz Mohadjer
vPICO presentations
| Fri, 30 Apr, 15:30–17:00 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Fri, 30 Apr

Effective Communication and Engagement
Gina Delima, Liesbet Jacobs, Maarten Loopmans, Mary Ekyaligonza, Clovis Kabaseke, Matthieu Kervyn, and Kewan Mertens

Effective disaster risk reduction (DRR) presupposes awareness among key stakeholders on the causal factors that exacerbate disaster risks as well as a feeling of ownership over proposed DRR measures. Yet, the prevailing top-down communication of risk and the expert-centered knowledge have a limited impact in bringing significant positive change. Serious games respond to the need for a community-based DRR approach as they encourage a collective recognition of societal issues and co-learning at the different levels of the DRR governance system. However, there is still a gap in understanding how serious games facilitate co-creation of knowledge. In this article, we first introduce a serious game, called DisCoord, as a public pedagogy tool that bridges diverse views and sets of knowledge of DRR stakeholders separated by spatial and socio-cultural domains. Second, through a qualitative method of analysis of the 10 game sessions in Uganda, we examine the factors and processes that influence knowledge co-creation. The game actors – game designers, game facilitators and players – primarily steer and influence the co-creation process. These actors have diverse pre-game views, which are expressed through the game rules, arguments, game strategies, and game outcomes, and are confronted within the public space provided by the game. We find that crises experienced during the game, real-life based arguments provided by the players and own interpretations by the players are key factors in the co-creation process. This study leads us to conclude that games like DisCoord are useful as public pedagogy intervention as they bring different forms of knowledge together in a public space and facilitate co-learning. This paper also contends that countering a top-down approach of risk communication using a public pedagogy approach requires an openness towards the unpredictable, de-centered DRR, and plural co-learning outcomes.

How to cite: Delima, G., Jacobs, L., Loopmans, M., Ekyaligonza, M., Kabaseke, C., Kervyn, M., and Mertens, K.: DisCoord: a serious game for co-creating knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10941, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10941, 2021.

Ariadna Ortega Rodriguez, Rui Carrilho Gomes, Vitor Correia, Cláudia Pinto, Balazs Bodó, and Adrienn Cseko

The Platform for Atlantic Geohazard Risk Management (AGEO) is a project co-financed under the Interreg Programme for the Atlantic Area that aims to launch five Citizens’ Observatory pilots on geohazards according to regional priorities:

  • Citizens’ observatory on rockfalls and rockfall-triggers in the Canary Islands, Spain
  • Citizens’ observatory on rockfalls and rockfall-triggers in Giants' Causeway and Carrick-a-rede, Northern Ireland
  • Multihazard Citizens Observatory in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Citizens’ observatory of slope instability monitoring in Madeira island, Portugal
  • Citizens’ observatory of vulnerability to coastal Risks in Brittany, france

These pilots will demonstrate how citizens’ involvement in geohazard risks prevention can strengthen regional and national risk management systems. The consortium is led by the Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal) andcounts with several other partners from Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Experiences gained during the implementation of the Citizens’ Observatory pilots will be used to formulate recommendations for the creation of future observatories in response to the widest range of hazards (both natural and human-induced) faced in the Atlantic region. Engaging citizens in Citizens Observatories requires the development of outreach strategies seeking to understand expectations and develop attitudes, behaviours and competencies relevant for the aims and activities of the observatories.

The AGEO Consortium identified and targeted relevant stakeholders using Mendelow’s (1991) power-interest matrix, and developed perceptual maps of stakeholders, adapted for each of the five Citizens’ Observatory pilots. This approach was the basis for the development of tailored value propositions formulated to raise awareness on geohazards  and mobilize citizens participation.

AGEO is also using storytelling to inspire the general public to action and emotionally implicate non-specialised audiences. This approach is being used to educate children at school age and to reach their parents (in the pilot regions).



Mendelow, A. L., 1991. Environmental Scanning: The Impact of the Stakeholder Concept. Proceedings from the Second International Conference on Information Systems 407-418. Cambridge, MA.https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis1981/20/

How to cite: Ortega Rodriguez, A., Carrilho Gomes, R., Correia, V., Pinto, C., Bodó, B., and Cseko, A.: Interreg Atlantic Area AGEO Project – Explaining natural hazards and the role of citizen observatories through storytelling, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12644, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-12644, 2021.

Anthi-Eirini Vozinaki and George Karatzas

This work introduces an innovative participatory approach for extreme events’ data collection training, which targets young scientists and specifically Engineering students. In the context of this action, students are trained in an exploratory method of data gathering by their active participation and their direct contact with the inhabitants of the flood-prone area. It aims at a comprehensive data collection process, significant before setting any hydrologic or hydraulic computation modelling scheme or performing a flood simulation analysis. The collected data form the key input in sophisticated models that assess and manage flood risk, simulate, forecast risk zones and/or create flood maps. The participatory data collection process, called Mobile Flood Data Walk, has already been implemented in previous case studies. However, herein, the Flood Data Walk is applied for the first time in a Cretan study site as a didactic approach for students. Specifically, the in-situ interactive data collection event was held in Stalos watershed, in Crete, Greece, which is often exposed to flooding, on June 19, 2019. Fourteen undergraduate students participated by sharing knowledge, walking and talking and/or creating maps. They were not given specific guidelines. They had a digital Google map of the study area on their mobile phone. The groups of students or individual students followed undetermined routes in every direction. As they were moving on foot, participants were asked to explore and uncover information, photos, maps or flooding clues within the place. They were asked to observe and search for visual cues of flooding, consider or/and brainstorm together questions about the data found in the landscape and the data collected within the current walk, that cannot be collected by sensors and devices. During the walk students were also highly encouraged to interact and listen to the aspects of the local people who have actually experienced flooding in the study area and, therefore, own significant empirical knowledge on floods. Afterwards, students were gathered and narrated their observations and comments. They brainstormed the possibilities for creative responses and they, finally, filled in an online interactive questionnaire on Kahoot! platform, a game-based learning tool. They left their feedback from their walking experience and as a result a rich list of information, pictures, thoughts and reports on landscape was collected. It is a fact that the concept of moving through the place develops experiential learning which is critical on knowledge building. Moreover, engaging people who live with flooding with those who are working to develop flood management tools and methods offers potential for gathering meaningful insights and data, which can be very constructive for candidates’ engineers-decision makers in the field of extreme flood events’ management.

Keywords: Flood data collection; Students’ training methods; Flood Data Walk


This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund- ESF) through the Operational Programme «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning» in the context of the project “Reinforcement of Postdoctoral Researchers - 2nd Cycle” (MIS-5033021), implemented by the State Scholarships Foundation (ΙΚΥ).


How to cite: Vozinaki, A.-E. and Karatzas, G.: Mobile Flood Data Walk as a didactic approach for flood data collection: case study in Stalos, Crete, Greece, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6684, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6684, 2021.

Gaurab Sagar Dawadi

The Early Warning System (EWS)  is recognized as a crucial mechanism for disaster risk reduction. Despite advances in technologies, the biggest shortcoming of EWS is that risk information is still failing to reach the people at risk in developing countries like Nepal and India. This presentation is based on the qualitative analysis of 90 interviews conducted for my Ph.D. thesis, in the Kosi River basin, across the Nepal-India border. Annually the Kosi River and its tributaries cause widespread flooding and inundation in Nepal and India. Recently, significant advancements have occurred in the sector of risk communication for Flood-EWS in Nepal and India. Government institutions use mobile text messages, web-based Apps, flood bulletins, and other measures to inform people about the flood. Despite the efforts, significant challenges were observed in the information outreach, especially to the women and vulnerable people living in the study area. Challenges were also identified in understanding the received text messages by flood vulnerable people, and spatially relating the information about river depth for their evacuation decision.  Recommendations were made for inclusive and people-centered EWS based on Impact based forecasting as well as on awareness-raising activities through mobile applications.

How to cite: Dawadi, G. S.: The Complexities in Risk Communication for Flood Early Warning System in Nepal and India., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9871, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9871, 2021.

Elena Jones, Natasha Dowey, Rebecca Williams, and Lewis Holloway

During a volcanic crisis, effective communication between volcano observatories, local government, civil defence authorities, the media and the public is crucial in ensuring the safe management of the situation. A breakdown in this chain of communication may lead to unsafe behaviours, mistrust of authorities, economic impacts, anxiety, or at worst, fatalities (see Williams and Krippner, 2019). Over the past 100 years, various stakeholders have made progress in volcanic crisis communication, but the 21st century presents significant challenges (Fearnley et al. 2017). The world in which we communicate has changed rapidly in recent years; information from official bodies can be posted, shared, translated, re-interpreted and disseminated rapidly via online news outlets and social media. Widespread use of the internet means crises communications must now be fast paced and sustained, pushing the limits of those working in internal communication (Driedger et al., 2008). The modern drive of journalism to create different angles and interesting ‘stories’ can lead to conflicting comments from multiple sources, which could cause public doubt about how well a hazard is being monitored and managed (McGuire et al, 2009). This project aims to better understand how the ‘translation’ of press releases by the mainstream media impacts the behaviours and perceptions of the local and global community during a volcanic crisis. To achieve this aim, the project will focus on two research questions:

1. How is the language used in volcanic crisis press releases variably ‘translated’ into mainstream media?

2. How is this language viewed and interpreted by the general public, and what impact does it have on perceptions of volcanic hazards, risk and uncertainty?

This project will use two methodologies. Firstly, press releases and their associated media be analysed to assess how information becomes translated and adapted. The communication of volcanic crisis information will be categorised and compared across different countries, languages, types of volcanism, and types of media, using recent case studies (e.g. Hawaii 2018 and Agung 2017). The second stage will investigate the impact of the translation/adaption of press releases by various media channels on public perceptions. Two focus groups will be carried out to provide a comparison; one group will read materials from the original press release and the other from social media/news articles. Both groups will then answer the same set of questions, allowing for critical comparison. This research will develop understanding of the power of modern communication to influence the public during volcanic crises. It will provide insights into how press releases are translated, with the potential to provide important learnings for the organisations that create and distribute them.

References Bird et al. (2012) Australian Journal of Emergency Management. (1) Driedger et al. (2008) USGS Professional Paper 1750. Fearnley et al. (2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/11157_2017_28 McGuire et al. (2009) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2009.02.019 Williams and Krippner (2019) https://doi.org/10.30909/vol.01.02.i-viii

How to cite: Jones, E., Dowey, N., Williams, R., and Holloway, L.: Lost in Translation? Exploring the journey from press releases to news articles and mainstream media during volcanic crises, and its impact on public perceptions., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16370, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-16370, 2021.

Anna Heidenreich and Annegret Thieken

Due to the ongoing climate change heat waves increase in numbers and in duration in Germany. Extreme heat poses a massive health threat, in particular if no or maladaptive behaviour is shown.

In summer and autumn 2019, we conducted a household survey on personal perceptions of heat stress. In total, 1.417 people from three different German cities participated via telephone or online. Based on the Protective Action Decision Model (PADM), which we adapted to heat hazard, we analysed links between risk perception, different context factors, perceptions of social stakeholders, different heat warning formats, and adaptation behaviour/intention. For statistical evaluation, correlation analyses, ANOVA, and regression analyses were executed.

People with higher climate change beliefs were more aware about heat warnings, reported higher negative impacts of heat stress on their health and everyday life and esteemed stakeholders from the health, care and social sector as responsible to carry out protection measures against heat. ANOVAs showed that the presentation of action recommendations along with official heat warnings leads to higher adaptation intentions. Correlation and regression analyses reveal connections between climate change beliefs and heat risk perceptions, other context factors and adaptation. PADM proves to be a useful framework for heat risk perceptions and behaviour and can be recommended to risk managers. To foster risk awareness and private adaptation measures further, tailored risk communication strategies need to be developed and evaluated.

How to cite: Heidenreich, A. and Thieken, A.: Is heat a hot topic? – Exploring risk perception, risk communication, and adaptation to heat stress with a household survey, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15315, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15315, 2021.

Blaise Mafuko Nyandwi, Matthieu Kervyn, François Muhashy Habiyaremye, François Kervyn, and Caroline Michellier

The city of Goma is located in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. With around one million inhabitants, it is built on lava flows, 15 km south of the active Nyiragongo volcano. Historically, the town was affected twice by eruptions, in 1977 and 2002 and severe destructions were reported. At that time, no volcanic risk preparedness and management tools had been implemented, and communication during and after the eruption was not consistent enough to avoid panic and human casualties. Without an appropriate and accurate risk communication, people may adopt a behavior which can put them at risk, by increasing their vulnerability. Nineteen years after the last disaster, risk management still have to develop an effective risk preparedness strategy and integrate risk awareness raising tools. The aim of this ongoing doctoral research is the assessment of risk culture, building upon a risk perception assessment and identification of risk reduction measures to be enhanced.

A survey of 2224 adults among the general population of Goma was conducted in eight representative neighborhoods in order to assess the risk perception, the experience of the risk communication as well as the risk preparedness of inhabitants. We here present a first analysis of the results regarding the risk communication challenges. Goma is a dynamic town with a young population (80% are under 45 years old), living in relatively poor and large family (51% of households have 4-7 members and 31% 8-11 members; 57% of household have an income between 0-250$), with rather low education (47% is secondary level and 34% graduated). Language is one of the volcanic risk communication challenges in Goma: apart from French as the official language, Swahili as local, and English imposed by the large humanitarian sector, there are many dialects. Moreover, most communication tools are informal (social networks, friends and relatives…) and inhabitants mostly look for information on religion (22%), health (15%) and politics (12%), but not so much about risk reduction. Local radio (24%), television (14,5%) and social networks (13%) are the most preferred information channels. The city of Goma is also very dynamic: with a high migration rate, the population is growing and renewing itself regularly, to the point that risk communication must take into account the newcomers in order to be efficient. Additionally, our survey shows that experience of disasters and trust in decision-makers also provide a basis for effective risk communication.

By presenting, as examples, the communication chain during the 2002 Nyiragongo eruption, as well as a more recent example of miscommunication due to the publication, in the general public press, of a scientific article with significant uncertainties in eruption forecast modelling (leading to misinterpretation by non-expert readers), we will demonstrate that the cascading reactions may have consequences putting risk decision-makers and scientists in a difficult position, by provoking a feeling of mistrust and doubt among the population. Based on the Goma case study, we will show that risk communication in the global south is a major risk management challenge with complex issues.

How to cite: Mafuko Nyandwi, B., Kervyn, M., Muhashy Habiyaremye, F., Kervyn, F., and Michellier, C.: Volcanic risk communication challenges in the global south: the case of Goma, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15597, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15597, 2021.

Max Schneider, Michelle McDowell, Peter Guttorp, E. Ashley Steel, and Nadine Fleischhut

Seismicity rate estimates and the earthquake forecasts they yield vary spatially and are usually represented as heat maps. While visualization literature suggests that displaying forecast uncertainty can improve how forecast maps are used, research on uncertainty visualization (UV) is missing from earthquake science. We present a pre-registered online experiment to test the effectiveness of three UV techniques for displaying aftershock forecasts. These maps show the expected number of aftershocks at each location for a week following a hypothetical mainshock, and we develop maps of the uncertainty around each location’s forecast. Human participants complete experimental tasks using the aftershock forecast displayed with its uncertainty. Three different UVs are producted: (1) forecast and uncertainty maps adjacent to one another; (2) the forecast map depicted in a color scheme, with the uncertainty shown by the transparency of the color; (3) two maps that show the lower and upper bound of the forecast distriubiton at each location. We compare task performance using UVs and using the forecast map shown without its uncertainty (the current practice). Subjects complete two map-reading tasks that target several dimensions of the readability of the three UVs. They then perform a comparative prediction task, which demonstrates whether a UV is successful in reaching two key communication goals: indicating where an aftershock and no aftershocks are likely (“sure bets’’) and where the forecast is low but the uncertainty is high enough to imply potential risk (“potential surprises’’). All UVs perform equally well in the goal of communicating “sure bet’’ situations. But the UV with lower and upper bounds is significantly better than the other UVs at communicating “potential surprises.” We discuss the implications of these results for communication of forecast uncertainty within and beyond earthquake science.

How to cite: Schneider, M., McDowell, M., Guttorp, P., Steel, E. A., and Fleischhut, N.: Effective Uncertainty Visualization for Aftershock Forecast Maps, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8318, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8318, 2021.

Assessment of Risk & Resilience
Let not perfection be the enemy of progress: Developing a measurement framework fit for Dominica's resilience ambition
Emily Wilkinson
Simon Schütze and Jonathan Hassel

The fast spread of SARS-CoV-2 made non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as the closure of schools and national lockdowns, necessary. These containment measures are essential to protect the health and safety of the people, while simultaneously posing a potential threat to the functioning of other aspects of society e.g., the economy, social life, or physical and mental health.  

The connection of the risks directly imposed by the hazard (in this case a pandemic) and the indirect risks imposed by coping and adaptation measures is not well captured by existing multi/risk frameworks. Additional to the emerging multi-risk frameworks around concepts of cascading, conjoint or compounded risk, a framework is needed that focusses on the socially constructed risk as a direct response to the risk of the natural hazard itself. Building on the first- and second-order of adaptation concept by Birkmann (2011), this paper develops the “Two-order risk framework” for structurally assessing both interconnected risks. This framework can be applied for indicator-based spatial risk analysis of numerous types of disasters that are accompanied by prolonged coping or adaptation phases.  

Here, the framework is employed to quantify the risk of COVID-19 for all EU member states. It conceptualises the risk of immediate impacts due to SARS-CoV-2 (first-order risk) as well as the risk of impacts of containment (second-order risk) measures by assessing the hazard/exposure, vulnerability and coping capacity in each order of risk. Both orders of risk are affected and connected by the specific risk management capacities of a country. Higher risk management capacity can decrease the threat of SARS-CoV-2, while poor risk management capacity can increase the threat of harmful containment measures. For assessing risk management capacity, governance-related indicators play a central role. The findings reveal that Malta, Luxemburg, and Denmark have a significantly lower second-order risk than first-order risk. The opposite is true for Latvia, Poland and Ireland. For the goal of reducing the overall risk, the policy advice given to states with a high first-order risk must be substantially different than the one given to those with a higher second-order risk.  

The spatial heterogeneity of vulnerabilities in both risks shows that a one-size-fits-all approach in regards to containment measures is not sufficient to minimize risk in the EU. Instead, containment measures need to address country-specific drivers of the disease-spread while considering the vulnerability to second-order risk.    

How to cite: Schütze, S. and Hassel, J.: The Two-order risk framework: A spatial assessment of risks associated with Covid-19 in the European Union (EU) , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13202, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13202, 2021.

Michael Szoenyi, Adriana Keating, Reinhard Mechler, and Karen McClune

Defining and measuring disaster resilience is a burgeoning endeavour in the contemporary disaster, development and climate change adaptation space. A core tenant of resilience measurement is the need to be explicit about ‘resilience of what, to what, for whom.’ What does this mean in the context of multiple and systemic risks? Can resilience to systemic risks be measured? What of our experience with measuring resilience to-date can inform the measurement and management of systemic risks? These are the questions that will be explored in this presentation.

The Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC) framework and tool, developed by the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, is one of the most widely applied disaster resilience measurement approaches in the world, informing community-led action in more than 250 communities globally. It is founded on a systems-based, holistic and integrated conceptualization of community resilience capacity as comprising of human, social, physical, financial and natural capitals. Data analysis, user experience feedback and expert peer review support the conceptual rigor, practicality and hazard-management utility of the FRMC. In this presentation the authors will present a framework for expanding this single-hazard tool to measure community resilience to multiple hazards at the same time.

We will outline key principles in multi-hazard resilience measurement and explore questions of integration, complex dynamics and the link to decision-making. We will present a typology of resilience measurement indicators that range from generic or hazard-neutral to highly hazard-specific. We then discuss vertical and horizontal scoring options and what this means for decision-making. We will show that multi-hazard community resilience measurement is feasible and useful, generating robust information for local- and regional-level management as well as data for globally generalizable lessons about the dynamics of systemic risks.

How to cite: Szoenyi, M., Keating, A., Mechler, R., and McClune, K.: Practical resilience measurement for the management of multiple hazards, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13374, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13374, 2021.

Paola Petrosino and Ines Alberico

The dissemination of resilience concept to citizens, politicians, entrepreneurs, territorial planners is the first and most important step to shelter urbanized areas from natural hazards.

In this frame we propose a procedure to draw resilience maps as tools to facilitate the communication of inherent resilience status of cities. The core of the research is the assessment of this status for the environmental component that deeply influences the livability and development of urban systems. The procedure, implemented in a Geographic Information System framework named “Resilience and Disaster Risk Management”, defines and maps indices and indicators at the census district scale. It considers the different nature of data (attribute data, urban system components represented with primitive features, polygon, line and point) and for each of them indicates the necessary steps to draw the resilience indicator maps.  Through their ranking into the same number of classes, the procedure makes the indicators fully comparable to each other and allows the definition of indices as aggregation of indicators.

The procedure was tested at Ischia Island (Southern Italy) exposed to volcanic, seismic, landslide, flood and coastal erosion hazards. The spatial variability of environmental resilience is shown into several maps that discretize the island into high, medium and low resilience classes.

From our analysis emerged that the historic centers of the towns, in general show the lower resilience, mostly due to poor quality and age of buildings. The lack of building surplus acts negatively on resilience making it difficult to redraw the urban structure during the preparedness phases, when several interventions could be carried out with the aim of lowering the number of people to put in safe from a possible disaster. Our analysis brought also to the consideration that the distribution of green areas on the island results unable to counterbalance the negative effects of urbanization and enhance the environmental resilience. In as much, no official program of fruition of green areas currently involves Ischia Island, although many geovolcanological and naturalistic valuables would deserve promotion and conservation, contributing to enhance the capability of the territory to cope with adverse events.

The mapping procedure can be applied to larger areas at risk keeping the censual districts as the minimum territorial reference units or using municipal, regional or national administrative units. The expected integration of resilience assessment in territorial planning (e.g. Regional Territorial Plan, Provincial Territorial Plan, and Municipality Territorial Plan) could greatly benefit from the outcomes of the present research for overcoming sectoral approaches in territorial management.

How to cite: Petrosino, P. and Alberico, I.: Mapping resilience to natural hazards in urban systems: the case study of Ischia Island (southern Italy) , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14364, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14364, 2021.

Barry O'Dwyer, Roberta Paranunzio, and Edward Dwyer

Ireland’s climate is changing and these changes are projected to intensify into the future posing an increasing risk to Ireland’s environment, society and economy. For Ireland and its urban areas in particular, projected changes in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves is considered a moderate but real risk. For example, it is considered likely that Ireland’s capital city Dublin will experience increases in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves under projected climate change. Moreover Ireland’s population is ageing faster than other parts of Europe and becoming increasingly vulnerable to heat stress.

To date, little attention has focussed on heat-related risks for Ireland’s urban areas, focussing primarily on risks associated with sea level rise and changing patterns of precipitation. Through this work, we provide an innovative approach that allows for the integrated assessment of current and future heat risk for the Greater Dublin Area.  Employing a range of modelling approaches, landcover projections have been developed and future changes in urban heat projected, and spatiotemporal variations in level of exposure to heat stress have been calculated using the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) for current and future periods (2020s – 2050s) under a range of radiative forcing scenarios (RCP4.5 and 8.5).  These assessments are combined with vulnerability information (socio-economic data) to obtain spatially-explicit indexes of heat risk and for different scenarios (RCPs). As a result of projected changes in landcover and temperatures, our assessments show that the level of exposure to extreme heat stress will increase in the coming decades and this is particularly the case for the RCP 8.5 scenario. In combination with assessments of vulnerability, this study identifies significant spatial clusters in the denser urban core of the city and peri-urban areas that are considered to be at relatively high levels of heat risk.

Spatial planning and land use planning are emerging as policy areas that can have significant influence on adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. Through spatial planning, the ways in which cities are designed in order to minimise risks can be re-evaluated and the complexity and uncertainty of climate change tackled.  This study provides spatially explicit information at a fine scale on the evolution of exposure and vulnerability related to thermal heat stress that will support stakeholders to implement strategies and policies aimed at mitigating and adapting to ongoing and future urban heat risk.  


How to cite: O'Dwyer, B., Paranunzio, R., and Dwyer, E.: Spatiotemporal assessment of heat risk for high-density urban areas: a case study in Dublin, Ireland, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11663, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-11663, 2021.

Marcello Arosio, Luigi Cesarini, and Mario L.V. Martina

In the last decades, resilience officially become the worldwide cornerstone around which reducing the risk of disasters and improving preparedness, response and recovery capacities. The theoretical framework developed in this work is based on the resilience definition adopted in 2016 by United Nations General Assembly: “the ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions through risk management”. This definition implies 2 main concepts that are the foundation of this work: 1) resilience is a property of a system and 2) a system is resilient when is able to dynamically react to a perturbation in order to maintain or resume its functionalities.

In order to reproduce the complex system of an urban environment, the proposed framework shows the assumptions and operational procedure to construct a weighted and redundant graph. The built graph has the ambition, under the constrains due to the data availability, to represent the interdependencies among the exposed elements, both in ordinary conditions and under perturbations such as disasters. The weight of the graph is represented by the population served by each single service. Furthermore, each element in case of an external perturbation, has the possibility to dynamically adapt and switch to a new graph configuration based on the redundancy and backup capacity of its providers.

The feasibility of the proposed approach is illustrated by an application to a case study in the densely populated urban environment of the city of Monza that is exposed to river and pluvial floods. The case study consists in a directed and weighted graph with 6000+ nodes and almost 1.3 million links. By means of the graph an estimation of the impacted and adapted nodes is made along with a measure of resilience to different flood scenarios for the city of Monza

Acknowledge: This research was partly funded by Fondazione Cariplo under the project “NEWFRAME: NEtWork-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management of Emergencies"

How to cite: Arosio, M., Cesarini, L., and Martina, M. L. V.: Assessment of the resilience to flood of a complex system: the case of densely populated city, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4116, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-4116, 2021.

Ian McCallum, Stefan Velev, Finn Laurien, Reinhard Mechler, Adriana Keating, Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler, and Michael Szoenyi

Communities around the world in flood-prone regions are increasingly aware of the benefits of using spatial data to better understand their predicament. With the advent of web mapping, free and open satellite data and the proliferation of mobile technologies, the possibilities for both understanding and improving community resilience are on the rise.

Here we present the “Flood Resilience Dashboard”, which is designed to put geo-spatial flood resilience data into the hands of practitioners. The objective is to provide a platform for practitioners in the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance which gives access to both community resilience data and freely available, peer reviewed flood risk data, which can be used for decision support at scale. This data will include among others the Zurich Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC) data, Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (VCA) maps, remote sensing derived information on flooding and other biophysical datasets (e.g. forest cover, water extent), modelled risk information, satellite imagery (e.g. night-time lights), crowdsourced data and more. Using two case studies, we illustrate how the above-mentioned datasets help to better understand community resilience. When co-developed with communities, these examples could potentially be scaled up and applied to similar regions around the world.

How to cite: McCallum, I., Velev, S., Laurien, F., Mechler, R., Keating, A., Hochrainer-Stigler, S., and Szoenyi, M.: The flood resilience dashboard: community resilience, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14277, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14277, 2021.

Strengthening Institutional Capacity
Caroline Michellier, Olivier Dewitte, and François Kervyn

Natural hazards have significant impact on society (people, assets, services, livelihoods and economic growth). Over the past decades, natural hazard disaster risks have increased globally. Due to high population densities, frequently on the rise and combined with high societal vulnerability, natural hazard disasters disproportionately hit regions of the Global south. In addition, these regions are environments where natural hazard and disaster risks are under-researched, and where the population remains under-informed. This is particularly the case of Sub-Saharan Africa: multiple challenges, such as economic development, population growth, environmental issues, and climate change associated to natural disasters risk, are burdened by scientific data scarcity associated with the lack of widely disseminated knowledge to the public. This has a significant negative impact on development.

To cope such a context, the Royal Museum for Central Africa works in partnership with 10 Central African institutions. In DRC, this partnership involves the Institut Géographique du Congo (Kinshasa and Goma), the Goma Volcano Observatory, the Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles Lwiro, the Université Officielle de Bukavu, the Université de Goma and the Civil Protection (North and South Kivu); in Burundi, with the Université du Burundi; and, in Uganda, with the Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

The overall long-term objective of the partnership is to contribute to mitigating natural hazards and associated risks in Central Africa. More specifically, it aims to develop knowledge, expertise, awareness and support for local, national and regional initiatives by following three specific objectives: 1/ academic training of PhD and master students, in order to strengthen the local scientific knowledge regarding risk understanding and assessment, in support to local universities, 2/ hazard and disaster data collection through the development of two citizen scientists networks in collaboration with the Civil Protection in charge of disaster risk prevention and management, to promote long term data collection, storage and analysis, 3/ improving awareness and risk preparedness with the use of a natural disaster risk awareness-raising board game in secondary schools and the implementation of two local geohazards information centres, opened for the general public, in collaboration both with disaster risk managers and scientists of the region.

To summarise, the RMCA’s partnership aims to target a wide range of stakeholders concerned by natural hazard risks and disasters, from academic or research groups to citizens and policy makers, in the concern of enhancing disaster risk communication, and contribute to the development of risk culture. The impact of the tools implemented will be analysed with a view to contributing not only to the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Action, but also to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.

How to cite: Michellier, C., Dewitte, O., and Kervyn, F.: Natural hazard risks in Central Africa: a transdisciplinary approach towards disaster risk reduction, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15809, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15809, 2021.

Petya Trifonova, Nikolay Miloshev, and Ivan Georgiev

The National Geoinformation Center (NGIC) is a Bulgarian scientific infrastructure whose main goal is integration of primary data concerning the geo-environment and providing data products and services to the scientific community, responsible institutions and general public.

The first and main module of this newly established infrastructure is dedicated to monitoring and study of the Earth and outer space. The technical capacity of the involved partners include unique equipment such as seismic, accelerometric, geodetic, meteorological and oceanographic stations, and scientific instruments in several laboratories (geotechnical, paleomagnetic, chemical, biological and computer). Thus, the partners in the consortium provide monitoring of a series of phenomena affecting the solid Earth (earthquakes, rock falls and landslides, soils), air (pollution, UV radiation, magnetic storms) and water (river, ground and sea). And of course are responsible for information dissemination, collaboration with policy makers, responding to media and last but not least communication to general public.

We have chosen three main channels to deliver our data and knowledge to the society. The first one uses the means of internet platforms– web page and social channels where NGIC provide real time data about more than 10 phenomena (earthquakes, magnetic storms, UV radiation, air pollution, etc.). The second channel is dedicated to elaboration of educational programs for students in different age categories. They rely on materials illustrated with many pictures, videos and examples that would be easily perceived by modern children. Resources are designed to be easily adapted to different types of learning – on spot, face-to-face in class or electronic. The third communication channel uses well-illustrated popular science materials that are suitable for publication on various platforms - websites, magazines, specialized publications and any other media. Interest in them increases significantly in cases where there is an event representing a natural hazard or the risk of such a phenomenon increases.

Using the described ways of communication, our goal is to reach as much as possible users in the society. The experience gained shows that in addition to the requirements for the information (to be timely, high-quality and reliable), it is necessary to pay close attention to the way of materials presentation and their graphical layout.


How to cite: Trifonova, P., Miloshev, N., and Georgiev, I.: National Geoinformation Center and its Role for Communication of Natural Hazards and Risks to the General Public in Bulgaria, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2083, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2083, 2021.

Hannah Melville-Rea, Clare Eayrs, Nasser Anwahi, Denise Holland, and David Holland

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a young oil-rich nation, may not seem a likely candidate to lead cross-sectoral exchanges for climate research. Yet, the UAE’s long-term policy horizon, financial capital, and vision for a sustainable knowledge-based economy situates it as a potential leader for climate science. 

At the center of its pivot towards climate research is a growing concern for sea-level rise and natural hazards. Over 85% of the population and more than 90% of the nation’s infrastructure is within a few meters of present-day sea-level. With its low-lying and shallow-sloping geography (about 35cm per km), this high-value coastline with Dubai and Abu Dhabi is particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise. Meanwhile, limited regional research and data scarcity creates deep uncertainty for sea-level projections. In the wake of COVID-19, the UAE is doubling down on government-led coordination for community health and security.

We set out a roadmap for the UAE to capitalize on its strengths to create usable and relevant sea-level projections for the region. With a newly established Climate Change Research Network, the UAE government is beginning to draw together academia, industry and policy makers for "furthering effective data collection and management, and advancing policy-relevant research on climate impacts and adaptation". By consolidating ideas from the science community within the UAE, we identify existing barriers to data gathering, information sharing, science-policy communication and access to funding. Our paper proposes pathways forward for the UAE to integrate sea-level science with coastal development and form best practices that can be scaled across the region.

How to cite: Melville-Rea, H., Eayrs, C., Anwahi, N., Holland, D., and Holland, D.: Science-policy integration for sea-level adaptation in the United Arab Emirates, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15727, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-15727, 2021.

Effective and Innovative Education
Martin Parham

Priority 3 of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) (2005-2015) explicitly outlined the role of education to improve Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). By 2013 the deadline to integrate DRR into school curricula had disappeared and when the Sendai Framework for Action (SFA) (2015-2030) was published it merely sought to ‘reduce losses from disaster risk’. This reduction in educational emphasis may be a consequence of difficulty to establish DRR effectively into school curricula. Despite this, UNESCO outlined a guide for effective approaches to DRR education (Kagawa and Selby, 2012).  This study presents results from a longitudinal study of secondary school students in Dominica, Caribbean, assessing the impact of three UNESCO educational approaches; interactive, surrogate and field-based learning.  These educational sessions occurred between 2016-2018 during a time where the population were subject to natural hazards, most notably Hurricane Maria in 2017.

This study uses the Pictorial Representation of Individual Self Measure (PRISM) to assess change in student perception of multiple hazards before and after educational sessions, as a measure of effectiveness.  The educational sessions were designed based on recommendations from past studies and through collaboration with local DRR professionals (aid agencies, government and local experts) and schoolteachers, to increase relevance to the local community.  Relevant pedagogic theories were integrated to encourage student engagement. 

All educational approaches were shown to have impact, though the greatest change in perception was caused by field-based learning. These sessions caused a greater change in student perception towards lower frequency, higher magnitude geophysical hazards. Some educational approaches, while considered ‘engaging’ did not have a clear DRR message which should act as a warning to the DRR community. This study highlighted the need for educational approaches to incorporate variety, participation, and adopt local relevance.  We highlight the need for improved integration between geoscience and educational professionals to improve DRR education. Further work also needs to be undertaken to understand the relationship between effective educational approaches for DRR and resourcing.

How to cite: Parham, M.: How effective is Disaster Risk Reduction education? A longitudinal study of secondary school students in Dominica., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8958, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8958, 2021.

Marta Guinau and Gloria Furdada

The pandemic situation we are experiencing has forced us to transform face-to-face teaching into virtual teaching. Digital platforms hinder the interaction, discussion and feedback that naturally occur in a face-to-face class, but at the same time, they provide an opportunity to put the focus on the student’s learning rather than on content delivering. Learning include both, inductive and deductive processes; induction can be effectively acquired by using case studies; then, deduction can be achieved through comparison, analysis, generalisation and synthesis.  Digital platforms appear as an optimal resource to facilitate the individual and collaborative tasks and learning processes. In this work we present our experience on the landslide hazard subject (Master’s level) focussed on the student’s learning through the use of digital media.

Internet information of undeniable quality that can be easily accessed is basic: The Landslide Blog by Dave Petley (https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/) in Blogosphere hosted by AGU (American Geophysical Union) provides valuable and updated information on landslide events occurring worldwide. The learning activities are structured around several cases selected by the lecturer from the blog to ensure the analysis of the most frequent landslide types. All activities are developed in 8 steps: 1) The teacher presents the learning action (objective, tasks, and assessment guide) using a Genially platform interactive image; 2) Each student selects one of the proposed cases and compile relevant information about it; 3) Each student analyses the landslide characteristics, identifies the landslide type  and classifies it according to Hungr et al., 2014 (available through the educational virtual platform), and recognises the control and triggering factors (one virtual session is programmed and a forum tool is provided to the students to discuss and to solve doubts); 4) Each student selects and organizes the significant information about each case by building an interactive image in Genially; 5) Each student presents each case using his/her interactive image in a virtual session, which is recorded and uploaded to the educational platform; 6) Students peer evaluate the content and design of the interactive images and oral presentations based on the provided assessment guide; 7) During a predetermined time, students collaboratively compile all the information in a Google sheet table to synthesize the geomorphological characteristics, materials involved, mobilization mechanisms and control and triggering factors of the different types of landslides; 8) the synthetic table is discussed and  completed during a virtual session.

All the knowledge and skills acquired by students with these activities are put into practice in a two-day field trip where students have to identify, characterize and classify different types of landslides as well as their control and triggering factors. The risk situation and the mitigation strategies are discussed in each case and compared to the ones studied through virtual learning. Furthermore, students get used and learn how to clearly present information through virtual tools, as Genially, useful for dissemination purposes.

Hungr et al. 2014. The Varnes classification of landslide types, an update. Landslides 11(2). DOI: 10.1007/s10346-013-0436-y

How to cite: Guinau, M. and Furdada, G.: Learning landslide hazard in a virtual environment at University level combining real case study, collaborative work and innovative tools, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-9363, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-9363, 2021.

Claudia Ricchiuti, Rosalda Punturo, Andrea Bloise, Eugenio Fazio, and Gabriele Lanzafame

In the last decades, it has been widely demonstrated the risk to human health related to asbestos fibres exposure. Asbestos is a generic term used to indicate six fibrous silicate minerals belonging to serpentine (i.e. chrysotile) and amphibole (i.e. tremolite, actinolite, anthopyllite, amosite, crocidolite) groups (WHO, 1986; NIOSH 2008). Due to their physical properties, these minerals have been exploited to create Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACMs) and therefore, today are widely present in various parts of the globe. In the same way, asbestos fibres present in rocks and soils, or those that have not been extracted for commercial purposes (Natural Occurrence of Asbestos, NOA; Harper, 2008), are widespread in the environment (Virta, 2006; Ricchiuti et al., 2020). It is worth noting that human activities as well as weathering processes may promote the dispersion of fibres derived from NOA into the environment; moreover, despite nowadays asbestos has been banned by most countries over the world, it may be still found within artifacts and asbestos-bearing rocks  used as dimension stone.

In the present contribution, we present some educational activities aimed to schools and population with the purposes of: i) promoting the knowledge of natural asbestos fibres as natural hazards to students, as well as ii) sensitize the population to the natural asbestos issue and iii) increasing people’s awareness in environmental conservation, suggesting good practices for sustainable coexistence with natural resources.

To this aim, we also provide a summary of NOA distribution in the world and of the analytical techniques and methodological approach (i.e. OM, SEM-EDS, TEM-EDS, EPMA, XRPD, XRF, SR-µCT) mainly used for a full characterization of asbestos-containing rocks and soils.


Harper, M., 2008, 10th Anniversary critical review: naturally occurring asbestos. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, v. 10, pp. 1394-1408

NIOSH, 2008, Current Intelligence Bulletin (June 2008-Revised Draft) Asbestos and Other Elongated Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research.

Ricchiuti, C., Bloise, A., Punturo, R.,  Occurrence of asbestos in soils: state of the art.  Episodes 2020;43:881-891.

Virta, R., 2006., Worldwide asbestos supply and consumption trends from 1900 through 2003. U.S. Geological Survery Circular 1298, 80 p.

WHO, 1986, Asbestos and other natural mineral fibres. Programme on Chemical Safety. World Health Organization. Environmental Health Criteria 53, Geneva.

How to cite: Ricchiuti, C., Punturo, R., Bloise, A., Fazio, E., and Lanzafame, G.: Environmental exposure to Natural Asbestos Occurrences, a concern to human health: promotion of scientific knowledge for students and of people awareness., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10072, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10072, 2021.