Natural Risks Assessment and Management


All-Russia Scientific Conference "Natural Risks Assessment and Management"(Risk-2003), Moscow, March 26-27, 2003. (Chairman of the Organizing Committee: prof. Alexei L. Ragozin, Institute of Environmental Geoscience RAS) The conference was organized by Institute of Environmental Geoscience RAS and the Scientific Council RAS on Environmental Geoscience, Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology with the participation of the Federal Center of Science and High Technologies "Russian Civil Defense and Disaster Management Research Institute" (FCSHT RCDDMRI). It was financially supported by the Moscow Government (grant no. 14-inf-02) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 03-05-74009). The conference proceedings containing 185 reports in two volumes have been issued to the opening of the event.

The Conference was attended by more than 200 participants from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan,

The workshop was opened with the plenary reports delivered by academician V.I. Osipov (IEG RAS) , the FCSHT RCDDMRI chief M.A. Shakhramanyan "Hazard Management in the Natural and Technological Spheres (Theory and Practice) and Dr. Sci. A.L. Ragozin (IEG RAS) "Currently Available Methods and Problems of Natural Risk Quantitative Assessment and Management". The first deputy minister for Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation Yu.L. Vorob'ev welcomed the Conference.

After the plenary meeting, the conference was divided in five workshops:

  1. Identification and Prediction of Natural and Technonatural Hazard Development;
  2. Development Scenarios, Synergetic Effects, and Negative Consequences of Natural Disasters;
  3. Theory and Practice of Quantitative Assessment of natural Risks;
  4. Assessment of Ecological Risk;
  5. Natural Risk Management.

A total of 50 reports were delivered at the conference. This conference was held for the fifth time since 1993, hence, it may be considered as a jubilee, which was pointed out by many speakers.

For this period, the efforts of ever rising number of separate organizations, creative groups of specialists, and individual experts resulted in the development of the fundamentals of the theory and methods of quantitative assessment of natural risks probabilistically describing possible physical, economic, and social losses from hazardous natural and technonatural processes. Radically new probabilistic-deterministic prediction methods were suggested for some of these processes permitting us to outline possible damage zones, the destruction force (intensity) and the probability of realization of hazardous natural impacts, as well as their negative consequences. The concept of permissible (allowable) natural risk level was formulated, which has become now a universally recognized basis for making scientifically grounded (rather than voluntary) managerial decisions on mitigating losses from natural hazards on the federal, regional and local levels. The natural risk maps were built for the first time in the world for separate regions, cities, and the entire Russia territory.

Simultaneously, the legal and methodological base for risk analysis was formed, which included the Recommendations fro geological risk estimation for the territory of Moscow elaborated in 2003. At present, the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation in collaboration with the Russian Academy of Sciences is engaged in the development of the new governmental policy in ensuring national security and sustainable development of Russia using the parameters of strategic risks including natural risks.

The research according to the Federal Program "Mitigation of Risks and Consequences of Natural and Human Induced Emergencies in Russia up to the year of 2005", which replaced the "Security" Program is being performed fro the third year.

The methodology of quantitative assessment of risk of various genesis has become the basis inproductive and scientific activities of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Moscow national technological control (Gosgortechnadzor) and sanitary control (Gossanepidnadzor), RAO "Gazprom", OAO "Luckoil", AK "Transneft" and many other large Russian enterprises. Virtually none of major investment projects can avoid the assessment of the related natural and technonatural risks. However, these assessments are often performed at a very poor level, because no experts in natural hazards participate in this work and some stages in risk analysis are insufficiently developed as yet. The latter is above all referred to local and regional prediction of the development in space and time individual hazardous geological and hydrometeorological processes with obtaining values of their frequency and intensity, as well as assessing vulnerability of various economic objects and populations to these processes.

The above-mentioned as well as other acute problems in risk analysis of natural hazards were discussed at the conference during 2 days and are reflected in its Proceedings.

The next conference on natural risk assessment and management with broad international participation is planned for the year of 2006.