MYRIAD-EU: shifting the paradigm in disaster risk management
How changing our approach to disaster risk reduction practices can create a more resilient future.17/01/2023
Multi-hazard risk and disaster risk management
Effects from disasters due to natural hazards have increased over time. Without effective disaster risk management (DRM), this trend will continue as exposure to natural hazards and the intensity and frequency of climate-related hazards become ever greater over this century.
Disaster risk is a product of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. The ability to anticipate interactions and feedbacks between different components of DRM, along with their change over time, is a challenge for those involved.
- Multi-hazards can interact with each other, as one can trigger or amplify the likelihood of another
- Hazards can occur at the same time (compound events) or consecutively (cascade events)
- Mitigation of one hazard can change risk by increasing vulnerability to another: for example, raising a house on stilts to protect it from floods in a region prone to earthquakes can make it more vulnerable to ground shakin
The effects of hazards and their interactions can also affect multiple sectors and geographical scales, either directly or through ‘knock-on’ effects: for example, damage to transport infrastructure that disrupts supply chains can result in business interruption. Ideally, risk assessments should be made using an approach that considers multi-hazards and risks across multiple different sectors, scales and timeframes. However, such approaches are not yet mainstream. A lot of risk research and policy continue to focus on single hazards and sectors, despite a proliferation of multi-hazard and risk research in the last couple of decades.
The MYRIAD-EU project
MYRIAD-EU, of which BGS is a partner, is a pan-European project made up of 18 different institutions, six of which represent different economic sectors. The project will co-develop the first integrated framework for multi-hazard, multi-sector and systemic risk management, alongside a suite of tools and services that will enable its adoption by risk managers and other decision makers.
To do this, the MYRIAD-EU partners are studying the links between different hazards and economic sectors in five pilot study regions of different geographical scales (Figure 1:
- the North Sea
- the Canary Islands
- the Danube region
- the Veneto region of Italy
Within each pilot region, work is focusing on understanding the relationships and dependencies between the different hazards the region is exposed to and at least three of the following economic sectors:
- infrastructure and transport
- food and agriculture
- ecosystems and forestry
This knowledge is being used to develop forward-looking DRM pathways that address the particular challenges that have been identified for each of the regions. The diverse nature of the different pilots means that outputs will have applications across Europe.
The overall aim is to develop new products, services and solutions that better enable decision makers, policymakers and other risk practitioners to manage and reduce risk more effectively when the project ends in 2025. To ensure that the project outputs are useful and usable for real-world applications, MYRIAD-EU will work closely with stakeholders from different sectors and at different levels of engagement throughout the project’s lifetime.
Keeping up-to-date with MYRIAD-EU
Recent outputs developed by BGS, in collaboration with project partners, include:
- a handbook of multi-hazard, multi-risk definitions and concepts: this resource provides reference terminology and extended definitions related to concepts relevant to the project
- the DisasterRiskGateway: a crowdsourced wiki for discovering and sharing approaches to assessing and managing multi-(hazard risks), as well as terminology definitions. We welcome new contributions from across the disaster risk community.
Ward, P J, et al. 2022. Invited perspectives: a research agenda towards disaster risk management pathways in multi-hazard risk assessment. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 22(4), 1487–1497. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-22-1487-2022
Dr Lara Smale
Volcanologist/International Data Analyst
Looking at innovative ways of creating resilience to flooding hazards with natural flood management.
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