RISK 2000
International Conference
Initiatives in the Euro-Mediterranean Region and worldwide

(Due to technical reasons RISK 2000 will bepostponed to September 2000 in Paris, France.
More detailed information on the meeting date will follow.)


In the past decades, disasters associated with natural hazards and technological risks have taken their stake in human lives and welfare, with an increased regularity and intensity. Over 3 million people have been killed and over 1 billion affected by natural disasters. The economic impacts of such disasters have been very large and have tripled since the 1960’s. Earthquakes, tsunamis, storm surges, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods caused by heavy rains, droughts, wildfires, tornadoes, cyclones and extreme weather events constitute major problems all over the world. Technological hazards may be very harmful, such as the Chernobyl nuclear accident, dioxin toxic emission in Bophal or oil tanker shipwrecks. Several programmes have been initiated by e.g. the World Meteorological Organisation, the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to challenge the international community to take steps to understand the potential threats posed by natural and man-made hazards, to reduce these threats and to ascertain the best ways of mitigating the damaging effects.

Space techniques (telecommunications, Earth observation, positioning) can contribute to the improvement of the situation at different stages of the risk management. As an example, the specific group of insurers and reinsurers is contemplating Earth observation data for the simulation of different events and evaluation of economic losses in their portfolios, the best geographic location, the assignment of different data and resources to previously defined geographic units, the possibility to use all the information, manage and combine them as required, global and fast damage assessment in case of disaster. A joint effort has been recently undertaken by the European Commission, the European Space Agency and the Council of Europe, assisted by the European space agencies, to foster the use of space techniques for the management of major risks. At the turn of the millennium, an overview of the accomplishments is requested before engaging its operational application in Europe and possibly its globalisation.

The objectives of the Conference are to establish the state-of-the-art in the use of space techniques for risk management, to create awareness on the operational use of space techniques, to assess the implication of industries as well as the contribution of Europe to international efforts in relationship with UNESCO, and finally to list, and make recommendations on, the initiatives to be taken in the short, medium and long terms and the associated agendas.

The Conference will cover the seven stages in risk management: knowledge, prevention, warning, management of emergency situations, post analysis of crisis, rehabilitation, education and training. It will deal with three themes: natural risks, technological risks, preservation of the cultural heritage (with respect to risk). Related legal issues will also be covered. The Conference will draw top level speakers to highlight the way space techniques can be combined with traditional data sources and methods to provide timely, reliable and effective information to all organisations and companies concerned with the management of disasters before, during and following a major event. Poster displays and exhibitions will contribute to fuel the debate and enhance the increasing role of space techniques by showing real cases proving the benefits of these techniques.

The Conference is directed towards all actors such as space agencies, research laboratories, universities and other educational bodies, industries related to space and information domains, and users: ministries of interior, environment, agriculture, culture, as well as insurance companies and polluting and potential-risk industries.

The following topics will be covered by the Symposium :

1 – Forecasting meteorological and oceanic hazards
2 – Forest fires
3 – Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and land slides
4 – Plain flood
5 – Floods in semi-arid areas
6 – Marine oil pollution
7 – Harmful algae blooms
8 – Coastal zones : erosion and changes
9 – Industrial hazards
10 – Air quality
11 – Drinkable water
12 – Land degradation and desertification
13 – Advanced information tools
14 – Education (Teaching risks and environment and space techniques)
15 – Legal, economic and insurance issues

For further conference information and administration, please contact:

RISK 2000 Secretariat
48 rue de la Procession
75724 PARIS Cedex 15 FRANCE

Tel : 33 1 44 49 60 04
Fax : 33 1 44 49 60 44
e-mail : deschamps@2100.org



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