Published May 7, 2024 | Version v1
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Challenges in assessing and managing multi-hazard risks: A European stakeholders perspective


The latest evidence suggests that multi-hazards and their interrelationships (e.g., triggering, compound, and consecutive hazards) are becoming more frequent across Europe, underlying a need for resilience building by moving from single-hazard-focused to multi-hazard risk assessment and management. Although significant advancements were made in our understanding of these events, mainstream practice is still focused on risks due to single hazards (e.g., flooding, earthquakes, droughts), with a limited understanding of the stakeholder needs on the ground. To overcome this limitation, this paper sets out to understand the challenges for moving towards multi-hazard risk management through the perspective of European stakeholders. Based on five workshops across different European pilots (Danube Region, Veneto Region, Scandinavia, North Sea, and Canary Islands) and an expert workshop, we identify five prime challenges: i) governance, ii) knowledge of multi-hazards and multi-risks, iii) existing approaches to disaster risk management, iv) translation of science to policy and practice, and v) lack of data. These challenges are inherently linked and cannot be tackled in isolation with path dependency posing a significant hurdle in transitioning from single- to multi-hazard risk management. Going forward, we identify promising approaches for overcoming some of the challenges, including emerging approaches for multi-hazard characterisation, a common understanding of terminology, and a comprehensive framework for guiding multi-hazard risk assessment and management. We argue for a need to think beyond natural hazards and include other threats in creating a comprehensive overview of multi-hazard risks, as well as promoting thinking of multi-hazard risk reduction in the context of larger development goals.


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