The interaction between natural and human-induced disasters is a more recent phenomenon that is supported by the increased settlement in disaster-prone areas, the vulnerability of technological and urban infrastructure in relation to natural forces, and the impact of natural hazards on such infrastructure and other facilities with a hazard potential, e.g. gas terminals, pipelines, and chemical factories. Natural hazards often trigger chain reactions that lead to a long sequence of technical and societal damages with disastrous outcomes. Furthermore, many so-called natural hazards are influenced or even sometimes caused (climate change) by human interventions. Thus, the interplay between natural and non-natural risks has become a prominent example of complex risk and disaster interactions.
Such complex interactions are the topic of a new field in risk analysis that deals with systemic risks. This paper introduces the term and concept of systemic risks, applies this concept to natural hazards, more precisely to the combination of natural and human-induced hazards, and develops a risk governance concept for such systemic risks based on the International Risk Governance Council framework. Finally, the article ends with some policy recommendations and conclusions.
This paper is a contribution to the 2019 edition of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR 2019).
To cite this paper:
Schweizer, P. Governance of systemic risks for disaster prevention and mitigation. Contributing Paper to GAR 2019