Voluntary commitment

Enhancing Risk Management Partnerships For Catastrophic Natural Hazards in Europe


ENHANCE aims at developing and analyzing new ways to enhance society's resilience to catastrophic natural hazards impacts. For this the project is developing new multi-sector partnerships 'MSPs) between public and private sectors, with an important role for the financial sector 'e.g. insurers).

Risks from natural hazards are increasing through climate change and socio-economic developments. However, these trends are highly dynamic, with varying impacts at different times and places. Especially extreme - low probability - events are difficult to predict. The ENHANCE project is developing new risk scenarios with a focus on extremes. These will be evaluated in close collaboration with partners in the public and private sectors, and will contribute to the development of new multi-sector partnerships throughout Europe to reduce or redistribute risks. The role of the financial sector is critical in this process.

With regard to its objectives, the ENHANCE project tries to describe indicators for successful partnerships in improving resilience, and identify processes for fostering novel MSPs. It also aims to provide methods and guidelines for a harmonised scheme for risk assessment and scenarios through an inventory of existing risk information, and by developing new methods and scenarios for (low-) probability risk assessment in collaboration with MSPs.

ENHANCE is a EU co-funded project under the 7th Framework Programme.


The expected results are:

- Harmonised dynamic scenarios of vulnerability, exposure, and hazard at the pan-European scale, using existing information and new probabilistic approaches for multi-hazards, heat waves, forest fires, floods, droughts, storm surges, and volcanic eruptions.

- Guidelines and key features for enhancing MSP interaction in successful resilience enhancement and risk reduction. These will be pre-tested via participatory workshops on risk-based scenarios.

- Methods for linking MSPs to novel scientific risk scenarios and assessments.

- A toolbox of economic instruments and non-structural mitigation measures for assessing risk and increasing societal resilience. Developed in a participatory manner, these will be applicable at national, regional and local levels.

- Policy recommendations to the EU and the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) signatories delivered through a dissemination platform for enhancing resilience that encompasses all levels from governments to local communities.


In terms of methodology, ENHANCE focuses on the promotion of participatory processes for designing new MSPs, which is at the heart of ENHANCE. Furthermore, the project is designed around a work package of 10 selected case studies on risk reduction of catastrophic events taking place at different geographical and spatial scales in Europe. The potential for new MSPs is also be explored and resilience measures and policies will be tested and disseminated.

Means of verification

The project is designed around a work package of 10 selected case studies:

- Air industry response to volcanic eruptions;
- Building railway transport resilience to alpine hazards;
- Climate variability and technological risk in the Po Basin;
- Drought management in Jucar river basin district;
- Flood risk and climate change implications for MSPs;
- Flood risk management implications for MSPs;
- Heatlh preparedness and heat waves response plans;
- Insurance and forest fire resilience;
- North Sea / Wadden Sea storm surges - risk culture, perception and management;
- Stress test: testing the Solidarity Fund for Romania and Eastern Europe.

These case studies will provide room to test potentiality of new MSPs, resilience measures and policies.


4 years (December 2012 - November 2016)


Project description: Other:

Contact Person

Prof Jeroen Aerts
Project coordinator and risk management professor, The Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)


Close Window