WIT Press

Training Decision-makers In Hazard Spatial Prediction And Risk Assessment: Ideas, Tools, Strategies And Challenges


Free (open access)

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432 kb


A. G. Fabbri & C. J. Chung


Hazard prediction and risk assessment over regions exposed to natural and technological processes are complex tasks that require exposure to quantization of its uncertainty related to the prediction of future events through statistical methods, spatial data analysis, case studies and process evolution interpretation in conditions of uncertainty. All too often decision makers, DMs, similarly to judges in environmental legal practice, do not have technical training to enable them to communicate/understand the associated uncertainty from technical specialists. In particular communication is a challenge with those who can provide prediction maps and associated statistics to support decisions on disaster prevention, avoidance or mitigation. An interactive short course was prepared to overcome such obstacles to responsible land use planning and proactive measure taking, for example, by asking a set of questions. A first phase in the training follows steps that are to facilitate the comprehension of a spatial database on landslide hazard, of its data processing, and of the interpretation of the analysis results. Integral parts of a second phase are the theory of predictive methods, the strategy in prediction map generation and visualization, including validation via blind tests and the representation of the associated spatial and prediction uncertainties. A successive third phase of the training brings in environmental and socioeconomic spatial indicators to assign vulnerabilities and values to exposed elements in the spatial database. Scenarios for hazard development in the future are then provided. They allow to estimate the uncertainty associated with the probabilities of hazardous occurrences and to resolve the risk equation for different settings. The DM training course includes interactive and iterative