Hazards and the environment

Task 3: Taking better account of climate change, natural hazards and environmental and health impacts in man-made environments.

Whether climatic and natural hazards and damage to the environment and health are of global or local origin, we must take action in the form of prevention, protection or adaptation. Delay results in costs and damage that far exceed those that arise if early action is taken. But these issues prove to be extremely complex as a result of the permanent interactions between humans and their environment. We therefore need to make observations, conduct appraisals and develop integrated systems approaches, taking count of the entire life cycle and all positive and negative externalities with systems that are frequently interdependent in order to inform decisions as comprehensively as possible. 

Goal 3A

To observe, analyze and model climatic and natural hazards and damage to the environment.

Goal Presentation

Improving observation and knowledge to gain a better understanding of the issues and identify directions for action is particularly important in the areas of climate change, natural hazards and environmental and health impacts because they are marked by uncertainty, complex interactions and an exponential increase in the demand for information. The public expects answers from scientists and the public authorities. We are able to add to our knowledge and thereby improve our understanding and ability to make forecasts by applying new detection methods and metrologies, by better identifying and characterizing the sources of pollution and the impacts of hazards and pollution, by implementing new ways of observing multi-scale propagation phenomena and by developing warning systems.

Goal 3B

To evaluate and quantify the interactions between humans and their environment.

Goal Presentation

In order to cope better with uncertainty and complexity, appropriate evaluation methods must be deployed in the areas of transport, infrastructure, networks and land-use planning. These must allow us to respond to growing demands for studies and expert appraisals and society’s constantly rising expectations with regard to safety, security, environmental protection and quality of life.

Goal 3C

To mitigate the consequences of climatic and natural hazards and impacts on the environment and health.

Goal Presentation

What we observe today is ongoing climate change, an increasingly marked refusal on the part of the general public to accept natural hazards and disasters, increasing scarcity of resources deterioration of the environment and real or potential impacts on health. These issues must be tackled holistically by developing solutions that are acceptable from the technical, environmental, economic, health and sociological points of view. These changes require research that is able to bring together the engineering sciences, human and social sciences, life sciences and economics.

Goal 3D

To develop forecasting and decision-making aid tools to meet the needs of society.

Goal Presentation

While the issues of climate change, natural hazards, environmental protection and pollution reduction seem to be better understood and implemented today, we still need more in the way of forecasting, harmonized diagnosis, decision-making aid and holistic approaches. We not only need to overcome this shortage but also make sure that the proposed tools meet the needs of decision-makers, operators and the expectations of civil society, which at the moment is particularly sensitive and attentive to the issues mentioned above.