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GHCP Splinter Meetings at the Annual Meeting of the European Geoscience Union

Meeting 1: Geohazards Community of Practice (GHCP) of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
May 1, 2014, 8:30 - 12:00; Room Y7
Meeting 2: Extreme Geohazards: Reducing Disaster Risk and Increasing Resilience
May 1, 2014, 13:30 - 17:00; Room Y7

Scope and Objectives.

Meeting 1:

The Geohazards Community of Practice (GHCP) of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) presented and reviewed its work plan and its contribution to the GEO Work Plan Task DI-01 “Informing Risk Management and Disaster Reduction.” One main activity is the development of a “Global Geohazards Information System for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience” (GGIS-DRRR) and the concept for this system was discussed. Another activity is a white paper on extreme geohazards and disaster risk reduction, which was briefly presented (and discussed in detail in a separate dedicated splinter meeting). Coordination of GHCP activities with similar programs of other organizations were also addressed.

Meeting 2:

Extreme geohazards have the potential to escalate the global sustainability crisis and put us close to the boundaries of the safe operating space for humanity. The sensitivity of the built environment and the embedded socio-economic fabric have changed, increasing the exposure of assets to geohazards dramatically in recent decades. Climate change will further increase exposure to some hazards. We are putting the urban environment, including megacities, in harm's way.

With support from the European Science Foundation (ESF), the Geohazards Community of Practice (GHCP) of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has prepared a White Paper on the risk associated with low-probability, high-impact geohazards (see These extreme events are in general not sufficiently accounted for in risk management, although the potential impacts of these events are comparable to those of a large asteroid, a global pandemic, or an extreme drought. The White Paper aims to increase the awareness of the risk associated with extreme geohazards as a basis for a comprehensive risk management.

The main conclusions and recommendations of the White Paper were presented and specific steps towards disaster risk reduction and increased resilience for the case of extreme geohazards were discussed

Relevant URLs:

GEO Work Plan and DI-01:
GHCP Road Map: see the link on
ESF Conference on extreme geohazards:
Declaration of the ESF conference: see the link at

Hans-Peter Plag (hpplag at,
Stuart Marsh,
Francesco Gaetani

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