Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - MOUNTAIN-RISKS (Mountain risks: from prediction to management and governance)

The project focused the research and training in all aspects of mountains hazards and risks assessment and management. This European network intended to develop an advanced understanding of how mountain hydro-geomorphological processes behave and to apply this understanding to living with the hazards in the long-term.

The Project associated 11 research institutes and 3 private companies throughout Europe in the fields of natural, social, economic, legal, engineering and information sciences. Contractors hosted a 5 Post-Doc (ER) and 12 PhD (ESR) position. This multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial project on mountain multi-hazards focused on 5 study areas exposed to multi-hazards, and where risk management schemes have been settled. Project was based on field studies, experimental studies and statistical/numerical models, and strong connections to local stakeholders.

MOUNTAIN-RISKS network offered a high-level training, teaching and research in the field of hazard and risk management to European young scientists, who could find employment in European academic research centres, engineering and environmental private companies, regional geological services, governmental organisations, or International agencies. Four Intensive Courses (of 4-5 days) have been organised in the mountain study areas. Senior scientists and young researchers meet together also local stakeholders, administration officers and representatives from the civil protection.

Six topic Workshops (of 2-3 days) have been organised to explore, in depth, a limited number of related tasks to the work programme. These meetings were being 'brainstorming' events that provided an explicit network goal in a key area of the research programme. MOUNTAIN-RISKS network contributed to overcome the fragmentation of the research on mountain natural processes by using the complementary expertise of European teams in the fields of geomorphology, geology, engineering geology, civil engineering, forest engineering, geography, economy and land use planning, for predicting mountain hazard and managing associated risk. In this sense the network facilitated the collaboration between several training centres, research centres and consulting companies with experts of different mountain processes, different backgrounds, playing different roles in risk management (researchers, technicians-practitioners, consulting companies, administrations, politicians, population representatives), and working in different socio-economic, legal and environmental contexts. In so doing, the project made the risk governance concept internal.

MOUNTAIN-RISKS network has strengthened and expanded the collaboration between the teams in a Collaborative Programme of Work (CPW) associating state-of-the-art experimental, methodological and computational advances, as well as risk management strategies. Its CPW has been structured along four main Working Blocks (WB): WB1: Mountain hazard analysis; WB2: Consequence of hazard, vulnerability analysis and quantitative risk assessment, WB3: Risk management and, WB4: Risk governance.

MOUNTAIN-RISKS has contributed to open up of career opportunities to young researchers because a great importance has been paid to young researchers working in a highly composite and diverse fields and being exposed to the full variety of ideas, tools and techniques that were present in the network. MOUNTAIN-RISKS multidisciplinary network has stimulated all researchers involved towards a sounder knowledge of all the aspects within mountain risks. The project provided to the young researchers a modern 'knowledge-based' requires now by the modern society, and strengthened the compatibility within the actual scientific job market. MOUNTAIN-RISKS young researchers have now skills beyond his or her 'hyper-specialisation' that typically results from a standard doctoral education.

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