The workshop considered both of the following approaches:

  • Natech risk reduction as a part of chemical accident prevention, preparedness and response, and
  • Natech risk reduction as a part of natural disaster risks prevention, preparedness and response,

and consisted of eight sessions, each with a panel of speakers addressing the session’s topic from different perspectives

Please see the Draft Programme for more details on speakers and presentation!

In general, the sessions covered the following aspects:

Session 1:    Natech Risk Management in Industry: Understanding Natech Risks, Natech Risk Reduction

Starting the workshop with a session focusing on the industry, it shall be clarified that there is a difference between Natech risk management by operators of hazardous facilities and by public authorities. Furthermore, this session serves as a starting point to the workshop by presenting case-studies.

Session 2:    Natech Risk Analysis

The identification of natural hazards as well as the compiling and distribution (communication) of information on them are important tasks of public authorities. Outputs of such work include proper assessments of Natech risks. This session offers good practice examples of such assessment methods and tools as they are already applied at certain facilities and for risk analysis in general.

Session 3:    Consideration of Climate Change in Natech Risk Management, Consideration of Natech Risks in Adaptation to Climate Change 

Considering the adverse effects of climate change in Natech risk management will be of major importance since climate change is likely to affect the intensity, frequency and geographical occurrence of a range of natural hazards. This session aims at raising awareness to the effects of a changing climate and on examples how the extended risk can be incorporated in Natech risk management on the one hand, while it also aims at making stakeholders involved in climate change adaptation and mitigation more aware of Natech risks.

Session 4:    Warning Systems; Natech Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Response

For several natural hazards early warning systems (“forecast”) and warning systems (“nowcast”) are technically feasible. Their warnings may cause the activation of emergency plans of operators and authorities. These plans should consider natural hazards or disasters but also Natechs. They have to base on scenarios for both, have to include alarm systems, and planning for response activities. Relevant is as well the coordination of both types of plans, their testing, and optimization.

Session 5:    Follow-Up of Events, Event Analysis, Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction (“Build-back-better”)

Once an event of a natural hazard occurred, plant operators will usually focus largely on restarting or on the reconstruction of their plant. Before they can start doing so, however, an analysis of the event should be made. Such analysis will provide information on the sort of special maintenance measures that are required due to the kind and severity of impacts to the installation and its equipment before restart. In addition the analysis shall gather information on what should be changed before a restart or an improved reconstruction (“Build-Back-Better”). Good practice examples of 1) event analysis and 2) measures before restart or reconstruction after impact of a natural hazard or after a Natech should be presented in this session. 

Session 6:    Transboundary and International Cooperation

This session focuses on transboundary actions and international cooperation on Natech risk analyses and -management. This includes actions undertaken by the UNECE Accidents Convention, by the UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit (JEU) on providing international assistance for response to and readiness for Natechs, as well as by UNISDR on a sub-regional level. Furthermore, a case study on cooperation on transfrontier hazard maps will be presented.

Session 7:    Natech Risk:Communication and Education

One of the major challenges to successful Natech risk management is the lack of knowledge and communication among and between governments, site operators and the general public. Session 7 exemplifies different methods and case studies on how to bridge these gaps and informs on possible pitfalls. 

Questions to be answered in this session include:

How can Natech risk management efforts be communicated within industry?
How can Natech risks be communicated among industry, authorities and the public?
What are barriers and challenges to risk information disclosure and communication?

Session 8: Natech Risk Management in the Public Sector: Natech Risk Governance, Regulation, Enforcement, and Reduction

Mirroring the first session that focused on the private sector, this session will evaluate and discuss the needs and obligations of public authorities for successful Natech risk management. Responsibilities of public authorities may include:

Leadership, raising awareness, improvement of understanding and communication of Natech risks,
“Natech-Governance”, such as the development of programs, regulations, guidance etc. on Natech risk management and enforcement thereof,
Consideration of natural hazards and Natech risks in land-use-planning,
Response to natural hazard events and Natechs, coordination of rehabilitation and reconstruction,
Building of capacities for Natech Risk Management, especially in enforcement and support of risk reduction measures,
Support of communication on risk by natural hazards and by Natechs,
Improvement of Natech Risk Management by research and implementation projects.

General Note:

This workshop is intended to exchange views and experiences on Natech risk management, to foster implementation and to discuss and distribute examples of good practices of Natech risk management strategies and instruments of industry and authorities.

It will be important to view such action in light of international frames such as

the UN Sustainable Development Goals and targets,
the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and
the second addendum to the OECD Guiding Principles for chemical accident prevention, preparedness and response (Natech-Addendum).