The European Multiple Environmental Threats Emergency Network (EMETNET) project serves to support the European Commission by providing a rapid risk assessment (RRA) methodology and network of experts to assess the risks and associated impacts of emerging environmental threats.
Every year the world is hit by numerous natural and man-made disasters, such as the recent forest fires in Portugal and hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean. In 2015, there were a record 198 natural catastrophes. As a consequence, many lives are lost, the environment is badly damaged and infrastructure and livelihoods are severely disrupted.
The European Union (EU) has mechanisms in place to support countries when an environmental disaster strikes and they deploy experts to the scene to assist the local community. These experts may find themselves in a chaotic situation, in which local and national authorities are overwhelmed. Collating the necessary evidence from scattered sources to conduct a robust risk assessment is a major challenge and deployed experts may not have access to the necessary technical expertise.
Therefore, the EMETNET project is building a simple, efficient and robust methodology to enable the rapid risk assessment (RRA) of environmental emergencies. The RRA presents an overview of potential and actual health and environmental impacts of the event which can aid the European Commission in the appropriate selection of deployable experts and assets. A network of risk assessors is being built to carry out this RRA and provide back-office support to deployed experts, enabling them to have rapid access to information and expertise.
The project ‘European Multiple Environmental Threats Emergency Network’ (EMETNET; Grant Agreement No. ECHO/SUB/2015/718592/PREV14) has received funding from the European Union, Civil Protection Financial Instrument.
Project coordinator: Lisbeth Hall
For more information, please send an e-mail to: EMETNET@RIVM.nl