European Multiple Environmental Threats Emergency Network

The European Multiple Environmental Threats Emergency Network (EMETNET) project served 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. The project has been completed.

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 European Union (European Union)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 has build 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 was built to carry out this RRA and provided back-office support to deployed experts, enabling them to have rapid access to information and expertise.

Project partners

The project team consisted of RIVM (lead partner) and associate partners Public Health England and the Swedish Defence Research Agency FOI.


EMETNET has received funding from the European Union, Civil Protection Financial Instrument under Grant Agreement No. ECHO/SUB/2015/718592/PREV14).