New EU project on coastal hazards and an Oxford ‘Think-Shop’

Professor Edmund Penning-Rowsell, Distinguished Research Associate at the School of Geography and the Environment, is managing a new research and knowledge transfer project to better protect society from coastal hazards.

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The EcosHaz project will develop a framework to assess the costs and benefits of prevention and response to coastal hazards such as flooding, shoreline erosion, storm surges, sea level rise and oil spill accidents.

Until now, investment decisions in Europe in this field have been based more on local or regional political agendas than logical risk assessments.

Professor Penning-Rowsell, also Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Middlesex University said: “Coastal hazards are a major concern for authorities and populations as they can have severe impacts on the economy as well as the health and safety of people. The project will provide state of the art guidance on assessing the costs and benefits of risk prevention measures, compared to the costs for response and rehabilitation. This will enable decision-makers to make sensible choices based on sound evidence.”

The project team will train up personnel in coastal authorities and their consultants or advisers, so that they can adopt economic assessment tools in their work and reduce the damage caused by coastal hazards.

Partners within the consortium are: Sigma Consultants, Greece; the University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain; the Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University, UK; the Maritime Institute in Gdansk, Poland; the Department of Economic Theory at University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain; and the Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy.

A ‘Think-Shop’ (the antidote to the proverbial “Workshop”) will be held in Oxford on 7 October 2015, to brainstorm coastal protection and conservation issues. Those interested should contact Edmund Penning-Rowsell at Edmund@penningrowsell.com.

Visit the EcosHaz project website

Ecoshaz

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Project co-funded by the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection.
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