Supporting the Eu Response to Environmental Emergencies: European Multiple Environmental Threats Emergency Network

Supporting the Eu Response to Environmental Emergencies: European Multiple Environmental Threats Emergency Network

Lisbeth Hall Jolanda Roelofs Sjors Schulpen Arnout De Bruin Sander Banus Raquel Duarte-Davidson Eirian Thomas Emma-Jane Goode Owen Landeg Angie Bone Elisabeth Wigenstam Birgitta Liljedahl  Annica Waleij Louise Simonsson Ann Göransson Nyberg 

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands

Public Health England (PHE), United Kingdom

Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), Sweden

Page: 
324-336
|
DOI: 
https://doi.org/10.2495/SAFE-V7-N3-324-336
Received: 
N/A
|
Accepted: 
N/A
|
Published: 
30 September 2017
| Citation

OPEN ACCESS

Abstract: 

The European Union (EU) has mechanisms in place to support countries when an environmental emergency strikes and it deploys experts 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 European Multiple Environmental Threats Emergency Network (EMETNET) project is building a simple, efficient and robust methodology to enable the rapid risk assessment (RRA) of environmental emergencies. The RRA, which will be delivered to the European Commission (EC), presents an overview of potential and actual health and environmental impacts of the event. 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. EMETNET builds on existing methodologies for the RRA of environmental emergencies, in particular, on a methodology developed for serious cross-border chemical health threats.

The EMETNET methodology will support the selection of experts and assets deployed to affected regions and provide a snapshot assessment to experts en route to disaster zones. It will aid defensible decision-making, communication, planning and risk management. Furthermore, it will ensure a harmonised understanding of the associated health, environmental and cross-sectoral impacts of an environmental emergency.

Keywords: 

DG ECHO, Environmental emergencies, Expert network, Impact, Natural disasters, Public health, Environment, Rapid risk assessment, Union Civil Protection Mechanism, UCPM

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