2:45 PM - 3:00 PM
[HDS11-05] Geohazards, Globalization of Natural Disasters, and Their Impact on World Geopolitics
Keywords:Geohazards and disasters, Risk assessment and mitigation, Public awareness of geohazards and preparedness, Global geopolitics , IUGS Task Group on GeoHazards, Globalization of Natural Disasters
Regardless of the basic premises of the leading geopolitical scenarios about the future territorial configuration of power, the ramifications of large-scale natural events involving climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods and landslides are bound to be enormous and highly devastating for the sustainable development of the global economy and peace. The major geopolitical impacts of these events include: the collapse of agricultural productivity, the lack of fresh water, the disruption of electronic communication and industrial output, the destruction of coastal zones, and the unexpected shifts in shipping routes. These developments can easily lead to the creation of destabilizing problems and global conflicts as the nations and societies lose their resource base. We must educate the public and policy-makers about the importance of various geological processes and associated natural disasters for better preparedness for such environmental changes of global scales in order to maintain the world peace, security and prosperity. It is imperative that earth scientists, engineers, socio-economists, educators, health organizations, policy-makers and city-state officials make concerted, systematic and collaborative efforts to better understand and document various types of destructive geohazards and to put in place effective and functional programs and policies for risk assessment, preparedness, and mitigation. All these professionals and related organizations should collaborate to develop international standards for building a vast and accessible database and data exchange program. The newly established IUGS GeoHazard Task Group is ready to take on a leadership role in raising the visibility and effectiveness of public understanding of geohazards and their impacts on the societies, nations and governments around the world, and needs a proactive engagement of all stakeholders.