Risk Management

3.1 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Sword of Damocles"

For risks from the category "Sword of Damocles," three central strategies are recommended (Table 2): First, the potential of disas-

TABLE 1 Risk types, Criteria and Examples

Type 1 Sword of Damocles

Type 2 Cyclops

Type 3 Pythia

Type 4 Pandora's Box

Type 5 Cassandra

Type 6 Medusa p low (toward 0);

li high (toward infinity); Confidence intervals of]' and dlow p uncertain; d high;

Confidence interval of p high; Confidence interval of d rather low p uncertain;

d uncertain (potentially high); Confidence intervals of]' and d high;

p uncertain;

d uncertain (only presumptions); Confidence intervals of p and d uncertain (unclear);

Persistency high (several generations) p rather high; rather high;

Confidence interval of p rather low; Confidence interval of d rather low; Delay effect high p rather low;

d rather low (exposition high); Confidence interval of p rather high; Confidence interval of d rather low; Potential of mobilization high

Nuclear energy, chemical plants, dams, meteorite impacts

Floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, AIDS, El Niño, mass developments of anthropogenically affected species Increasing greenhouse effect, endocrine-effective substances, release and spread of transgenic plants, BSE Ozone-destroying substances

Anthropogenic climate change

Electromagnetic fields

Source: WBGU, German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (1999).

ters must be reduced by research and technical measurements. Second, the resilience must be increased, i.e., the power of resistance against surprises must be strengthened. Finally, an effective emergency management should be guaranteed.

Within the scope of the first strategy to reduce the damage potential, technical measures for the reduction of disaster potentials as well as the research and realization of measures to reduce the extent of damage have to be improved. For example, in the past the prior implemented strategy of nuclear energy was to reduce the probability of a core melt-down. To move this risk from the intermediate area to the normal area, the strategy was not appropriate. More useful would be a change toward reducing the potential of catastrophes (meanwhile this happens). Strengthening of liability rules is useful as well: operators are encouraged to improve knowledge and to reduce the remaining risks. At the same time, it is necessary to research alternatives with a lower damage-potential to replace technologies that have unavoidably high damage-potentials. Subsidies are necessary during establishment and testing of alternatives.

Within the scope of the second strategy it is necessary to increase the resilience against the risk potentials. Therefore, capacity-building is required so that institutional and organizational structures of overriding importance can be improved and strengthened to have strong influence on procedures of permit, monitoring, training, etc. Additionally, technical procedures to increase the resilience must be established or, if they already exist, they must be improved. This can be achieved by technical redundancy and organizational security units, by integration of latitudes, buffers, and elasticities and by diversification, i.e., the dispersion of risk sources. Resilient organization models and successful procedures of permit should be placed at other states' disposal by technology and knowledge transfer. International control and monitoring should also be strengthened and an international safety standards authority should be established.

The third priority is emergency management. This strategy is not assessed as insignificant as a strategy of damage limitation; it should, however, stay behind the risk-reducing strategies. Here, capacity-building must be enhanced by developing and promoting national programs of emergency protection. Successful measures of emergency protection and techniques in the forms of training, education, and empowerment should be transferred to local risk-managers by technology and knowledge transfer.

In addition, technical measures of protection and measures to reduce the extent of damage have to be enforced. Finally, an international initiative on disaster prevention and relief, such as the former "International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (ID-NDR)" initiated by the UN, is necessary for anthropogenically caused disasters.

3.2 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Cyclops"

In the case of the risk type "Cyclops" the uncertainty concerning the probability of occurrence is the starting point for regulatory measures. First of all, increased research and intensive monitoring

TABI.F. 2 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Sword of Damocles"'

Strateeics Instruments

Training, education, empowerment Technical protection measures, including strategies of containment International emergency groups

(e.g., fire brigade, radiation protection, etc.)

Source: WBGU, German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (1999).

are necessary for a better assessment of the probability. Until such results are available, strategies to prevent unwelcome surprises are useful (including endangering liabilities). Preventive measures for disasters are important at the international level because the damage potentials within affected countries with high vulnerability can reach precariously high levels.

First priority goes to inquiry into the probability of occurrence, for which the necessary research has to be encouraged. Additionally, international monitoring by national and international risk centers has to be guaranteed. That could be fulfilled by establishing a "UN Risk Assessment Panel" that would have the function of setting up a network among the national risk centers and of gathering and assessing knowledge about global risks.

Within the scope of the second strategy, unwelcome surprises have to be prevented and the society has to be protected against it. This could happen by endangering liabilities or by compulsory insurance on certain conditions. The appropriate instruments of capacity-building and technical measures extensively correspond to the instruments of the risk type "Sword of Damocles". Within the third strategy of emergency management, the same instruments as for the risk type "Sword of Damocles" are used.

3.3 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Pythia"

Because the risk type "Pythia" has high uncertainty concerning the criteria probability of occurrence and extent of damage, the im-

TABLE 3 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Cyclops"* Strategies Instruments

Research to ascertain numerical probability International monitoring by National risk centers Institutional network Global risk board Technical measures for calculating the probability of occurrence Strict liabilities

Compulsory insurance for those generating the risks (e.g., floods, housing estates) Capacity-building (permit, monitoring, training) Technical measures International monitoring Capacity-building (protection from emergencies) Training, education, empowerment Technical protection measures, including strategies of containment International emergency groups

(e.g., fire brigade, radiation protection etc.)

Source: WBGU, German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (1999).

provement of knowledge is very effective, especially the basic research. At the same time, preventive strategies should be used because the extent of damage could reach global dimensions. Limitations of regulatory policy and geographical and temporal measures of containment are usually indispensable.

First priority goes to the preventive strategies of institutional regulations such as ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable), BACT, and technical standards, where the costs of a neglected risk-reducing policy should be as low as possible. International conventions for controlling, monitoring, and security measures are also necessary. The instruments to reduce the extent of damage and capacity-building are the same as for the risk types mentioned above.

The improvement of knowledge has second priority so that future risk analysis can provide a higher certainty of assessment. To achieve this, research is needed on how to ascertain the probability of occurrence and the extent of damage. Additionally, an international early-warning system is necessary as for the risk type "Cyclops".

The third strategy of emergency management comes close to measures of the previous risk types.

3.4 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Pandora's Box"

The risks of Pandora's box are characterized by uncertainty concerning the probability of occurrence and the extent of damage (only presumptions) and high persistency. Here, research efforts to develop substitutes and regulatory measures to contain or to re-

Reducing disaster potential

Increasing resilience

Emergency management

Research to develop substitutes and to reduce the potential of disasters Technical measures for reducing the disaster potential Stringent rules of liability International safety standards authority Subsidies of alternatives for the same use Containment (reducing the damage extension) International coordination (e.g., averting the hazard of meteorites) Capacity-building (permit, monitoring, training) Technical procedures of resilience

(redundancy, diversification, etc.) Blueprint for resilient organizations Procedures of permit as model International control (IAEA) International liability commitment Capacity-building (protection from emergencies)

Ascertaining the probability of occurrence

Prevention against surprises

Emergency management or reducing the extent of damage

TABLE 4 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Pythia"' Strategies Instruments

Improving prevention institutional regulations like AI.ARA, BACT, technical standards, etc. Fund solutions

International conventions for controlling, monitoring, and security measures, etc. Containment (reducing the extension of damage) Capacity-building (permit, monitoring, training) Technical procedures of resilience (redundancy, diversification, etc.) Improving knowledge Research to ascertain the probability of occurrence and the extent of damage International early warning system by National risk centers Institutional network Global risk board Emergency management Containment strategies

Capacity-building (protection from emergencies) Training, education, empowerment Technical protection measures International emergency groups (e.g., for decontamination)

Source: VVBGU, German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (1999).

duce the risk sources are absolutely essential because the negative consequences of the risk sources are unknown, but in the most unfavorable case the consequences can reach global dimensions with irreversible effects. It has also to be implemented at the international level.

The supply of substitutes has priority over other strategies. Concerning the research and development of substitutes, the mea-

TABLE 5 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Pandora's box"*

Strategies Instruments

Developing substitutes Research to develop substitutes

Supporting basic research Incentives to use less harmful substitutes Subsidies for developing alternative production emergencies) Technical protection measures, including containment strategies Training, education, empowerment sures basically correspond to those for the risk type "Sword of Damocles". In addition, this risk type requires wide-ranging basic research that should be supported adequately.

In a second step the risk potentials should be decreased by reducing specific risk sources or by prohibiting them completely. Regulatory procedures are suitable, e.g., limitation of quantities by environmental standards and a rather economic incentive system by means of certificates. In some cases the use of endangering liability is appropriate. As mentioned above, instruments of technical procedures and capacity-building are necessary.

The third strategy of emergency management corresponds to the other risk types. Especially, an international emergency group combating unwelcome surprises is necessary. The international emergency group for nuclear decontamination of the IAEA could serve as an example.

3.5 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Cassandra"

The risks of the risk-type Cassandra hardly have any uncertainty, but people do not take the risks very seriously because of the lingering manner or the delay between the initial event and the damage. Due to the short-time legitimization through short election periods, politics often lacks the motivation of taking care of such long-term hazards. Measures of collective commitment (e.g., code of conduct for multinational enterprises) and long-term global institutions (UN Risk Assessment Panel) should strengthen the long-term responsibility of the international community. Limitations of quantities are appropriate to reduce these risks.

TABLE 6 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Cassandra"* Strategies Instruments

Strengthening the Self-commitment, code of conduct of global long-term responsibility actors of key actors Enhancing participation, empowerment and institutional security as a means to foster long-term responsibility Measures against governmental break-down Fund solutions International coordination Use of incentive systems (certificates and fees) Strict liability, if useful Regulatory limitations of quantities by environmental standards (also international standards) Improving and developing technical procedures of support Capacity-building (technical know-how, technology transfer, education, training) Joint implementation

Capacity-building («cultivation, protection from emergencies) Technical protection measures, including containment strategies Training, education, empowerment systems

Reduction and Regulatory policy for limitation of exposures containment through environmental standards, etc.

Use of incentive systems (certificates) Strict liability, if useful

Improving and developing technical procedures of support Capacity-building (technical know-how, technology transfer, éducation, training) Joint implementation Emergency management Capacity-building (protection from

Continuous reduction of risk by introducing substitutes and setting limitations of exposure

Contingency management

* Source: WBGU, German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (1999).

* Source: WBGU, German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (1999).

If there is a relevant delay between the initial event and the consequences, the first strategy should strengthen the long-term responsibility for future generations. Prior instrument is the self-commitment of the states and relevant actors (e.g., multinational enterprises). It is possible that fund solutions are appropriate. On the rather individual level, potentially affected people can gain more action capacities by linking participation to empowerment.

The second strategy is the continual reduction of risk potentials by developing alternative substitutes. Risk potentials that cannot be substituted should at least be stopped by limiting either the quantities or the field of application. The necessary instruments are mentioned under the other risk types. The instruments of the third strategy of emergency management also correspond to the other risk types.

3.6 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Medusa"

The risk type Medusa requires measures of confidence-building and the improvement of knowledge to reduce the remaining uncertainties. Clarification is not enough; on the contrary the affected people themselves should constructively be able to integrate the remaining uncertainties and ambiguities into their decisionmaking.

The extent of damage and the probability of occurrence of this risk type are low, however the potential of mobilization is high. To be able to inform and enlighten the public about the real extent of damage and probability of occurrence, confidence has to be built up. Independent institutions can contribute to clarifying the results of scientific research, and also the pure hypothetical character of many fears. The affected people should participate in decision-making procedures and in procedures of permit. The support of social scientific research concerning the potential of mobilization and the social management of risk conflicts is neces-

TABLE 7 Strategies and Instruments for the Risk Type "Medusa"*

Strategies

Instruments

Confidence-building

Establishment of independent institutions for

information and clarification

Increasing the chances of participation with the

commitment to set up priorities

Support of social science concerning the

potential of mobilization

Procedures of permit with participation of

affected people as model

International control (IAEA)

International liability commitment

Improving knowledge

Research to improve the certainty of assessment

Governmental support of research (basic

research)

Risk communication

Two- way communication

Involvement of citizens

Informed consent

* Source: WBGU, German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (1999).

* Source: WBGU, German Scientific Advisory Council on Global Change (1999).

sary to be able to manage the problems of the risk type Medusa in the society. Additionally, the knowledge of the probable risk potential should be improved. Research to improve the certainty of assessment and basic research are required.

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