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Division on Natural Hazards (NH)

President: Giorgio Boni, nh@egu.eu
Deputy President: Ira Didenkulova, didenkulova@mail.ru

The Natural Hazards (NH) Division of the EGU covers all the geological and geophysical processes that can be hazardous and can produce damage to the environment and to the society. Therefore it is a place where scientists and researchers of various geo-disciplines meet with sociologists, economists and people responsible for territorial and urban defense and planning policies. The aim is to improve the understanding of the evolution of the processes and to discuss new technologies, methods and strategies to mitigate their disastrous effects. The Division is structured in nine Subdivisions covering specific hazards. Of these seven are listed here: hydro-meteorological, volcanic, landslide, earthquake-, sea and ocean, remote sensing and hazards, wildfire hazards. The eighth Subdivision covers biological and environmental hazards and in addition hazards not included in the previous ones. The ninth (natural hazards and society) focuses on the social aspects of the hazards, including development sustainability, emergency, warning, after-disaster resilience, etc. Most of the topics that are treated in the NH Division are also treated in other EGU Divisions, which is expected due to the intrinsic transversal nature of the NH Division. For example, earthquakes are the main interest of the Seismology Division, but they are also of interest here where the chief topics are, among others, how to evaluate vulnerability and risk, how to reduce the  impact on human lives and society, how geo-scientists can contribute to a prompt recovery of a community affected by disasters.

The NH Division is one the historical Divisions of the EGU that was established since when EGU was founded and has been and is one of the largest divisions to which many geo-scientists provide steadily contributions of papers and ideas over the years.

As for all EGU Divisions, an Early Career Scientist Award is established also for the NH Division and is given to young researchers who obtain outstanding results in the assessment and mitigation of natural hazard adopting a multidisciplinary approach. In addition, the NH Division awards the Plinius Medal devoted since 2012 to mid-career researchers and the Soloviev Medal for scientists who give outstanding contributions in fundamental aspects of research on natural hazards.

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Current issue of the EGU newsletter

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At the start of this month, the US president announced the country would be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, a decision that rejects the overwhelming political and scientific consensus. The EGU reacted by strongly opposing this decision and reaffirming its support for the EGU scientific community and its science. EGU President Jonathan Bamber also wrote in defence of science in an opinion piece, a follow-up to the ‘Make Facts Great Again: how can scientists stand up for science?’ Union Symposium at the EGU 2017 General Assembly. An editorial about the session was also published in Nature Geoscience, highlighting the need not only for the public to trust in scientists, but also for scientists to trust the people.

In other news, the EGU has opened a call for financial support for training schools. If you’d like to organise a training school in the Earth, planetary or space sciences in 2018, please apply for funding from the EGU by 15 August 2017.

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