The 2007 Sergey Soloviev Medal is awarded to Gerhard Berz for his visionary pioneer work over many years linking increased losses from loading, earthquakes and storms to human-induced climate change.
From his position as Chief of the Geo Research Department of the Munich Reinsurance Company for the past 32 years, Dr. Berz has worked within the framework of the United Nations Environmental Program and organizations of insurance companies and financial institutions to provide practical advice about providing better vulnerability assessments, preparedness measures, and early warning systems to reduce the impact of natural hazards. His world zoning maps providing a global view of natural hazards have been distributed to at least 50,000 people worldwide. He has 116 papers on natural disasters published in journals and books in 6 continents. In 1990, at a meeting in Queensland, Australia, he called attention to the link between greenhouse effects, natural catastrophes, and insurance, following this with a paper in Paris on global warming, and several subsequent reports on the same topics. He was one of the leaders at a World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Kobe, Japan, January 2005, contributing to knowledge development in this field and providing relevant data without which it would have been more difficult to make convincing recommendations, according to the Director of the Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Dr. Berz is a world leader in his field and is eminently qualified for the Soloviev Award.