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Costs of Natural Hazards (CONHAZ)

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Cost assessments of damages of natural hazards supply crucial information to policy makers in the fields of natural hazard management and adaptation planning to climate change. Significant diversity exists in methodological approaches and terminology in cost assessments of different natural hazards and in different impacted sectors. This impedes ascertaining comprehensive and comparable cost figures. The EU project CONHAZ aimed at compiling and synthesising current knowledge on cost assessment methods considering natural hazards ranging from droughts, floods and coastal hazards to Alpine hazards, as well as different impacted sectors and cost types (i.e. direct tangible damages, losses due to business interruption, indirect damages, intangible effects, and costs of risk mitigation). It provided the first comprehensive overview on the current best practice of cost assessment methods.

Furthermore, CONHAZ identified remaining knowledge gaps. Among others it was shown that the application of cost assessment in practice is often incomplete and biased, i.e. that the focus is on direct costs, while intangible and indirect effects are rather rarely considered. Furthermore, there are still high uncertainties in all parts of cost assessment, related to insufficient or aggregated data sources, or lack of appropriate models.

The project further came up with key recommendations for research and practice which have been discussed and weighted for relevance at a synthesis conference with more than 60 experts from science, policy, insurance companies and consultancies. For further information and the relevant project reports and deliverables can be found on the project website.

Project information


Helmholtz-Zentrum Fuer Umweltforschung GMBH-UFZ (DE)


University of Innsbruck (UIBK), Austria; Société de Mathématique Appliquée aux Sciences Sociales (SMASH-CIRED), France; Middlesex University, Flood Hazard Research Centre (MU), UK; German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Germany; University of Ferrara (UniFe), Italy; Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), Netherlands

Source of funding

FP 7

Published in Climate-ADAPT Jun 07 2016   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 12 2023

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