The Hazard Question What am I afraid will happen?? OR What is the adverse event??
Risk Assessment Questions What information is available? What is the quantity and quality of information? What is the probability? What is the magnitude of the consequences (if I do nothing)? Should something be done?
Risk Management Questions What can be done to eliminate or reduce the hazard? How effective are the options? How feasible are the options? What impacts do the options have? What is the level and type of uncertainty? What is the best option?
Variability and Uncertainty Variability is not reduced with more or better information Uncertainty may be: Modeling or measurement errors Gaps in information Out-of-date information Incorrect assumptions
Risk Communication Open, multiple exchanges of information and opinions that lead to better understanding and decisions: Consulting Informing Explaining or justifying
Transparency Document information sources Identify processes/methods Provide rationale for conclusions and decisions Describe uncertainty and identify data gaps or areas for additional research
Mitigation requires assessment Risk requires mitigation Initiation Identify hazard(s) Estimate the likelihood of occurrence Estimate the magnitude of the consequences Develop conclusions and describe uncertainty Develop recommendations and describe uncertainty Evaluate mitigation options for: -Efficacy -Feasibility -Impacts Identify mitigation options Decisionmaking Describe the concern which has the need. Understand the background and expectations. Evaluate recommendations against current environment and values to select an option. Risk Assessment Risk Management
Benefits of Risk Analysis a) Justify and defend decisions b) Evaluate decisions of others c) Prioritize resources d) View risk objectively and realistically e) Identify research and information needs f) Identify technical points of difference
The Stakeholders and Important Linkages Policy makers Regulators Researchers Civil society
… And the Precautionary Approach? Rio Declaration (1992) Principle 15 In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States... lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost- effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
Art 2.2 - Sufficient scientific evidence Is the absence of evidence of a hazard evidence of absence of a hazard? A key component of risk analysis is identifying uncertainty … A key component of decision-making is considering the uncertainty.
The Role of Precaution In the judgment of the acceptable level of risk - taking into account the scientific evidence and uncertainty In the judgment of strength of measures - taking into account the scientific evidence and uncertainty
References D.O.E. (2004). EIA Guidelines for Risk Assessment. DOE, 2004. Griffin, R.L. (2007). Pest Risk Analysis. International Plant Protection Convention, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.