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Costs of natural hazards

Activity Code: ENV.2009.
Coordinator: Prof. Dr Reimund Schwarze, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ


Cost assessments of damages of natural hazards supply crucial information to policy development in the fields of natural hazard management and adaptation planning to climate change. There exists significant diversity in methodological approaches and terminology in cost assessments of different natural hazards and in different impacted sectors. ConHaz provides insight into cost assessment methods, which is needed for an integrated planning and overall budgeting, and to prioritise policies. To strengthen the role of cost assessments in natural hazard management and adaptation planning, existing approaches and best practices as well as knowledge gaps are identified. ConHaz has three key objectives. The first objective is to compile state-of-the-art methods and terminology as used in European case studies, taking a comprehensive perspective on the costs of natural that includes droughts, floods, storms, and alpine hazards.

ConHaz also considers various impacted economic sectors such as housing, industry and transport, and non-economic sectors such as health and nature. It will consider single and multi-hazards, leading to direct, indirect and intangible costs. ConHaz moreover looks at costs and benefits of risk-prevention and emergency response policies. The second objective of ConHaz is to evaluate the compiled methods. The analysis addresses theoretical issues, such as the principal assumptions that underlie economic valuation of damage types, as well as practical issues, such as the qualifications needed for data collection and quality assurance. ConHaz also looks at the reliability of the end result by considering the accuracy of cost predictions and best-practice-methods of validation. A central issue of the evaluation is to compare available methods with end-user needs. The third objective of ConHaz is to synthesize the results and give recommendations according to current best practice as well as to resulting research needs.

Project Details:

Start Date: 01.02.2010
End Date: 31.01.2012
EU Contribution: 899,487 Euro
Total Costs: 1.11 Mio. Euro
Funding Scheme: Coordination (or networking) actions
Administrative Contact Person: Annette Schmidt, annette.schmidt@ufz.de
Scientific Coordinator:
Prof. Dr Reimund Schwarze, reimund.schwarze@ufz.de
Project Website:


  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany
  • Société de Mathematiques Appliquées et de Sciences Humaines, France
  • Middlesex University Higher Education Cooperation, United Kingdom
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches Geoforschungszentrum, Germany
  • Universität Innsbruck, Austria
  • Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
  • Universita degli Studi di Ferrara, Italy
  • Vereinging voor Christelijk Hoger Onderwijs Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek en Patientenzorg, Netherlands