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Forschungs- und Transferzentrum "Nachhaltigkeit und Klimafolgenmanagement"
Forschungs- und Transferzentrum "Nachhaltigkeit und Klimafolgenmanagement"

25th - 26th February 2019: Symposium "Climate Change and Natural Hazards: coping with and managing hazards in the context of a changing climate", University of Padova, Italy

The Symposium is being organized  by the Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), University of Padova, and the International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP), in cooperation with Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), and various international organisations concerned with climate change and hazards. 



Hazards may be defined as the potential occurrence of a natural or human-induced physical event, trend or physical impact, which may cause loss of life, injury, or other health impacts, as well as damages and/or losses to property, infrastructure, livelihoods, service provision and environmental  resources.

Due to climate change, the frequency and intensity of hazard events such as extreme weather events (e.g. floods, droughts and heat waves)  on the one hand, but also of forest fires and damages to agricultural productivity (especially crop yield) on the other, are expected to increase in the future.  Hazards may change exposure patterns, lead to substantial beakdowns of infrastructure, damages to property and ultimately  decrease the resilience of households and communities. Moreover, the links between climate hazards and health are strong, with mortality and morbidity rates rising as a result of them. Hazards pose additonal pressures to both human and natural systems.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) outlined  on its 4th (2007) and 5th (2014) Assessment Reports the need to manage the risks of extreme events and the hazards they bring about, to advance climate change adaptation.

It is important to better understand what climate change hazards are, how  the different components of climate change  including frequency, intensity, variability and uncertainty play together and relate to ecosystems, and how a better understanding of vulnerability of people to climate change in terms  of sensitivity can be achieved. Also, it is equally important to identify adaptation options based on the adaptive capacity- which does vary - between
sectors, populations and ecosystems.

The Symposium is being organized  by the Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), University of Padova, and the International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP), in cooperation with Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), and various international organisations concerned with climate change and hazards.

Apart from the presentation of scientific research and studies, the Symposium will also provide a forum for the discussion on sustainable solutions to matters related to climate change and hazards. The event will also assist in stock-taking efforts and analyse aspects of loss and damage. Ultimately, the Symposium will also serve the purpose of showcasing experiences from research, field projects and best practice to address climate hazards, which may be useful and/or widely implemented. The Symposium will be a truly interdisciplinary event, mobilizing scholars, social movements, practitioners and members of governmental agencies, undertaking research and/or executing projects related to climate change and hazards, from across the world.

fold faq AIMS

Consistent with the need for more cross-sectoral interactions among the various stakeholders working in the field of climate change and hazards in the widest sense, the aims of the Symposium "Climate Change and Natural Hazards: coping with and managing hazards in the context of a changing climate" are as follows: 

  • I.   to provide research institutions, universities, NGOs, government agencies and enterprises with an opportunity to  showcase their work in the field of climate change and hazards; 
  • II.  to foster the exchange of information, ideas and experiences acquired in the execution of projects, especially successful initiatives and good practice;
  • III.  to discuss methodological approaches and experiences deriving from case studies and projects, which aim to show how causes and impacts of climate change hazards may be addressed in practice;
  • IV.  to provide networking opportunities for the participants and provide a platform so they can explore possibilities for cooperation.

The event bears close links with the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):SDG1 (No poverty) 

  • SDG2 (No hunger)
  • SDG3 (Good health and well-being)
  • SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 (Climate Action)

The Symposium is essentially a transdisciplinary and cross-stakeholders event. This means   that it will offer an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, government officials and others working on matters related to climate change and hazards to come together to discuss research methods, the results of empirical research or exchange ideas about on-going and future initiatives which aim at providing a better understanding of how climate issues influence livelihoods.

Last but not least, a further aim of the event will be to document and disseminate the wealth of experiences available today. For this purpose, the book  "Climate Change and Natural Hazards: coping with and managing hazards in the context of a changing climate" will be published, with all accepted papers. This will be a further volume of the award-winning book series “Climate Change Management” published by Springer,  which since its creation in 2008 has become the  world´s leading book series on climate change management. Publications part of this high level, peer-reviewed series, officially count as a scientific output for promotion and tenure purposes, and many scientists/academics have over the past 10 years benefitted from it. The decision of the editors as to which papers may be selected and undergo peer review for the book is final.


Delegates attending the  Symposium will come from a cross-sectoral range of areas. These are:

  • 1. members of NGOs working with climate change and hazards;
  • 2. researchers at universities and research centres;
  • 3. teaching staff at universities;
  • 4. representatives from companies; 
  • 5. representatives from UN and national development and aid agencies working with climate change and hazards and funding/ executing projects on the ground;
  • 6. members of social movements;
  • 7. project officers and consultants, as well as other people interested in the topic.

It is believed that this wide range of participants will help to outline the need for and the usefulness of integrated approaches towards climate change and hazards management, and hence contribute to the further consolidation of this thematic area.



  • Professor Walter Leal, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)
  • Professor Marco Borga, University of Padova (Italy)

Scientific Committee

  • Prof. Fátima Alves, Centre for Functional Ecology, University of Coimbra and Universidade Aberta, Portugal
  • Prof. Ulisses M Azeiteiro, Universidade of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Dr. Nelson Amaro, Galileo University, Guatemala
  • Dr. Isabelle Braud, IRSTEA-Lyon, France
  • Prof. Boaventura Chango Cuamba, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
  • Dr. Marco Cavalli, CNR IRPI Padova, Italy
  • Dr. Michele Ferri, Alto Adriatico Water Authority, Venice, ItalyDr. Fausto Guzzetti, CNR, Italy
  • Prof. Marcel Hürlimann, BarcelonaTECH UPC, Spain
  • Prof. Arvo IItal, Technical University of Tallin, Estonia
  • Prof. Maris Klavins, University of Latvia, Latvia
  • Dr. Evangelos Manolas, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
  • Prof. David Chávez Muñoz, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Peru
  • Prof. Gustavo Nagy, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
  • Prof. Nicholas Otienoh Oguge, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Prof. José A. Milán Pérez, Climate Change Technologies, Nicaragua
  • Prof. Roberto Poli, University of Trento, Italy
  • Dr. Anna Scolobig, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Prof. Laura Secco, University of Padova, Italy
  • Prof. Michael Shilin, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Russia
  • Prof. Jose Andres Lopez Tarazon, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
  • Prof. Paolo Tarolli, University of Padova, Italy
  • Dr. Ruggero Valentinotti, Provincia Autonoma Trento, Italy
  • Prof. Mattia Zaramella, University of Padova, Italy

Scientific Support

  • Dr Mihaela Sima, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy

Cooperating Organisations

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
  • International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP)

All questions related to scientific inputs and strategic partnerships should be sent to:
Walter Leal (BSc, PhD, DSc, DPhil, DEd, DLitt, FSB, FRGS, FLS) 
HAW Hamburg (Germany) and Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) 
E-mail: iusdrp(@)


All questions related to abstracts and registrations should be sent to: 
Dr. Mihaela Sima Institute of Geography 
Romanian Academy  


All questions related to local issues, invitations and logistics should be sent to:<o:p></o:p>

Mattia Zaramella
University of Padova
E-mail: mattia.zaramella(@)


The Symposium will be organised in two main strands: 

Strand 1: the posters 
Individual participants and organisations will be able to put-up posters describing their works and projects and to distribute the relevant information to the participants. The posters will allow close, one-to-one contacts between the participants and the exhibitors.

Strand 2: the presentations 
A set of presentations, divided into five main themes will be organised, distributed over parallel sessions dealing with some of the issues of strategic value in the field of climate change and hazards. These are: 

  • 1. Vulnerability assessment and risks modelling
  • 2. Impacts of hazards to  biodiversity, terrestrial and inland ecosystems, and ecosystem service
  • 3. Economic and social impacts of hazards
  • 4.  Hazard prevention, control and hazard management measures
  • 5. Information, communication, training on hazards  management

The plenary and parallel sessions, as well as the social events, will provide participants with an outstanding opportunity to interact, network and learn about the latest ideas, projects and practices from across the world.


The Symposium will be held on 25th-26th February in Padova, Italy, hosted by the University of Padova. Founded in the year 1222 and with over 62.000 students, the University is among the most traditional higher education institutions in Europe. The Symposium  will be held in the ancient palace which hosted the University until 1600. Details on Padova´s  fascinating history can be seen here

The nearest international airport is the Marco Polo International Airport in Venice (code: VCE), which is easily reached from most European hubs. Padova is about 40 Km away from Venice. There is a direct bus, which runs every hour, from the airport to Padova Central station (about 70 minutes journey). Alternatively, one can take a bus from the airport to either Santa Lucia or Mestre stations in Venice, and then take a train from there to Padova.

25th February 2019 

  • Morning: 
    08:00-09:00 Registration and set-up of posters
    09:00-13:00- Plenary and Sessions 
  • Afternoon:  Plenary and Sessions 
  • Evening:  Reception with informal chats and networking

26th February 2019

  • All day:  Exhibition and visit to displays 
  • Morning:  Plenary and Sessions 
  • Afternoon:  Plenary and Sessions
  • 16:00- Final Session and hand over of the Best Paper Awards

In order to ensure an efficient use of the time, delegates are kindly asked to organise their travel in a way that allows them to arrive in Padova in the course of 24th February 2019, and travel back after 16:00 on 27th February 2019, so they can fully take part in the Symposium.

fold faq DEADLINES
  • Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 30th September 2018 
  • Deadline for full papers: 20th December 2018
  • Deadline for all reviews: 15th  January 2018 
  • Deadline for registrations: 10th January 2019

Since the conference book is expected to be launched shortly after the event, the deadlines need to be followed. Delegates can also attend and make a presentation, without submitting a written paper.


A discounted fee of € 250 (plus 19% VAT) will be charged to invited delegates who register until 30th November 2018 (early bird registration). After that, delegates will need to pay the full fee of €300 (plus 19% VAT). The reduced fee for MSc/PhD students is € 150 (plus 19% VAT). The fee includes free lunches and coffee breaks on 25th and 26th February 2019 and free electronic access to the book  "Climate Change and Natural Hazards: coping with and managing hazards in the context of a changing climate", expected to be launched soon after the Symposium. 

This is a self-funded event and the organisers are unable to pay any travel or accommodation costs of any kind. Letters of invitation can only be sent to bona fide, registered delegates, who have paid their fees and need a document to show their employers. There are no exceptions.


Registrations are now open and are possible until the 10th January 2019. Regrettably, logistical limitations mean that registrations after the deadline will not be possible. Since the space for displays  and the time for presentations is limited, delegates are advised to register as soon  as possible. The organisers will notify any interested delegate or organisation in case there  are any limitations with time for presentations or space for displays. Registered delegates will then receive further details on the payment of the fees and updated information on the preparations for the event. The decision as to which papers will be accepted for presentation will be taken by the Chairpersons, following consultation with the organising committee. Participants registering to the event will do so under the condition that they will cover their own travel, accommodation and incidental costs (e.g. visa fees) related to their trip to Padova.

For cancellations up 45 days before the event, a full refund will be provided. For cancellations between to 30 and 15 days, a 50% refund will be provided. For cancellations of 15 days or less no refunds are provided. Registrations are now open. Please do not register if you are unsure you will attend the event, or do not yet have the resources to attend.

Standard procedures: 

  • 1. delegates register at the web site of the event
  • 2. once this is done, delegates will get an invoice (professional rate or student rate)
  • 3. delegates settle the invoice and send a proof of payment as required
  • 4. delegates, who need a formal letter of invitation, send to the organising team a draft text as they need it, and which includes all their personal details, title of the event and of their presentation. No letters will be sent to non-registered delegates.

We can only consider for the book the inputs of registered delegates, also to be fair with all others. 



An abstract should be up to 200 words, it should describe the rationale and aims of the paper, and some of its results. General descriptions of broad contexts should be avoided. The full contact details about the author(s) need to be provided. Abstracts should be written in the third person and not in the first or second one (e.g. I, me, or my paper). Please see below a sample abstract. Authors whose abstracts have been accepted, will receive further details about how to submit their full papers, and further logistical information. Please send your abstract to: Dr. Mihaela Sima, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy. E-mail: simamik(@)


Climate Change and Hazards: understanding the connections

Walter Leal (BSc, PhD, DSc, DPhil, DEd, DLitt, FSB, FRGS, FLS)
School of Science and the Environment
Manchester Metropolitan University Chester Street
Manchester, M1 5GD United Kingdom
E-mail: info(@)


The scope and complexity of the impacts of climate change hazards mean that due considerations to communicaton issues as part of hazard management has become a pressing issue.  Among other factors,  the education and communication of the public on matters related to natural hazards is made difficult by the width of the topic and the fact that many environmental and socio-economic issues are associated with it. 

This paper presents an analysis about the elements that need to be considered when communicating and raising awareness on the impacts of climate change hazards in a sample of developing countries, and describes the most widespread communication problems, as well as their implications. A special emphasis is given to the problems and barriers caused by misinformation, which – in turn- prevent a full understanding of the impacts of climate change hazards climate change and the many elements it is associated with. Finally, some concrete steps which may be taken in order to break the misconceptions and foster a  more  systematic consideration of climate hazards as part of planning processes, are outlined. Experiences gathered in this paper will be useful to people and organisations interested in education and communication on climate-related hazards.

Letzte Änderung: 17.09.18

An die Redaktion


Dr. Mihaela Sima Institute of Geography Romanian Academy