Mission statement

Training scientists to reduce the impact of natural hazards has been the main focus of the CERG-C (Certificat de spécialisation en évaluation et management des Risques Géologiques et risques liés au climat / Specialization certificate for the assessment and management of geological and climate related risk) since its inception in 1988. We take a multidisciplinary approach to the assessment and management of risk from natural hazards, merging ideas from disciplines such as the physical and social sciences, engineering, and economics.

Over the last 30 years the CERG-C has trained participants from more than 80 countries around the world in collaboration with the Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE) and in association with several institutions over the years, such as the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Swiss Seismological Service (SED), the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, the Dipartimento di Architettura, Ingegneria delle Costruzioni e Ambiente Costruito, Politecnico di Milano and the Department of Geosciences, East Tennessee State University, as well as international organizations, such as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UNOSAT (United Nations Satellite Centre) and the World Meteorological Organization. It has also cooperated in research projects around the world.

The essence of our work at the CERG-C is to train its participants on how to incorporate risk science into everyday reality in an attempt to reduce losses to an acceptable level. Another crucial component of our program is training participants on how to communicate effectively with government agencies, media, public and private sectors before, during and after natural hazard events.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the impact of major natural disasters worldwide, due in large part to population growth in urban areas and the increasing complexity of the built or constructed environment. The devastation left behind is a stark reminder of the importance of a comprehensive program for risk reduction.

CERG-C in a nutshell:

  • 5 modules: risk management, hazards and risks related to floods and climate change, seismic risk, landslide risk, volcanic risk
  • Schedule: 7 weeks of lectures (including field work), 2 weeks of exams and a personal dissertation to be handed 8 months after the training. Possibility of 3 additional at the University of Geneva to work on the final dissertation
  • Teaching team: about 20 international experts in the field of geological risk