The adhesion of Colombia, through Servicio Geologico Colombiano, to GEM represents a considerable success in the prospect of an increasing collaboration in the South American area.
The recent efforts of Colombia to empower its initiatives in support of risk management and its progressive involvement in studies and researches driven to risk prevention, has found a perfect synergy with the mission of GEM. “Colombia is a country where several initiatives have been developed on the basis of national studies on the seismic hazard, seismic micro-zonation of principal cities, country risk profile, city scenarios and loss estimates for essential facilities. Those studies have been used to define building codes, risk mitigation programs, emergency plans and financial strategies, – says the Project Manager Jairo Valcarcel – thus the partnership with GEM will now provide a fundamental contribution for the application of risk assessment to risk management activities”.
Aligned with that, the partnership appears as a win-win accord at the time that a transparent and open cooperation will let GEM share its scientific approach and state-of-the-art methodologies, while the Geological Survey will provide the ‘in field’ experience. Specifically, the participation of the Geological Survey will be highly appreciated in the framework of the SARA project (South America integrated Risk Assessment), where the need of regional modeling of seismic hazard will conduct to a holistic risk estimation at national, subnational and local level. “The Geological National Survey – stated the director of Geo Hazards Dr. Marta Lucía Calvache – directly cooperates with the national government on the production of a wide range of information regarding the concrete threats of geological instability and the associated physical risks. The main aim is to progressively undertake the integration between data and actions, passing throughout the risk evaluation and arriving to draft specific actions aimed at risk prevention at a national level. From this perspective, the agreement signed with GEM and any future scientific cooperation on data and tools, will let the Geological Survey accomplish its national mandate”.
The participation of the National Unit for Risk Management (UNGRD) in the projects held in the area witnesses a strong interest of Colombia to be cutting edge in the field of risk evaluation, as declared by Pilar Garcia, deputy director of risk identification. “It is highly relevant for our organization to be involved in the risk analysis process at a national level and I am confident that the productive and positive outcomes of this collaboration among GEM, Servicio Geologico Combiano and UNGRD will considerably reduce the losses of these natural disasters.