La Houille Blanche
Number 2, Avril 2001
|Page(s)||16 - 22|
|Published online||01 July 2009|
Sur plusieurs définitions du risque, et leurs conséquences en matière de prévision, prédiction et prévention
About some definitions of risk and its consequences on the forecasting, prediction and prevention
Chargé d'enseignement risques naturels, Ecole des mines de Saint-Etienne, Ancien attaché risques et environnement
Among numerous definitions of natural risks, this article examines the most widespread. Only three definitions attract attention: the first idea was given by Diderot and d'Alembert in French "Encyclopédie" between 1751 and 1772 A.D.; later the jurists described act of God as unforeseeable and compelling. Nowadays UNESCO definition says that natural risk is the crossing between natural hazard and vulnerability. Definitions given by dictionnary or insurance companies are either inadequate or morally unacceptable and they must be forgotten. Furthermore, the three remembered definitions fulfil the same fields: foreseeability/forecast, foretelling/prediction and prevention. In addition, this article points out the role of historical studies in the learning process of natural hazards and vulnerabilities.
© Société Hydrotechnique de France, 2001
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