Water, oxygen, light,
life, ... the Earth gave us all of this. However, the delicate balances
that make our planet habitable can sometimes be upset with - particularly
destructive results. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, storms, tidal
waves, floods or fires: when nature unleashes itself, it strikes where
and when it decides. Nowhere is spared - not even Europe, despite its
favourable climatic and geographic conditions. All too often, natural
disasters strike without warning. They can cause devastation: in loss
of human life and environmental damage, as well as in economic terms.
There is no doubt that man will never be able to prevent these occurrences
entirely. However, we are able to gain a better understanding of the
complex mechanisms behind the disasters and therefore predict them more
accurately and limit the damage they cause.
To do this, we must use all our creative skills and energy. That is
why the European Union provides financial support for dozens of research
projects in this important area. These pilot projects are based on close
cooperation between the Member States, bringing together experts from
the different scientific disciplines. They also involve representatives
from different levels including economic interests and political decision-makers.
Confronted with the threat of natural disasters, we must marshal all
our resources. Europe is doing just that.