At the 2000 Fall Meeting in December, the AGU Council reaffirmed a revised version of AGU's position statement, “Meeting the Challenges of Natural Hazards.” This position was first adopted in 1996. The revised version (see accompanying text box) contains the same message as the original, but in concise language more easily understood by policy-makers and other non-scientists.
The statement calls for more research in the geophysical processes to help understand the nature of natural hazards. However, it also clearly indicates that research alone will not improve the ability of society to withstand a natural disaster. Multidisciplinary approaches involving groups as disparate as builders, insurers, and relief organizations are required to improve mitigation efforts worldwide. The policy statement also emphasizes the need to communicate the results of scientific research to the public, especially those communities situated in areas particularly susceptible to extreme natural hazards.