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This new project is led by Sarah Brown at Bristol University. It aims to provide video resources for you to use in explaining volcanic hazards. The project has the support of the WOVO leadership. It is hoped that Volcano Observatories will be able to both contribute and benefit from the results. Sarah can be contacted at An explanation follows:

 VOLFilm: Multilingual and multi-platform films for resilience to risks from volcanic hazards

Many volcanoes erupt infrequently, and several recent eruptions have occurred at volcanoes with no historic record of eruptions or none in living memory. Communities near such volcanoes have increased vulnerability due to their inexperience of volcanic hazards, lack of preparedness and often poor knowledge of volcanic hazards and risk. Such communities and their emergency managers and decision makers need education and information about the behaviour of volcanoes, their hazards and risk, as well as management and mitigation steps they can adopt to increase their resilience. Film is a very effective tool for communicating knowledge about volcanic hazards and risk. Two videos were produced about 20 years ago by IAVCEI, which were used among populations, authorities and volcano observatories for education purposes, and likely saved many thousands of lives. These have been excellent resources for the past 20 years, but technology has progressed, and developments have been made in understanding volcanic hazards and communicating science. There is therefore a need for updated film media and consideration of new, popular and widely used communication platforms such as the internet and mobile phones. VOLFilm will address this need.

VOLFilm comprises a team of volcanologists and film makers from around the world, who will work with the World Organisation of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and other partners, to develop multilingual and multi-platform films for resilience to risks from volcanic hazards in areas with no experience of volcanic eruptions in living memory. This project is endorsed by IAVCEI, and facilitated by the Global Volcano Model network (GVM). Phase 1 of the project is largely funded through the Challenge Fund: a partnership between the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

Phase 1 of the project involves the development of a film archive and creation of a small number of short films on volcanic hazards and their impacts. This is pilot study to demonstrate the value of these projects. If successful, we may receive further funding by GFDRR/DfID for a second phase of the project. The film archive will be a database of footage of volcanic hazards and impacts, including information about the content, technical information about film quality, format, ownership and copyright issues. This will enable the identification of the highest quality and most visually effective footage for communicating appropriate information about volcanic hazards and their attendant risks. Using this, short, modular films will be developed on a selection of hazards. It is anticipated that the modular approach will allow each film to be viewed as a standalone object, or allow for the combination of films into longer, bespoke films, fitted to different volcanoes, situations and needs. These films will be made available in English, French, Spanish and Indonesian, and their use will be evaluated in the Eastern Caribbean, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the South Pacific.

Phase 2 will be a participatory global project, where the films and resources developed in Phase 1 will be evaluated and disseminated in volcanically active countries. We will also develop an expanded range of films to encompass more hazards and impacts, and to increase the applicability of the films to a range of volcanic and societal settings. There will also be further translation of the films into multiple languages, enabling their use globally. A further complementary project is planned, involving the creation of films about people’s experience of volcanic emergencies. These films will also be modular and future combinations of all hazard, impact and experience films should be possible.

Dr. Gill Jolly
co-chair (IAVCEI Liaison Committee Member)
General Manager: Natural Hazards Division Support
GNS Science, New Zealand