Assessing and managing multiple risks in a changing world — The Roskilde recommendations

Henriette Selck, Peter B. Adamsen, Thomas Backhaus, Gary T. Banta, Peter K.H. Bruce, G. Allen Burton Jr., Michael B. Butts, Eva Boegh, John J. Clague, Khuong Van Dinh, Neelke Doorn, Jonas S. Gunnarsson, Henrik Hauggaard-Nielsen, Charles Hazlerigg, Agnieszka D. Hunka, John Jensen, Yan Lin, Susana Loureiro, Simona Miraglia, Wayne R. Munns Jr.Farrokh Nadim, Annemette Palmqvist, Robert A. Rämö, Lauren P. Seaby, Kristian Syberg, Stine Rosendal Tangaa, Amalie Thit, Ronja Windfeld, Maciej Zalewski, Peter M. Chapmann

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Roskilde University (Denmark) hosted a November 2015 workshop, Environmental Risk—Assessing and Managing Multiple Risks in a Changing World. This Focus article presents the consensus recommendations of 30 attendees from 9 countries regarding implementation of a common currency (ecosystem services) for holistic environmental risk assessment and management; improvements to risk assessment and management in a complex, human‐modified, and changing world; appropriate development of protection goals in a 2‐stage process; dealing with societal issues; risk‐management information needs; conducting risk assessment of risk management; and development of adaptive and flexible regulatory systems. The authors encourage both cross‐disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to address their 10 recommendations: 1) adopt ecosystem services as a common currency for risk assessment and management; 2) consider cumulative stressors (chemical and nonchemical) and determine which dominate to best manage and restore ecosystem services; 3) fully integrate risk managers and communities of interest into the risk‐assessment process; 4) fully integrate risk assessors and communities of interest into the risk‐management process; 5) consider socioeconomics and increased transparency in both risk assessment and risk management; 6) recognize the ethical rights of humans and ecosystems to an adequate level of protection; 7) determine relevant reference conditions and the proper ecological context for assessments in human‐modified systems; 8) assess risks and benefits to humans and the ecosystem and consider unintended consequences of management actions; 9) avoid excessive conservatism or possible underprotection resulting from sole reliance on binary, numerical benchmarks; and 10) develop adaptive risk‐management and regulatory goals based on ranges of uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Risk assessment
  • Risk management
  • Ecosystem services
  • Climate change
  • Wicked problems
  • Multiple environmental stressors


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