Goals & Guiding Principles
The International Volcano Monitoring Fund has four primary goals:
- to provide geophysical and geochemical instrumentation to scientists, engineers, and technicians in developing countries in support of efforts to monitor the activity levels and environmental impacts of potentially dangerous volcanoes.
- to train scientists, engineers, and technicians in developing countries in the operation and maintenance of instrumentation used to monitor potentially dangerous volcanoes.
- to educate the public in developing countries about the environmental hazards associated with volcanic activity and the need to continuously monitor potentially dangerous volcanoes.
- to develop novel volcano monitoring methods by conducting scientific research on volcanoes.
In working to achieve our mission and objectives, we follow fourteen guiding principles:
- All people have the right to live, work, learn, and play in a safe and healthy environment without fear of volcanic eruptions.
- All people have the right to know about past eruptions from nearby volcanoes, the potential for future eruptions, and what might happen during a future eruption.
- All potentially active volcanoes should be adequately monitored with modern scientific equipment irrespective of the country in which they are located.
- Volcano monitoring networks must be established long before an eruption or period of activity begins.
- Volcano monitoring programs are useful only if:
- the monitoring network is adequately operated and maintained
- the retrieved data is properly interpreted in a timely manner
- the volcano monitoring data is effectively communicated to public safety officials
- public safety officials act on this information in a responsible and timely fashion.
- Lack of funding is the primary problem for volcano monitoring in developing countries; sufficient personnel, brainpower, and desire already exist in these countries.
- It is better to prevent volcanic disasters through appropriate volcano monitoring, public education, and eruption preparedness than to passively accept volcanic eruptions as “Acts of Nature.”
- It is simply unacceptable to forgo an adequate volcano monitoring program, wait for an eruption to occur, risk a volcanic disaster, and then focus on post-eruption cleanup and reconstruction.
- Government officials must fulfill their legal and moral obligations to protect the public from the threats to life and property that arise from volcanic eruptions.
- The achievement of adequate monitoring programs at all of the world’s potentially active volcanoes will be hard-won and require long-term commitments of time, energy, and resources.
- Some volcanic eruptions are low frequency, high consequence events and these require the greatest degree of vigilance.
- Request-driven response: projects will be developed through consultation with the countries and their own proposals to address needs.
- Involve all levels of government from the top levels to the local level.
- Use existing infrastructure and expertise and build capacity where needed