A key on-going challenge for science-based decision making in disaster risk management is to close the gap between available scientific analysis supporting planning and early warning, and how to effectively use scientific information to trigger actions. In many countries, this knowledge is fragmented among different scientific and technical communities (meteorology, hydrology, geophysical, GIS).
The approaches utilising this knowledge are diverse and would be more effective with improved coordination between operational agencies (national disaster management centres, civil protection, public health, transport, economy, security), and across borders. Increasingly countries are instigating national risk assessments, supported by key recommendations within the Hyogo Framework Agreement (HFA). Under developing plans for HFA2, attention will be given to priority areas including policy planning and preparedness phases of disaster risk management.
The European Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), is addressing these issues through the JRC’s support to European Commission services whilst the Met Office, as leading member of the UK Natural Hazards Partnership (NHP) is looking to facilitate the necessary coordination through the NHP. The NHP is made up of seventeen government departments and agencies, trading funds and public sector research establishments and has been established to build on partners’ existing natural hazard science, expertise and services to deliver fully coordinated impact-based natural hazard advice provided for governments and resilience communities across the UK.
The JRC and the Met Office are therefore organising a second seminar which will address two key areas; the use of science in risk management, as input to the planning phase, and to the preparedness phase through Early Warning Systems (EWS). The first seminar in 2012 identified a small number of targeted areas where partnerships for knowledge sharing could benefit national and European level services to give positive impacts for communities at risk.
The aim of this second seminar is to support and improve coordination and consistency between national and regional EWS. As a short-term outcome, the seminar shall identify gaps and further opportunities to better support regional coordination based on information cascade principles, existing national responsibilities and impact-based warning assessments.
Scope and content
- The seminar aims to gather around 50 - 100 inter-disciplinary experts on early detection, forecasting, warning and risk and impact assessment of natural disasters. The target audience includes scientists, practitioners and policy-makers at national, regional and international levels.
- The seminar will cover the progress made since the first workshop, and include sessions addressing risk assessments for policy and improving coordination and consistency of advice from, and interaction between, early warning systems. Specifically, it will examine how global, regional and national processes are changing to harness the latent potential of methodologies to assess disaster risk, and assess how contributors are using the best science advice and interpretation to improve efficiency and effectiveness of resource planning and mobilisation.
- A first outcome should be a list of recommendations for developing disaster risk assessments used in policy decisions at global, regional and national level, working towards common methods and tools at all three levels with details of what is needed to facilitate achieving this.
- The second outcome should be a list of recommendations for early warning information for effective and efficient planning and preparedness, with details of the current gaps, as well as how and by whom this work can be done.
The outcomes of this seminar will be a summary report to be offered as input to the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.
The seminar will be divided into three sessions plus a round table, as follows:
- Session 1: Progress since first workshop
- Session 2: Risk assessments for policy
- Session 3: Improving coordination and consistency of advice from, and interaction between, EWSs
- Round table, conclusions and recommendations