Exciting opportunities for GEM’s possible support to understanding risk in South Eastern Europe (SEE) is one of the outcomes of the 31st DPPI (Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative) SEE Regional Meeting held in Sarajevo on November 3-4, 2015. The Italian Department for Civil Protection (DPC) facilitated GEM’s participation at this important meeting.
The DPPI was established in 2000 by the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe in an effort to contribute to the development of a cohesive regional strategy for disaster preparedness and prevention for its member States. Following the directions of the Sendai Framework, as well as the requirements for EU membership, risk assessment has become increasingly important in the region and a priority for most of the DPPI countries in which there is still a need for better understanding of disaster risk.
The presentation of GEM, its resources and work in regions around the world was seen as a potentially valuable contribution to satisfying the SEE region’s needs for better risk understanding. Three specific GEM-supported activities were discussed:
- Enhancing local capacities through regional training workshops on risk assessment
- Implementation of a pilot project on incorporation of new hazard and risk information in Seismic Codes for compliance with EU regulations, and
- Implementation of a pilot project on a multi-hazard approach to provide integrated Flood-Earthquake risk assessments.
International organizations such as the UNDP Regional Office, UN-OCHA, the German Initiative for Exchange of Experts in Civil Protection and the UNDP Office for Bosnia and Herzegovina responded positively to the possibility of collaboration with GEM in the region, with the DPPI Secretariat expressing their willingness to coordinate such activities. SEE member countries Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, also inquired about collaboration and sponsorship.
Meanwhile, concrete steps are already being taken. In close coordination with the International Center on Environmental Monitoring (CIMA) Foundation, in Italy, and the Italian Department for Civil Protection, GEM is preparing a proposal for a pilot project on integrated flood and earthquake risk assessment in the South Eastern Europe region. After consultation with key partners, the proposal will be submitted to the EU, for a funding call which is anticipated in early in 2016.