Bertolaso at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in GenevaJune 17, 2009
Guido Bertolaso speaks at the International Conference Centre in Geneva about management of the Abruzzo earthquake.
The second Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction runs from the 16th to the 19th of this month, with Government representatives, non-government and international organisations, experts and academics sharing their experiences of how to tackle emergency situations and how to prevent them.
The speech by the Head of the Civil Protection, entitled "Recovery Status Report from Italy EQ of April 2009", is part of the "Special Event" organised in collaboration with the International Recovery Platform and the International Labour Organisation.
Using the earthquake on 6 April as his example, Bertolaso explains the operative methods of the Italian Civil Protection National Service: activity during the first 20 days, from setting up tent camps in the hours immediately after the quake, organisation in the first 15 days of 7 Mixed Operations Centres, later to become eight, coordinating assistance for over 33,000 people housed in 104 sheltered areas with over 4,000 tents, 52 field kitchens and 35 Advanced Medical Trailers, assistance for more than 31,000 citizens housed in hotels and private houses in Teramo, Pescara, Chieti and Ascoli Piceno.
Activity that coordinated all civil protection operations, from implementation of safety measures for damaged buildings, churches and monuments, including the Church of San Bernardino and the Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio, stability checks by teams made up of the Fire Service, technicians from the Superintendency and experts from Universities and Research Institutes to check the state of damaged buildings and monuments of historical and artistic value.
His speech also covers legal aspects, from the first funds released and initiatives to finance rebuilding in areas hit by the earthquake with the Italian legislative decree “Abruzzo” plus subsequent ordinances, right through to the decision to move the G8 from the Maddalena to L’Aquila.
Psychological and social support offered in the camps is highlighted, with the work of around 100 experts and reopening of field schools and university lessons from 16 April.
Finally, just 40 days after the quake, measures taken by the Civil Protection make it possible to start productive discussion regarding the innovative project Piano Case, an experimental workshop and pilot project on both national and international levels, allowing, 13,000 people to receive new homes built using state-of-the-art anti-seismic technology, not temporary structures like prefabs, while they wait for rebuilding to be completed.
What is the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction?
The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is part of the “United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction”, the O.N.U. secretariat that within the United Nations coordinates measures taken to define mechanisms for the reduction of risks and therefore of emergencies.
In 2002, a group was set up around the International Strategy for Disaster reduction that meets periodically to enable global sharing of a strategy to be followed to reduce risks increasingly caused by climate change, to start up closer continuative relations between civil protection national systems and international organisations, providing prompt effective response to requests for help. The objective therefore is to dialogue about models used, to build and share a common language in the field of civil protection and by so doing to strengthen coordination of catastrophe management and the prevention of risk situations.
The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is one of the most important international meetings for programming measures to be taken, in order to accelerate their implementation, redressing the gaps between participating countries that exist in this sector.
This year 1500 representatives and leaders from more than 150 countries are expected in Geneva, who will draw up a schedule of activity for the next two years.
This intense year of debate on the environment will close with the conference on climate change to be held in December in Copenhagen.
Interview with the BBC
Again as part of this initiative, yesterday 16 June, Guido Bertolaso took part in the debate on the BBC about the management of emergencies and how to prevent them, if indeed there are methods today that can reduce the impact of risks on environmental changes.
The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction -UNISDR- worked with the BBC on a programme that saw Guido Bertolaso taking part as an expert in the sector.
The programme will be shown over the weekend at 07.10 am, 3.10 and 7.10 pm on 4/7, and at 00.10 and 07.10 am and 3.10 pm on 5/7, GMT.
This debate will be seen by 80 million people worldwide. The interviews are by Nik Gowing, from BBC World.
The other guests interviewed include Arjun Katoch from the Emergency Services Branch UN OCHA in Geneva, Philippine Senator Loren Legarda, possible candidate as president of the ISDR and Edward Borodzicz, professor of “Risk Management” at Portsmouth Business School.