Brussels: 7th European Civil Protection Forum
Two days of events to strengthen international cooperation during emergencies
The 7th European Civil Protection Forum opens today in Brussels: two days of conferences, thematic workshops, laboratories and an exhibition path to learn about different Civil Protection Systems and promote cooperation between countries through multidisciplinary and multi-risk exchange practices.
The European Commission's DG ECHO has organized the event, attended by European Union institutions, representatives of national, regional and local civil protection, representatives of the scientific community, and subjects and bodies specialized in civil protection, relief and emergency willing to bring their contributions to the debate. The aim of this edition is to stimulate networking and mutual understanding among participants, encouraging innovative thinking and creating new ideas in the context of disaster risk management.
The Forum addresses 4 topics that are crucial for policy choices on civil protection in Europe: Strenghten Climate Resilience - Preparing for extreme weather events; Protect our Citizens - Adapting to new risks; Europe in the World - Reaching beyond geographical boundaries; Embrace Innovation & Digitalisation - Pooling our knowledge.
The Department of Civil Protection, as the National Service's focal point, is participating in the Forum with two dedicated exhibition spaces; the first dedicated to the management of some of the most relevant volcanic risk emergencies that have affected Italy (Volcano Island), Spain (Canary Islands), Portugal (Azores Islands) and Iceland (Fagradalsfjall) and the European project Prometheus, coordinated by the National Fire Department, and the second to the PROCULTHER and PROCULTHER-NET projects.
The Department is also participating in three workshops, bringing experience and expertise on the topics of climate change, risk awareness and forest firefighting.
More information on the content and program of the Forum available at the following link: https://civil-protection-humanitarian-aid.ec.europa.eu/partnerships/civil-protection-partners/7th-european-civil-protection-forum_en
“Investing in climate resilience”.This session is scheduled on June 28 and will see the participation of civil protection representatives at both national and local levels, and the participation as a speaker of Mr. Luigi D'Angelo, Director of the Operational Office for the coordination of emergencies at the Civil Protection Department. The workshop aims to flesh out the challenges and bottlenecks that hamper the investment in disaster prevention and climate resilience.This session will be the kickoff for the DG ECHO – World Bank study “Economic for Prevention and Preparedness” that will start in July 2022 to help civil protection authorities with evidence-based information for planning resilience investments under climate change and other disaster scenarios.
“Increase our citizens’ risk awareness in the face of new and emerging risks”. The workshop, that will be held on June 28, will focus on the importance of risk information and communication strategies, an activity that requires constant dedication and in which Civil Protection authorities play an important role. An appropriate understanding of the level of risk and the adoption of self-protective measures is essential for citizens' risk awareness and resilience in the face of disasters. Daniela Di Bucci will intervene on behalf of Italy as Structural Geologist at the Civil Protection Department, and the discussion will present different and interesting insights to facilitate exchange of good practices and foster risk awareness at European level. The discussion will present different and interesting insights around three areas: strategies, planning and governance of risk communication activities, citizens' active engagement, diversification of communication channels
“Looking back on responses to climate-induced disasters”. The workshop will be held on June 29, and has the purpose to create an interacting space where participants can share comments, experiences and recommendations on the topic of climate change effects on forest fire risk, to improve EU countries capability and reach an effective disaster risk management to deal with the new forest fire risk dimension. Six EU panelists will open the workshop. Luigi D'Angelo, Director of the Operational Office for the coordination of emergencies at the Civil Protection Department will represent Italy to share his experience and explain what challenges had been through during the emergencies.
Protect our citizens - Italian Civil Protection Department. Volcanic risk is a widely known phenomenon in several Member States and represents a challenge for the entire European Union. In recent years, several volcanic phenomena have affected Europe, endangering the population and the environment and causing transport disruptions and damage to the economy. The 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano caused huge disruptions to air transportation throughout Europe. Recently, Spain's Cumbre Vieja produced lava flows and volcanic ash fallout that reached populated areas, plantations and infrastructure.
In Italy, active volcanoes include Stromboli and Etna, which show persistent activity. An overview of volcanic risk, risk management strategies, lessons learned and best practices are presented in this exhibition space curated by the Department of Civil Protection. Particular attention is given to the volcanic crisis that began in September 2021 and is still ongoing on the island of Vulcano, in the Aeolian archipelago, and the response of the National Civil Protection. Also, the exhibition space is enriched by: information material, videos and images of the intervention operations carried out, new initiatives and the projects funded by the European
Embrace innovation and digitalization - From PROCULTHER to PROCULTHER-NET; European Capacities for Protecting Cultural Heritage at Risk of Disaster. The exhibition space hosts the PROCULTHER- Protecting Cultural Heritage from the Consequences of Disaster project, coordinated by the Civil Protection Department and co-funded by DG ECHO under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. Active from 2019 to 2021, PROCULTHER has defined a common methodology and shared operational procedures to improve the protection of cultural heritage in emergencies.
Also present is the PROCULTHER-NET- Protecting Cultural Heritage from the Consequences of Disasters-Network project, which will end in June 2023 The PROCULTHER-NET project, which will end in June 2023, will consolidate the results of PROCULTHER and create a dedicated community within the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network, to share experiences focused on cultural heritage protection, within the framework of the European Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network, and involve new stakeholders in this initiative.
The space also hosts the IPA Floods and Fires-EU Support to Flood Prevention and Forest Fires Risk Management in the Western Balkans and Turkey program, which aims to coordinate all institutional actors involved in the implementation of the EU Floods Directive (EUFD) and to strengthen prevention, preparedness and response activities in fighting forest fires at the national and European levels.