- Date: 7th - 8th October 2010
- Location: ICCG, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice - Italy more info
- Organized by: The events are organised by the International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG – www.iccgov.org), the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM – www.feem.it) and the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (CMCC – www.cmcc.it).
The International Workshop on “Resilience – Harnessing Science for Better Disaster Management” is the first of a series of events dedicated to Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction. The workshop addresses the striking increase in the losses caused by natural, particularly hydro-meteorological disasters and offers the possibility to discuss resilience. The second one (Economics of Natural Disaster – Bridging Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation Efforts and Strategies) will take place in February 2011.
Background and Objectives
Over the past decades, the European Union witnessed a striking increase in the losses caused by natural, particularly hydro-meteorological disasters. Every year large areas of Europe are hit by droughts and/or floods, directly or indirectly affecting many communities and economic sectors. The climate change induced alteration of rainfall patter (form, intensity and timing of rainfall) will have significant effects on water availability and frequency of extreme events, thus causing additional social and economic hardship.
With natural disasters wrecking havoc all over the world, recently in Russia and Pakistan, resilience is gaining momentum both in risk research and policy communities. It has been converted into a symbol for endurance and a staying power, an emblem of sustainable societies. A symbol that we strive to turn into a guidance for better disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies. With some success but still far from convincing.
Many have tried to pin down what the resilience is or should be, and how to measure and promote it. Intuitively, more than anything else, resilience is a knowledge. A proficient understanding of the disaster risk, its driving forces and impacts. Knowing how to prepare, respond and recover from disaster strikes. More than that, resilience is a capacity to deploy that knowledge. To help oneself to get back to the feet after having sustained a hit. To learn how to. Paraphrasing Reinhold Niebuhr’s poignant message, resilience is a wisdom of knowing how to put a stop to natural hazards turning into devastating disasters, and a wisdom of enduring risks that cannot be avoided.
Resilience refers to the capacity of the system to absorb disturbances and reorganize, while undergoing changes to retain essentially the same function, structure, and identity. Resilience co-determine the magnitude of the economic losses and the community ability to respond to, cope with, and recover from significant disruptions. Both »economic« and »social« resilience are malleable concepts with many different and inconsistent definitions. Although important for designing effective disaster risk reduction strategies, a widely accepted operationalisation of the concept is not available.
A number of applied, policy-relevant research projects have been initiated to fill this gap. Some of these projects are listed further below. The scope of the workshop is to bring together the scholars from diverse fields, both natural and social sciences, working on practical policy application of the concept under EU Flood Risk Management Directive, EU Drought policy, and EU Disaster Preparedness and Prevention initiatives.
- A special issue of the Elsevier’s Journal Environmental Modelling and Software (EMS) Journal will be compiled with individual and/or joint contributions by the workshop participants.
- Position Paper containing the key messages coming out of the workshop will be submitted for the special issue of the Journal Environmental Science & Policy on EC research in the fields of natural hazards and disaster risk reduction (NH/DRR).
- The workshop is also meant to strengthen the research network of social scientists working in the field of NH/DRR. A proposal for the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Actions is being developed.
- We also aim at providing input to the 2011 UN ISDR Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Disaster Risk Reduction.
European Projects dealing with resilience, vulnerability and capacity building:
FIM FRAME – Flood Incident Management – A FRAMEwork for improvement.
FREEMAN – Flood REsilience Enhancement and MANagement: a pilot study in Flanders, Germany and Italy.
IMRA – Integrative flood risk governance approach for improvement of risk awareness and increased public participation.
RISK MAP – Improving Flood Risk Maps as a Means to Foster Public Participation and Raising Flood Risk Awareness: Toward Flood Resilient Communities.
SUFRI – Sustainable Strategies of Urban Flood Risk Management with non-structural Measures to cope with the Residual Risk.
UR-FLOOD – Understanding Uncertainty and Risk in communicating about floods.
ENSURE– Enhancing Resilience of Communities and Territories facing Natural and Na-tech hazards.
CLIMWATADAPT– Climate Adaptation: modelling water scenarios and sectoral impacts.
WATER2ADAPT– Resilience enhancement and water demand management for climate change adaptation.
PREEMPT – Policy-relevant assessment of economic and social effects of hydro-meteorological disasters.
MOVE – Methods for the improvement of vulnerability assessment in Europe.
Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore
Tel: +39 041 2700442
Fax: +39 041 2700413