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Results so far : Fifth Thematic Seminar on Setting Risk Objectives in Igoumenitsa, Greece

Date: 01-12-2010 - 02-12-2010
Time: 00:00 - 00:00
Location: Igoumenitsa (Greece)
 

Event

On the 1st and 2nd of December, the 5th thematic seminar for the MiSRaR project will be organized in the city of Igoumenitsa, Greece. During this seminar partners will discuss the topic of setting goals as a start to making a mitigationplan. Setting objectives is the chain between the process of Risk Assessment, as discussed in the first four seminars and the process of Mitigation. Partners will talk about their experiences with this topic and discuss legal norms, specific criteria and the instruments they use in their own country.

  

Review

In this report: 
Introduction
Portugal: flood and forest fire
Approach in Greeche
Forli - Cescena: focus on risk analysis
Cooperation in Tallinn
Gabrovo's fire Mitigation Plan
Fieldstudy
Conclusions

The fifth meeting of the MiSRaR project was organized in Thesprotia, Greece, in the port of Igoumenitsa. The subject of this meeting was the setting of objectives in a mitigation plan. Also in this meeting, local practices were introduced and presented by the project partners, and best practices identified.

In advance of the meeting, the Lead Partner had circulated a questionnaire to all participants, focused on the practices in the field of setting objectives, answer that were to be used in the presentation of each partner. Through the questionnaire we aim to streamline the focus of all partners to the subject enabling a better identification of best practices in each separate field. The questionnaire is attached to this report.

Introduction
The Safety Region South Holland South started out with a short introduction of the subject. Two examples were used to illustrate the content. Setting objectives in relation to the protection level of dykes and the experience with setting objectives for transport safety in “spoorzone” case in Dordrecht. The presentation specifically focused on the last practice.

Setting objectives is the first step after implementing a risk analyses and is the last step before the drafting of a mitigation plan. Some targets are set by national law (in terms of norms). These objectives are not always based on specific risk-analysis, but are approached in a general way. In the case of flood risks, the vulnerability of the area in terms of inhabitants and economical value are specifically taken into account when drafting specific norms. In the Netherlands all relevant stakeholders are involved in the drafting of new forms of norms/ goals that better align with the way transportation and industrial risks are perceived (and given norms)

In the “spoorzone” project, it was not only important to set objectives for risk reduction, but also to use these objectives for economic development in the area.

On the Municipal level, each year, a risk analysis is being implemented and specific goals are being set and/or adjusted. Goals are locally determined, but national laws always have to be taken into account. Many stakeholders are involved and the overall process from first idea to final implementation has taken a total period of 15 years. In order to assess external safety in spatial planning, the region uses a weighing methodology called “the External Safety Ranking System” .

Portugal: flood and forest fire
In Aveiro, the main risks are related to flood and forest fires, This clearly can be seen in the risk diagram drafted in the area, which was drafted using methods borrowed from project partners in the MiSRaR project. The main objectives are aimed at prevention. Public information provision is therefore extremely important. Local knowledge, scientific research and legislation of higher authorities are being integrated and taken into account when implementing urban planning processes. Politicians take decisions on the basis of information provided by the municipal staff. Aveiro indicated that in the future, it will only become more important to cooperate with the many different stakeholders when setting objectives in the area.

In Mirandela objectives have been set on forest fires. The objectives are set every five years and were set for prevention, mitigation and disaster preparedness. The objectives are set by the National Forest Authority and adapted to the specific context by Mirandela. Mirandela has the wish to make the risk maps available to everyone and put them into the local plans in order to get a better management of risk mitigation in cooperation with the different stakeholders and the populace.

Approach in Greeche
The first presentation of Thesprotia focused on the use of Google-Earth when assessing the risks of forest fires. Satellite images are being send to the centra for civil protection in among others the Thesprotia region. Eventhough the system is not ready yet for operational use, because real time meteorological data should be linked to the maps which is not yet the case. For mapping the risks, the system is already in use.

Thesprotia also presented the importance of sustainable spatial planning in touristic areas, Specific attention was given to the development that when tourism is highly profitable, spatial mitigation is often not taken into account which seriously threaten the safety situation of both inhabitants and tourists.
Thesprotia indicated there still is a lot of work to be done in this field and it plans to use the results of this project in the further development of sustainable development policies in the area.

Thesprotia uses mitigation on a pragmatic and practical basis. Smaller risks require small adaptations and limited policies. On the other some larger threats are difficult to manage. Thesprotia specifically presented the influence of living close to the border and a country that is not part of the EU – Albania. Cooperation with the region is difficult and large forest fires that start there are very difficult to mitigate and control once they started.

Mitigation objectives are often being set in relation to one single hazards. Sometimes a multi hazard approach is used, especially when disaster are directly linked like floodings after forest fires. When setting objective the region is using more and more an integral approach, so measures in one part of the area do not create negative effects elsewhere. Greece only recently started with mitigation policies focusing on prevention instead of disaster relief and response. This especially changed rapidly after the great forest fires of 2007. Nowadays, for example, building requirements are set in relation to earthquakes for the whole country. Once funding is also available more attention will be given to implement actual mitigation policies. But it was specifically highlighted that lack of funding seriously hampers the possibilities of effective mitigation in the area.

In practice in the prefecture, when setting specific mitigation objectives, the technical staff of the prefecture plays a central role. Also when it comes to incorporating current guidelines for mitigation policies.

In 2011 new laws will be implemented nationwide, which wil change the policy in Greece drastically. More attention will be given to the relation between prevention and repression of risks and the regions will play a more central role in the division of funding for prevention and mitigation. It is the aim of the prefecture to increase the use of risk assessment and mitigation instrument, hence its participation in the current project.

Forli - Cescena: focus on risk analysis
The province Forli – Cesena does not determine specific mitigation objectives yet, but does implement an extensive risk analysis. Mitigation plans are being drafted by those institutions responsible for the drafting of the risk analysis and who are also responsible for the implementation of policies. There are multiple organizations involved, so different goals are being set by different actors and each risk has its own objectives. The Basin Authority is the only institutions that uses a multiple hazard approach when setting mitigation objectives. They combine flood and earthquake risks, even though mitigation policies focus more on flooding. There are rules for the setting of objectives in the rural areas, but not rules for already existent risks. Objectives are finally chosen by politicians, based on risk-analysis. The objectives are chosen on the basis of risk classification and the return-investment period. Cost-benefit therefore play quite a crucial role.

An important development for Italy would be the involvement of the populace and allowing them to provide input and be part of the decision taking, instead of the current situation in which primarily lobby groups influence the decision taking. The result now is primarily a mix between mitigation policies and political-strategical decisions.

Forli also presented the way volunteers are involved in the Civil protection work. They are involved in disaster relief, but also in the prevention and mitigation. In the region are 400.00 volunteers, who can be put to work within two day of a disaster. The organization of the civil protection is a direct responsibility of the prime minister in Italy.

Cooperation in Tallinn
In Tallinn in 2004 a mitigation plan was drafter for the railroad system. On the basis of this analysis major risks are identified, such as the storage of dangerous goods (biggest threat), infrastructure (gas/railroad), water supply, and oil spills at sea. The different stakeholders and departments implement analysis in order to set specific mitigation objectives. This process is being strengthened through the inclusion of external experts. Both national and European legislation is taken into account when implementing these policies. An analysis has been drafted in order to create a mitigation plan for alternative drinking water supply in case disasters occur (aviation risks) above the drinking water reservoir.

All analysis and mitigation propositions will be decided on by the responsible public governing bodies, with an aim to get the most desirable decision taking. The experiences with this process will be described in the handbook for the MiSRaR project, enabling the sharing of these expertise with the relevant public bodies in Tallinn and elsewhere. Points for improvement primarily concern the need for closer cooperation between all the involved departments and the need to systematically update risk analysis and mitigation plans throughout the future.

Gabrovo's fire Mitigation Plan
In the Gabrovo region objectives are set in the “Regional plan for conducting rescue and emergency recovery activities in case of disasters”. Part of the plan is the Fire Mitigation Plan. Different types of fires are determined. The biggest threats derive from industrial fires and they require mitigation measures to a great extend. The strategic objective of the plan is creating optimal organizational preparedness in case of fires. The conclusion from Gabrovo is that the objectives in the plan are too general and not measurable, however there is a step-by-step action plan for adequate reaction in case of 7 different disaster situations.

Fieldstudy
The first field study during the Thesprotia seminar included a visit to the Natura2000 area. Mitigation measures in this area were introduced by representatives of the Natura Office in Igoumenitsa. Special attention was given to the specific combined approach of nature conservation and agricultural interests.

The second field visit was organized in the port of Igoumenitsa. The port authority was visited, the port police and the port fire department. The port is aiming at a significant enlargement in the upcoming years and has to take into account the risk that might pose to the region. Especially the transport of dangerous materials is a serious issue, especially since the waters around Igoumentisa are difficult to navigate.


Conclusions
The overall conclusion of the seminar is that it is of great importance to translate political priorities to SMART formulated objectives before actually implementing mitigation measures. All types of threats should be taken into account (victims, economic losses, ecological losses, social/political impacts etc.) but also policy objectives towards economic and spatial development. Only when all objectives are clearly identified, measures can be implemented in a cost effective manner. It is important to include all stakeholders at a very early stage when drafting spatial plans. Unfortunately in practice, stakeholders are often only involved when most plans are already in a further stage of development hindering significant alteration of the developed plans. Free access to risk analysis and maps assists spatial development to better take into account safety aspects.


 


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