Disaster Prevention and Risk Management: identifying the risks faced in Europe
Europeans have faced numerous emergencies in recent years, that have caused devastation to human life, property, cultural heritage, and the environment. Disasters have struck in all parts of the EU. Some have been more extreme than ever before and affected locations that have not experienced these types of threat previously.
Disaster prevention and risk management aims to tackle these risks through better prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. This includes increasing the resilience of infrastructure, ecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic) and society to disasters.
The European Commission publishes the overview of natural and man-made disaster risks that the EU may face to identify and examine trends in the ever-evolving disaster risk landscape. This report supports better understanding of disaster risks facing Europe’s population and informs decision makers on risk management to prevent loss of life and economic, social and environmental impacts.
Economics for Disaster Prevention & Preparedness
Comparing the economic cost of prevention and preparation to the cost of disasters themselves is a powerful tool to encourage more prevention and preparedness measures. Assisted by the World Bank, the European Commission recently carried out a study on Economics for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness to assess the costs and benefits of investments in disaster resilience and their financing at national and EU levels.
Analysing and applying data on disaster risks gives the foundation for planning and decision-making. Everyone involved in disaster risk management from policymakers to practitioners and scientists benefit from this analysis and exchange of data. The Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre, leads the Knowledge Network’s science activities. The Risk Data Hub is one of the main tools for connecting and sharing on risk data management.
Funding for Disaster Risk Management
Knowing how to make best use existing EU funding schemes is also essential to improve disaster risk management at EU, national, regional and local level. Several EU financial schemes, such as the European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund, the Common Agricultural Policy the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Technical Support Instrument and the Digital Europe Programme can provide financial support and are available for the overall improvement of Disaster Risk Management.
Establish instruments for prevention and preparedness
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is complemented by several instruments, including the Peer Review programme. Carried out by an independent team of experts from different countries, peer reviews are an excellent tool for sharing of good practices in disaster risk management. The UCPM also offers prevention and preparedness missions with tailor-made support and advice for a better response to the negative impacts of natural and human-induced hazards. Experts from EU Member and Participating States are deployed upon request from a national government or the United Nations to support authorities across the world.
The UCPM also supports projects leading to improved cross-border cooperation in the area of disaster prevention and preparedness, shared knowledge and expertise, good practices and networking.
A number of frameworks support international cooperation on disaster reduction, prevention and resilience. These are, for example, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which defines targets and priorities areas that aim to reduce disaster risk and losses over the next 15 years, or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which call on countries to work together in a global partnership for people and the planet.
The EU-funded PPRD Programmes - Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-Made Disasters - enhance disaster risk management, enhance cooperation between the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and civil protection actors and strengthen ties between EU neighbourhood countries.
There are two regional PPRD Programmes: