Launch of the Knowledge Network
The Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network launched on 7 December 2021 with a day of events bringing together civil protection and disaster management policy-makers and practitioners.
The 7th of December was a big day for the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network. 'Knowledge Network Day' saw a series of activities to get the Network formally underway and bring together civil protection and disaster management practitioners to exchange their experiences and knowledge.
The day kicked off with the inaugural meeting of the Knowledge Network Board. Composed of representatives of UCPM Member States, the Board will set the strategic objectives of the Network and shape its priorities. With the set-up of the Board and soon its Pillar Working Groups, the Knowledge Network has its governance structure firmly in place.
Three panel discussions then centred around the Knowledge Network’s motto of ‘Connect. Share. Grow.’ across capacity development and science.
A high-level panel session hosted by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič shared insights and perspectives on knowledge in disaster prevention, preparedness and response and the importance of cooperation in knowledge development and exchange.
Commissioner Lenarčič said: “Recent disasters raised a critical question. How to be better prepared in order to respond to disasters? And how to be better informed in order to prevent future shocks? The answer is knowledge. Because knowledge is power. But knowledge is power only when it is shared. With this in mind, we established the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network.”
Working-level sessions then focused on ways to ‘connect, share and grow’ by examining how to translate knowledge gained on the ground into better preparedness and improving the science-policy interface in disaster management.
The session “Knowledge in the Management of Crises: skills, good practices, lessons learnt and evidence-based practices for a stronger Union Civil Protection Mechanism” was focused on the use of knowledge gained during operations, for continuous improvements in preparedness and response.
Using the 2021 forest fires in southeast Europe as a case study, participants shared their own experiences of dealing with forest fires, both in preparedness and prevention, and in learning from the response.
Rounding off the day was “Looking to the Future, Acting in the Present: Science in support of prevention, preparedness and resilience in a changing risk landscape”, a session on the use of research and innovation in prevention, preparedness and resilience against current crises and future risks.
Participants in the day reflected that the Knowledge Network gives an additional opportunity for sharing of knowledge and expertise.
“In my view, today's success is based on the conjunction of three levels: the strategic, with the Board kick-off, the tactical, with the high-level session, and the operational, with the pooling of experts from the two pillars in the working-level sessions. The Knowledge Network is a tangible reality whose usefulness has been highlighted throughout the day”, says Knowledge Network Day participant Silvia Negro Alousque, Directorate General for Civil Protection and Emergencies, Ministry of Interior, Spain.
© EU 2021 (Photos by Wycher Van Vliet)