Enhancing community resilience against disasters in the Mediterranean: Civil Protection programme workshop

What can communities do for themselves and how can they maintain basic functions and structures during a disaster and then recover after the event? This will be the focus of a workshop on “Communities Resilience During and After Disasters” to be organised by the EU-funded PPRD South Programme in Madrid from 12 to 15 September 2011.
A press release said more than 40 experts working in the National Civil Protection Authorities, International Organizations and NGOs in 13 Mediterranean and Balkan Programme Partner Countries would gather in Spain for the four-day workshop.
The aim of the workshop is to introduce and discuss a new approach to cope with disaster risk, based on the concept of community resilience. With reference to disastrous events, community resilience is the capacity of groups of people living in the same area and sharing the same risks to resist, absorb, and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner. As an example, Japanese and Californian cities are considered more earthquake resilient than Haitian or Italian cities, as they reported few damages and victims following very strong earthquakes due to, among other things, enforced effective risk compliant building regulations, efficient emergency management plans and resistant critical infrastructures.
During the four-day PPRD South workshop, participants will review and analyse the different aspects of resilience that can enhance a community’s ability to respond and recover from disasters, mostly by means of its own resources.
How can a community become resilient? The project says the lesson to be learned is:
·          establishing mechanisms for community participation in decision making;
·          carrying out community risk assessment to provide a comprehensive picture of all major hazards and risks facing the community and preparing consistent community disaster plans;
·          helping the population to better understand risks through education, public awareness, and information sharing;
·          establishing consistent risk management and vulnerability reduction policies covering, and setting up civil protection volunteers’ networks that can help in preparing and implementing emergency plans.
The €5 million PPRD South Programme – which runs for three years and is managed by a consortium led by the Italian Civil Protection Department together with the French, Algerian, Egyptian Civil Protection Authorities and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) – is also organising training workshops dealing with risks in the region such as wild fires, technological disasters, floods, earthquakes, epidemics and drought, among others.  (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release
PPRD South – fiche and news  
PPRD South – website

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