EU emergency response projects work together to optimise results
The EU-funded civil protection programme (PPRD South) has presented the outcomes of four collaborative actions carried out with Services and Applications for Emergency Response (SAFER), another EU-funded project, at a meeting of SAFER held in Brussels earlier this month.
SAFER is an EU funded research project aimed to reinforce the European capacity to respond to emergency situations linked to meteorological and geophysical hazards – fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides – and to humanitarian crisis. The main goal of the project to is to implement an operational Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Emergency Response Service, which will provide, to European civil protections and global humanitarian crisis actors, timely and high quality cartographic information products derived from satellite observations.
The collaboration between the two programmes was launched in June 2010 when representatives from the Algerian and the Turkish Civil Protection departments took part in a meeting of the SAFER External Users Advisory Committee (EUAC). Based on the positive results of this first action, PPRD South and SAFER identified a set of satellite based information services to be made available to the PPRD South Partner Countries.
In November 2010 during the PPRD South participation in the TEREX simulation exercise in Tuscany, a sample of the SAFER information products was illustrated along with their possible uses. In January 2011, PPRD South facilitated the participation of representatives from Turkey, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia in a second meeting of the SAFER External Users Advisory Committee (EUAC). Finally during the PPRD South training workshop on “New technologies in Civil Protection” held in Marseille (France) on 30 May-2 June 2011 a full day was dedicated to illustrate some concrete use cases of the GMES Emergency Response Services such as the 2009 wildfires in Greece.
During the 5th PPRD South National Correspondent meeting held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 13 June 2011, National Correspondents showed appreciation for the synergies developed among PPRD South and SAFER, and ranked the use of satellite images in disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities as one of the top international cooperation priorities in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
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)