5th DRMKC annual Seminar

Towards the science pillar of the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network

Banner of 5th DRMKC annual Seminar - Towards the science pillar of the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network


The world is facing significant social, economic and environmental challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which brought profound implications to our societies and the way we organize ourselves to protect people, property and economic interests. The early warning of this era of disasters is arriving almost daily in news reports from across the globe of record-breaking heatwaves, prolonged droughts, forest fires, flooding, sea-level rise and record-setting storms. The succession of record-breaking disasters that have swept the globe during this summer of 2021 are challenging our understanding of extreme events. There have been serious floods in China and Western Europe, heatwaves and drought in North America and wildfires in the sub-Arctic and in multiple other countries around the globe. Managing disasters amid the COVID-19 pandemic is an emerging challenge calling for the establishment of strong alliances, in particular between scientists, practitioners and decision makers to reinforce our capacities to better protect our future.

As recently evidenced in the 2021 IPCC report, under the current landscape scenario, where intensification of the effects of natural and technological hazards due to climate change is combined with new ways of threatening our societies, the role of science, technology and innovations is crucial and needs to be further exploited in a more systematic manner at all stages of the disaster risk management cycle.

Within the Union Civil Protection Mechanism(UCPM), the pivotal role of science is acknowledged in Article 3(e) of Decision No 1313 / 2013 / EU which calls for an increase in “the availability and use of scientific knowledge on disasters”. The role of scientific knowledge is further emphasized through Article 13 establishing the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network.

Within the newly established Knowledge Network, its Science Pillar is proposed to become the collaborative space where the scientific community connects to the operational stakeholders while ensuring that decision-makers benefit from already - existing scientific knowledge and that the scientists benefit from decision - makers’ experience to further develop innovative and tailored technologies. The Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre will become the nucleus of the Knowledge Network’s Science Pillar.

The Fifth annual seminar of the DRMKC takes places in this changing landscape, which implies strengthening its role as a leader of the scientific dialogue for an enhanced civil protection legislation.

The annual seminar will be an opportunity to launch a new phase of dialogue between civil protection authorities and the scientific community and to start building the network together.The scope would be to establish the core community of scientists who will help constructing the knowledge base for supporting DRM activities and actions.

The activities in a first phase will be shaped around the development of multidisciplinary and cross - cutting knowledge, scientific guidance and new technologies for building resilience towards complex transboundary disasters.The seminar will hence address specific activities that can make significant impact in terms of role and mission of the Science Pillar:

  • Making available and better quality risk and loss data, improving risk assessment methodology, better understanding of risk driver and harmonization of risk metrics;
  • Provide scientific advice in implementing the Union Disaster Resilience Goals, measuring and monitoring them;
  • Advising on strategies and policies to counter disastrous situations through the development of resilience scenarios that factor in multiple hazards and cascading effects for improved early warning systems.



Wednesday, 17 November 2021

  1. 09:30 - 10:00
    Opening remarks from Directors of JRC, DG ECHO and Slovenian Presidency

    Introductory remarks from the co-chairs of the Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre, the Joint Research Centre and DG European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, as well as the Slovenian Presidency, contextualizing the Annual Seminar in the roadmap to implement the Civil Protection legislation.


  2. 10:00 - 11:15
    SESSION 1: Looking back: 5 years of knowledge management

    The DRMKC was launched in 2015 and has fueled interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral and transnational dialogue. The many partners of the DRMKC have contributed to and benefited from the knowledge shared and created through the Knowledge Centre, for example through more integrated research, more coherent policy, and better analysis for operations. This session will look back at what has been achieved, and which challenges are remaining.


  3. 11:15 - 11:30
  4. 11:30 - 12:45
    SESSION 2: Research Gap: compound, cascading and concurrent hazardous events

    Dealing with compound, cascading and concurrent hazardous events remains challenging. In this session, we review the current understanding and recent research findings, with a specific focus on good practices to include them in national risk assessments. The session will also open a dialogue on approaches for managing compound disaster risks.


  5. 12:45 - 14:15
    Lunch Break
  6. 14:15 - 17:00
    SESSION 3: Science for Scenario Building

    The new civil protection legislation calls for the development of scenarios. This session will look at the science behind scenarios, reviewing existing methodologies and processes, and discussing uncertainty on emerging and future risks. Two different types of disaster scenarios will be addressed: 1) Foresight scenarios for prevention which are of concern for long-term views of sustainable development and 2) Operational scenarios for preparedness which consider disaster events, which trigger severe, acute impacts and human, physical, economic, and or environmental loss.



Thursday, 18 November 2021

  1. 09:00 - 10:45
    SESSION 4: Science for Union Disaster Resilience Goals

    The new civil protection legislation calls for the development of Union Disaster Resilience Goals. In the well-defined policy context of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, we will discuss the available science and evidence, as well as lessons learned from existing disaster resilience frameworks, systems and tools.


  2. 10:45 - 11:00
  3. 11:00 - 12:30
    SESSION 5: Co-designing the Science Pillar - Polling (slido)

    The seminar will conclude with an interactive session to co-design the priority actions for the Science Pillar of the Knowledge Network. It is an opportunity for the Member States, Participating States and other stakeholders of the Knowledge Centre to shape the Science Pillar. We will listen to what you think will make a difference in the world of science for disaster risk management, and how the DRMKC and Science Pillar can contribute.


  4. 12:30 - 13:00
    Conclusion and Outlook

    Wrap-up from moderators of the 5 sessions.



Thursday, 18 November 2021 - closed session, only for invited Member States representatives

  1. 14:00 - 16:00
    Preparatory Working Group 7th Meeting

    Dedicated discussion on the governance of the Science pillar (only with invited representatives of the MS/PS) within the framework of Preparatory Working Group of the UCPM Knowledge Network.



Contact the organizing team

For any request about the seminar please contact the organizing team at: