DRMKC - Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre
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7th DRMKC Annual Seminar

Moving knowledge into action: a Roadmap to Disaster Resilience

7th DRMKC annual Seminar - Moving knowledge into action: a roadmap to Disaster Resilience - 21 November 2023

About the event


Disasters, whether natural or man-made, can have devastating impacts on communities, economies, and the environment. In recent years, notwithstanding global efforts on disaster risk management, the frequency and severity of disasters have increased, underscoring the need for effective disaster resilience strategies.

The European Commission recognizes the importance of building resilience at local, national and EU levels to minimize the adverse effects of disasters and promote sustainable development. In the area of civil protection, the newly adopted Union disaster resilience goals represent one of the main instruments aimed at strengthening the capacity of the EU and the UCPM participating countries to anticipate and withstand the effects of future major disasters and emergencies. Together with the Sendai Framework and the EU strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change and the EU Climate Law, these policy frameworks are contributing to a common objective to increase European preparedness to disasters and the future impacts of climate change.

The Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre, as the Science Pillar of the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network, sets out to facilitate synergies across the disaster risk management and climate change communities to foster better risk awareness and prevention and enhanced disaster resilience.

The 7th annual seminar will move beyond alarming statements on disasters severity, climate extremes and the future disaster scenarios and will shift the attention to action and knowledge that would help advance the EU resilience agenda, including the Union disaster resilience goals. The aim of the annual seminar is to look into how to be better prepared to face the changing risk landscape and increase resilience at local, national and EU levels, through disaster risk management governance, early warning systems and effective risk communication.

The aim of this year’s DRMKC Annual Seminar, organised in the framework of the Science pillar of the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network, is to bring different voices from the Commission’s policy and research directorates, national authorities and other stakeholders to reflect on how to define the pathways to a more resilient EU especially in relation to climate and disaster risks. With scientists and practitioners, we will co-design solutions and identify collaborative approaches towards implementing the EU’s disaster resilience agenda, including the Union Disaster Resilience Goals, from planning and adaptation for climate resilient cities and regions, to areas where better coordination among Commission directorates and between the scientific and operational actors is needed, to vulnerability assessments, horizon scanning and strategic foresight scenarios.



Infografics 7 annual seminar
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Infographic - 7th DRMKC annual Seminar: OUTCOMES
(1.00 MB - PDF)


Report of 7th DRMKC annual Seminar
(1.16 MB - PDF)



Video is available here


Presentations are available here



Tuesday, 21 November 2023

  1. 08:30 - 09:00
    Registration & Welcome Coffee
  2. 09:00 - 09:30
    Welcome & Opening Remarks

    Opening remarks from Directors of JRC, DG ECHO and Spanish Presidency


  3. 09:30 - 10:30
    Scene setting: Disaster resilience as a new compass for EU policies

    Purpose /question for the session:
    The summer of 2023 was a summer of extreme and record-breaking disasters – from devastating fires to catastrophic floods. And unfortunately, this summer is a taste of things to come, as climate scientists warn us. In addition to climate change, the worsening global security situation presents growing dangers to European society, including the critical infrastructure that sustains it. Being better prepared to face this new reality is a must, but it is not sufficient. Strengthening prevention and resilience is our sustainable solution for the long term. In the area of European civil protection, we have a clear common compass with the Union disaster resilience goals. But we need to work on all fronts and beyond civil protection to address the root causes of disasters. We need to break “silos” of individual countries and sectors, and act together to increase our resilience.

    With this in mind, the first session of the Annual Seminar will set the scene by bringing in different perspectives to discuss pathways to more resilient Europe. It will seek to answer questions, such as:

    • How can the EU take disaster resilience forward?
    • What role can science and research play in Europe’s pathways to resilience?
    • What lessons can we learn from the international experience?


  4. 10:30 - 11:00
    Coffee Break
  5. 11:00 - 12:30
    Discussion panel: Towards more robust risk assessments processes

    Purpose /question for the session:
    This session will take the form of a dialogue on strengthening assessments of disaster risks and vulnerabilities for better anticipation including assessment of both natural and man-made hazards. New methods for multi-hazard risk assessment and innovative approaches will be discussed for solution-driven and adaptive risk assessments. Examples of successful initiatives that addressed multi-hazard risk assessment and impacts of climate change will be presented together with key lessons learned and best practices that can be applied to future assessments.

    The panel discussion will be guided by the following key topics:

    • What Are the Current Challenges?
    • What New Data and Technologies Are Available?
    • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
    • Perspective from regional/Local authorities
    • Policy and Decision-Making
    • Emerging Trends and Future Directions


  6. 12:30 - 14:00
    Lunch break
  7. 14:00 - 16:15
    Participatory workshop sessions in parallel
  8. Workshop 1: PreparEU - Effective risk communication for resilient societies

    Purpose /question for the workshop:
    The workshop will invite participants to identify the ingredients of a successful risk communication approach, effective in enabling resilient societies.

    Union Disaster Resilience Goal number 2 is: “Prepare: increasing risk awareness and preparedness of the population”. Under this goal, the European Commission wishes to support Member States to increase the overall level of risk awareness among the population, improve public access to disaster risk information in a user-friendly and accessible format, increase the adoption of risk prevention and preparedness measures and enhance the culture of risk prevention.

    The workshop will invite participants to reflect on how to improve risk communication as a process.

    • What does a successful risk communication approach need to include and provide so that is it effective in enabling resilient societies?
    • How to strengthen the role of public authorities in informing the citizens in a de-escalating or non-alarmist manner, while reminding them that they also have a role to play?

    The workshop will include disaster prevention and preparedness awareness experiences from MS and from projects,examples of European campaigns in the field of risk awareness. The outcome would be suggestions for improved dialogue and cooperation, towards a pan-European risk awareness programme for disaster resilience (‘preparEU’).


  9. Workshop 2: Early Warning for all Europeans: Fostering a common European approach to early warning systems to reach all Europeans

    Purpose /question for the workshop:
    The future challenges spur us to be more ambitious on our common approach to disaster risk management (DRM) and call for increased exchanges and coordination among regional, national and local stakeholders. The European Commission recently adopted the Disaster Resilience Goals that establish 5 common objectives to boost disaster resilience in civil protection. Among them, Goal 3 is dedicated to enhancing early warnings in the European Union (EU).

    Early warning systems (EWS) are critical in order to take timely and appropriate actions to minimize the impacts of disasters. To do so, EWS rely on 4 interrelated key elements: (1) disaster risk knowledge; (2) detection, monitoring, analysis and forecasting of the hazards and possible impacts; (3) dissemination and communication of actionable warnings; and (4) preparedness at all levels to respond to the warnings received. With Disaster Resilience Goal 3, the European Commission intends to improve forecasting, detection and monitoring capability and enhance public warning systems.

    Member States bear the primary responsibility for EWS, but the European Commission under the UCPM plays an important role in supporting and strengthening their efforts. Today, as the impact of climate change becomes even more apparent, the European Commission and the Member States need to step forward together to ensure that all EU citizens are reached by a reliable and timely alert in line with the Early Warnings for All initiative (EW4All) launched by the United Nations.

    In the context of the EW4All, the purpose of this workshop session is to bring together Member States, scientists, and practitioners working on EWS to discuss a common European approach to early warning systems and address the following question: What are the key priorities to make a comprehensive and effective EWS for all Europeans? Based on the Commission’s recommendations on the Disaster Resilience Goals, the following thematic areas were identified as key topics for this discussion:

    • Improving dissemination and communication of alerts to the public including vulnerable groups.
    • Improving detection and monitoring functions.


  10. Workshop 3: DRM Governance for better resilience

    Purpose /question for the workshop:
    This session will focus on the governance of emergency and systemic risks, exploring how science could contribute to adapt DRM systems to these new challenges.

    Natural and human-induced hazards and related disasters are affecting Europe more frequently and with greater magnitude and complexity. In recent years, European countries have had to cope with multiple emergencies, often triggered by emerging and systemic risks. In such context of a changing risk landscape, the need for better governance for disaster risk management and reduction is a priority both at the EU level and worldwide, as recently highlighted within the Mid-Term review of the Sendai Framework.

    Building upon the results of the Spanish Presidency Workshop held in Aranjuez on 05-06 July 2023, this session will discuss how to identify concrete-oriented resilience actions, following the clear need to focus more on prevention, improve data collection, strengthen the science-policy interface, and develop a whole of society resilient approach.


  11. 16:15 - 16:45
    Coffee break
  12. 16:45 - 17:45
    Final Open Discussion panel: Future perspectives and foresight practices and tools to foster disaster resilience

    Purpose /question for the session:
    This final session will collect the insights from the three workshops through elevator speeches to guide the panel discussion on Embedding foresight principles into disaster resilience. Interactive discussion with the audience will be highly promoted.

    As indicated in the Disaster Resilience Goals, anticipation is one of the key areas to effectively manage disaster risks, including the identification and understanding of new and emerging risks, their potential impacts and scenario-building capabilities. Foresight practices and tools have great potential in capturing the increasing complexity of the risk landscape including systematic risk and high impact low probability risks.

    Foresight can help to improve resilience and agility of an organisation. It is an essential tool to support risk management and preparedness through better integration into DRM governance. It also contributes to raising awareness on key areas of change in the future and provide a common ground for reflecting on EU policies with a systemic and forward-looking approach.

    Some of the questions that will guide the discussion:

    • How concretely foresight can help build and strengthen DRM resilience and can it be integrated into Risk Analysis and Risk Management processes?
    • Which are the main insights on future risks identified in recent foresight studies?
    • How to foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory risk culture in the EU?
    • How to create and maintain creative ways of thinking and generate anticipatory knowledge?


  13. 17:45 - 18:00
    Closing remarks
  14. 18:00 - 19:00


Royal Library of Belgium (KBR)
Boulevard l’Empereur 2
Brussels 1000, Belgium




The maximum number of participants has been reached. Registration for in person attendance is closed.

Please note that there is also the possibility to follow the main sessions through webstreaming (see below section).


Previous editions

The link to the previous DRMKC Annual Seminars is:



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