Second Scientific Seminar of the Knowledge Centre for Disaster Risk Management: Science for Policy and Operations

9-10 March 2017, Rome, Italy


The seminar had 

  • covered progress made by the DRMKC since its launch in September 2015
  • gathered early input to the upcoming 2018-2019 DRMKC Action Plan 
  • addressed challenges for policy and science in Disaster Risk Reduction, including DRM capabilities assessment and Sendai monitoring framework 
  • drew concrete conclusions to feed into the upcoming Global Platform (Cancun, Mexico, May 2017)

The seminar gathered around 100 inter-disciplinary experts on disaster management, early detection, forecasting, warning and risk assessment of natural and man-made disasters, in both fields of civil protection and humanitarian aid. The target audience included scientists, practitioners and policy -makers at national, regional and international levels, as well as first responders, and private sector representatives.


Logo Second Annual Meeting of DRMKC


  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 - Session 1

    Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre - policy contexts and progress

  • Session 1: Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre - policy contexts and progress

    Chaired by D. Chirondojan - European Commission (DG JRC)

  • A. Bower- European Commission (DG ECHO)
    The EU policy context around DRM has evolved considerably in recent years: the Union Civil Protection Mechanism has strengthened European cooperation and solidarity across the DRM cycle, from prevention to preparedness and recovery. Science and knowledge are important contributors to European actions, from preventive measures such as risk assessments to the running of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre for disaster preparedness and response. Developing a risk informed approach is an important cross-cutting contribution to many EU policies, such as Climate Change Adaptation. The Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on climate and other international agreements provide a strong global policy momentum in that context.
  • A. Michelini- Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (IT)
    The ARISTOTLE consortium was awarded the European Commission s DG ECHO Pilot project in the area of Early Warning System for natural disasters (OJ 2015 S/154-283349). The tender articulates the needs and expectations of DG ECHO in respect of the provision of multi-hazard advice to ERCC in Brussels. That is, filling the gap in knowledge that exists in the first 3 hours immediately after an event that has the potential to require a country to call on international help and provision of longer term advice following an emergency. Severe weather, floods, volcanos, earthquakes and tsunamis are the hazards used by the consortium in the pilot.
  • P. Quevauviller- European Commission (DG HOME)
    The "Community of Users on Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies" is an initiative launched by the European Commission (DG HOME) to develop a platform of exchanges among different actors of different branches of security and crisis management areas. This was primarily based on a mapping of policies and research projects from the 7th Framework Programme, which highlighted the scientific and technological challenges of key related policies and their possible matching by research projects and which paved the way for improving links among Horizon2020, capacity-building, training, industrial developments and policy implementation. This forum of exchanges is closely linked and contributes to DRMKC objectives regarding synergy building and access to information.
  • K. Poljansek- European Commission (DG JRC)
    Understanding disaster risk to manage it is one of the main focus of Sendai Framework. The same aim is implemented also in the new European Commission initiative, named Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre DRMKC. Providing the reviews of the scientific solutions and its practical use in various areas of DRM in Europe, as well as how to communicate disaster risk and support the science- policy and science-operation interface, is are the key objectives of the new multi-author report edited by DRMKC, launched at the event. The target readers consist of well-informed practitioners and policy makers, seeking to understand the scientific issues of relevance to their work, specifically civil protection operations and disaster risk policy
  • M. Marin Ferrer- European Commission (DG JRC)
    The DRMKC Support System consists of on-demand provision (days, months or years) of scientific and technical advices, recommendations, strategies, guidelines or datasets and tools in support to participating countries of the Union of Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) activities in identified areas of need (e.g. risk assessment methodology and tools, risk scenario development, disaster risk modelling, etc.). Since the 1st March 2016, when the DRMKC Support System was launched, 4 support services have been activated and 3 workshops will be organised by the end of March 2017 to provide Member States with technical and scientific advices and solutions in the field of disaster risk management. In thispresentation, all the key outcomes generated by the different activities are summarised.
  • Session 2: Scientific support for Disaster Risk Management - instruments and tools

    Chaired by A. Broad - Met Office (UK)

  • A. Bower- European Commission (DG ECHO)
    An important component of disaster risk management is the understanding of disaster risks, through increased knowledge of risks, better risk awareness and more robust evidence-based decision-making. Risk assessments, both at EU level and in global initiatives, contribute to a risk-informed approach, and rely on the development of scientific tools and instruments. This intervention will present how understanding risk is indeed a policy priority, examples of instruments at our disposal, and potential policy needs going forward.
  • A. Necci- European Commission (DG JRC)
    Major accidents at industrial plants, which are triggered by natural hazards and result in the release of hazardous materials, can have serious consequences on the population, the environment, and the economy. Adequate preparedness and emergency planning are needed to prevent these so-called Natech accidents and to mitigate their consequences. For this reason, Natech-prone areas should be identified and Natech risks must be assessed in a systematic way. Following calls by government, the JRC has developed the RAPID-N tool for rapid Natech risk assessment and mapping. This presentation will introduce the tool and demonstrate its application with a case study.
  • A. Annunziato- European Commission (DG JRC)
    A UN mission of UNDAC experts conducted an in-depth mission in Iraq in early April 2016 to assess the situation of the Mosul Dam. JRC, on request of the DG-ECHO, performed several analyses to support the UNDAC mission: dynamic hydraulic simulations starting from various constant percentages of destruction of the dam and allowing the corresponding quantity of water supposing the lake to be at its highest level to flow downslope for periods of 12 days. The analyses were instrumental in convincing the Iraqi government to take seriously into account the potential for this very devastating event and pushed to start preparation plans for a large humanitarian problem.
  • T. Vainio- Ministry of the Interior (FI)
    There are a lot of scientific solutions that could help to plan or execute rescue activities. However, this is very difficult if there is not a working interaction between scientists and practitioners. In order to achieve this interaction there has to be clear vision how this could be done in systematic way. From a point of view of civil protection this means that everything starts from the risk asses sment. You have to focus on the risks that might endanger the critical infrastructure i.e. the vital functions to society. Another point is scientific sophistication versus practical need. There might be very sophisticated systems that don't meet the practical needs. The crucial question is how to establish working interaction between scientists and practitioners.
  • The Global Earthquake Model Foundation is a non-profit, Public/Private partnership with twin goals to provide:
    - models of earthquakes and their consequences
    - tools and data to advance the science of seismic risk assessment
    GEM runs international collaborative projects with leading experts to compile global datasets
    GEM also collaborates with local experts to produce regional models of seismic risk
    GEM also develops open source software tools for collecting data, building models and performing analyses.
  • L. Rossi- CIMA (IT)
    Innovation and technologies for impact assessment of disasters facilitate and support disaster managers and policy makers in using reliable disaster risk information as a base of the decision making process. The multi-hazard risk assessment platform Rasor will be presented as a technological tools that combines an adeguate e-infrastructure, that allow also real-time risk assessment, and advanced methodologies for multi-hazard risk assessment. Real study cases using multiple datasets of Earth Observation and in-situ data, will be presented. The use of the platform for real-time risk assessment and for supporting cost-benefit analysis will be demonstrated.
  • M. Hailwood- State Institute for Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation Baden-W rttemberg (DE)
    With the inclusion of man-made hazards in the scope of the Sendai Framework, industrial risk management has achieved a place within the field of disaster risk management. The management of industrial disasters also known as major accidents, or major chemical accidents has developed a sophisticated body of science, policies, regulations and technologies over the past half century. One of the main differences between the fields of major chemical accidents and majority of the other natural and humanitarian disasters is the context within which the risks are viewed. This contribution addresses some of the aspects which need to be considered in contributing to the Sendai Framework.
  • Session 2: Scientific support for Disaster Risk Management - instruments and tools

    Chaired by Ian Clark - European Commission (DG JRC)

  • O. Imperiali- European Commission (DG ECHO)
    When disasters strike sound disaster management saves lives. At EU-level, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism UCPM was established in 2001 to better prevent, prepare for and respond to sudden-onset disasters around the globe. At the core of this Mechanism lies the Emergency Response Coordination Centre ERCC which is the 24/7 coordination hub linking the Participating states to the Mechanism, the affected country and the deployed field experts. Establishing common situational awareness in times of emergency and coordinating the EU disaster response operations are core responsibilities of the centre. In order to fulfil this role, it must gather real-time scientific information in a timely manner and produce comprehensive knowledge for the response planning. Several detection- and alert systems, an analytical and scientific team as well as a strong partnership with numerous scientific institutes ARISTOTLE across the continent build the foundation of the ERCC's analytical capacity.
  • A. Broad- Met Office (UK)
    Decision making to inform the deployment or stand by mode of resources for DRM is increasingly supported by integrating forecast based information with situational awareness information. The efficiency and effectiveness of resource mobilisation is driven by improvements in a forecast tools; b better ways of joining forecast information with situational data to understand impacts; and c communication channels to allow international relief to be better linked with national response. This talk will discuss recent progress in these areas.
  • J. Kronhamn- MSB Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (SE)
    Capability assessment = what capabilities do we have and what do we need to develop? We get this information from different processes: Exercises, historic disasters, best practices, scenario analyses, etc. How do we carry out scenario analysis for disaster risk management on national level in Sweden in order to find capability gaps? How local, regional and sector analyses feed a national process.
  • Friday, March 10, 2017 - Session 2

    Scientific support for Disaster Risk Management - instruments and tools

  • Session 3: Moving from science and technology to systems and processes


  • C. Rossi- Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (IT)
  • BREAK-OUT GROUP 1: Dealing with Earthquake

    Chaired by L.d'Angelo - Dipartimento Protezione Civile (IT)

  • D. Fabi- Dipartimento Protezione Civile (IT)
    The presentation aims at reviewing and clarifying disaster management organizational model adopted taking into consideration scenario constraints, local response and existing national planning and competencies. From first relief phase until early recovery phase the different activities will be briefly introduced with special regard to the role assured by the Italian civil protection department. The presentation brings together actions undertaken from the activation of the Operational Committee in Rome on the 24th of August first as national body for guaranteeing unified first response during the very first days after the earthquake occurred to the establishment of a national coordination centre on site named Di.Coma.C. as national tool for assuring coordination of all the different national private or public stakeholders involved as well as the regional civil protection systems for the activities for the implementation of temporary solutions for hosting and housing people affected, before the reconstructions starts, highlighting relationships with regional governments and local administrations conceived as a cardinal rule for the emergency management tailored on local needs and custom.
  • M. Dolce- Dipartimento Protezione Civile (IT)
    On August 24th, 2016, a severe, very long seismic sequence started in Central Italy, along the Apennines chain. It has lasted several months and is characterized, until now, by nine major shocks with magnitude greater than 5, two of which displaying moment magnitude Mw 6.0 August 24th, 2016 and 6.5 October 30th, 2016, respectively. The maximum observed cumulated intensity is XI in the MCS scale. The macroseismic field of cumulated intensities IMCS?7 is 60 km long and 20 km wide. The effects have been tremendous. Ca. 300 people lost their life, all due to the first mainshock. Fortunately, the subsequent shocks did not cause further fatalities. Devastating damage was produced to ordinary buildings, cultural heritage, especially ancient churches, roads and other lifelines, resulting in huge economical direct losses. Many technical activities, carried out in addition to search and rescue and population assistance, have seen the National Department of Civil Protection playing a major role. The main scientific features characterizing the sequence, including its consequences, and the main technical emergency activities will be shown and discussed in civil protection perspective.
  • D. Pantosti- Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (IT)
    The talk will summarize the activities that INGV, CNR, and ISPRA carry out as Centers of Competence of the National Department of Civil Protection DPC. The activities of these Centers focus on the knowledge of the earthquake and its effects. This is developed both in emergency during an ongoing seismic sequence and during normal times. Here we focus mainly on the activities developed during the recent seismic sequence in central Apennines. The main activities developed under coordination and funding of DPC span from the real-time earthquake location and characterization, to its understanding within the regional tectonic framework, to the study of the seismicity evolution, rupture processes and models, wave propagation, pre- co- and post-seismic changes and signals etc. Major efforts of all Centers are devoted to the recognition and evaluation of the major coseismic effects on the natural and human environment, on their significance and causes. These activities have as a main goal that of providing scientific support for the prompt response of the Civil Protection to the involved population, the evaluation of the residual seismic hazard in the area and nearby, the mitigation of connected hazards. At the same time science learns a lot from these events and therefore the mutual exchanges between the scientific community and the Civil Protection is a unique occasion for developing a better knowledge on the earthquakes, for planning better tools to mitigate their effects and to contribute to a better and safer society.
  • A. Prota- Universit degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (IT)
    The talk will shortly present the activities that ReLUIS and Eucentre carry out as Centers of Competence of the Department of Civil Protection DPC. Both Centers deal with engineering issues related to seismic risk. The main activities developed under coordination and funding of DPC aim at providing scientific support for the mitigation of seismic risk as well as increase the awareness and resilience of communities with respect to the occurrence of seismic events. The outcomes of activities carried out during ordinary time become fundamental when both Centers support DPC in the aftermath of seismic events; in these cases both Centers act under coordination of DPC to perform the recoinassance of damages on public and strategic structures, to assess the damage and the usability of churches and other cultural heritage and, in general, to support DPC and local institutions in the implementation of measures aiming at fast and safe staying of communities in the areas hit by earthquakes.
  • D. Combescure- F4E - Association Fran aise du g nie Parasismique (FR)
    Technical field survey after the 24th August 2016 earthquake in central Italy. A mission was organised by the French Earthquake Engineering Association in collaboration with La Sapienza University, Pescara University, EUCENTER and the Italian Civil Protection. The objective of the team was to train the young French engineers and learn from the experience of the Italian Civil Protection and Fire Brigade. For this reason, the French Ministry of Environment that is responsible for response to disasters supported the visit and will support other relevant activities of the French Earthquake Engineering Association. The presentation will cover technical aspects regarding the performance of buildings and infrastructures, but also issues of management of the disaster: coordination of the different actors, use of new technologies for rapid loss assessment, inspection of buildings for usability, prioritisation of interventions, guidelines and good practices for mitigation.
  • P. Negro- European Commission (DG JRC)
    The challenge of reconstruction has to addressed at different scales: systems and networks represent the macro scale, buildings and civil engineering works the micro scale. As for the macro scale, the concept of system resilience has to be activated. Resilence is the only tool which allows the necessary improvement of the system to be quantified. At the micro scale, the objective has to be the joint improvement of structural performance as well as energy efficiency and environmental impact.
  • BREAK-OUT GROUP 2: Climate Change Adaptation

    Chaired by M. Linsen - European Commission (DG CLIMA)

  • Significant challenges exist towards strengthening the Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction communities for coherent, mutually and pragmatic planning and action. These challenges are not only scientific and technological, but are also related with the dynamics of the complex landscape of actors within and between these two areas.
  • B. Kurnik- European Environmental Agency
    Climate and weather related natural hazards such as heat waves, heavy precipitation, droughts and floods are becoming more frequent and/or intense in Europe, and along with socio-economic changes and hazard exposure increases in damages and economic losses have been observed. The data on risks are therefore important in order to understand the frequency and magnitude of current and future natural hazards and their interactions with human activities in order to adapt to climate change and decrease the risks of disasters in Europe.
  • T. De Groeve- European Commission (DG JRC)
    Copernicus Emergency Management Service (Copernicus EMS) provides information for emergency response in relation to different types of disasters, including meteorological hazards, geophysical hazards, deliberate and accidental man-made disasters and other humanitarian disasters as well as prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities. The Risk & Recovery Service is flexible and can address requests on the boundary between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The presentation will provide examples, and show how Copernicus can be used.
  • R. Nussbaum- Mission Risques Naturels (FR)
    The presentation will address:
    1 how disaster/ climate input data create value for the design of insurance services and for other services to the customer,
    2 how public private partnerships involving the insurance industry in the collection and sharing of such data may promote efficient deicision making for disaster reduction, at every governance scale.
  • C. van der Guchte- Deltares (NL)
    In The Netherlands coastal adaptation and DRR strategies are established using ex-ante economic assessments. In the selection of the Flood Risk strategies, climate change scenarios as they relate to sea level rise and river discharges, are an integral part of the evaluation process making the DRR and coastal adaptation strategies more robust for future climate change impacts. The presentation will illustrate the work undertaken in The Netherlands in establishing new flood risk reduction standards and how future climate change scenarios have played a role in establishing the new Deltaplan.
  • Session 4: Science for DRM - way forward

    Chaired by Ian Clark - DG JRC

  • T. De Groeve- European Commission (DG JRC)
    The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction commits countries to substantially reduce disaster risk and losses by 2030. To monitor progress, 7 targets were defined with 38 indicators. The UNISDR is currently working with many stakeholders, including the DRMKC, to provide practical guidance on how to measure the indicators, to be presented at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in May 2017. The challenge is to minimize the reporting burden for countries while maximizing the usefulness and use of the indicator data for local, national and global actors. The presentation will present progress on the indicators, as well as opportunities these will bring for several policy areas.
  • S. Safaie- UNISDR
    The complexity and interlinkages of various hazards, socio-economic and physical drivers of risk and potential cascading impacts of events would require a holistic approach in understanding disaster risk which would then be a basis for a holistic approach to managing disaster risk. Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 ? 2030 marks a crucial shift from managing disasters to managing risk and establishes resilience-building as a common denominator of the 2030 Agenda which would require assessing risk and resilience through a wider lens and have a holistic approach in every element of disaster risk reduction. This talk will discuss the need for a comprehensive approach to national risk assessment to serve the purpose of comprehensive DRR planning and investment. The presenter will also discuss the importance of historical loss databases serving in understanding risk and as a tool for verification and calibration of risk models.
  • B. Janowczyk- Government Centre for Security (PL)
    One of the most important challenges in Polish civil planning is to achieve a risk management capability and a self-asses in this matter according to the Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. To fulfill our task in this area Government Centre for Security as a responsible for the national risk assessment bases on the experience of experts and the knowledge of scientists. We initiated a scientific project about a risk assessment using scientists from leading Polish universities, scientific and academic institutions. Together we create IT tool for crisis management system and online Knowledge Database. To prevent risks or in case of an emergency situation there is a possibility of using an Experts Database to get scientific support.
  • L. Gooijer- National Network of Safety and Security Analysts (NL)
    In December 2016 the new Dutch National Risk Profile has been published and sent to the Dutch Parliament. In this presentation we will show and discuss the methodology and results of this study, executed by the Network National Safety and Security Analysts. Disasters and crises may cause large disruption of the functioning of our society potentially affecting health and welfare, nature and environment, economy, the financial system, critical infrastructure, the government system, societal values, and cultural heritage. In order to prevent disasters or minimize disruptive effects when they occur, the Netherlands apply an All Hazard National Safety and Security Strategy. Potential risks, threats and hazards varying from floods and infection diseases natural hazards and hazards caused by technical failure to radicalization, terrorism cyber threats, and organized crime malicious threats, are analyzed using a methodology called the National Risk Assessment NRA. In this methodology threats and hazards are assessed in terms of likelihood and impact using a uniform scoring method and are therefore rendered comparable. The impact criteria reflect all the essential interests of our society: health, safety and security, ecology, economy, culture, critical infrastructure and social and political stability. The results of the different analyses are shown in the National Risk Profile. It contains the results of different scenarios studies summarized in the risk diagram, but also a consideration of the relevant long term developments relevant for the National Safety and Security.