2015 has been an important year for the intergovernmental agreements on climate change and disaster management efforts. The Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction and the COP 21 agreement are a significant improvement of the Hyogo Framework for Action and the Kyoto Protocol. The Sendai Framework identified seven global targets to be achieved by 2030 to reduce the impact of disasters and integrate disaster preparedness efforts with climate change mitigation and adaptation. The COP21 agreement has built on these objectives urging efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. It is now urgent to identify strategies for achieving the objectives of the agreements. The UNISDR Science and Technology Conference on the implementation of the Sendai Framework held in Geneva last January was the first step towards doing so.

ESPREssO (Enhancing Synergies for disaster PRevention in the EurOpean Union) - a research project funded by EU under the H2020 program - aims at contributing to these strategies approaching both themes of climate change adaptation and natural risk reduction. ESPREssO aims to support the European Commission and the JRC Knowledge Centre on Disaster Risk Management.

The project structure is built upon the central role of three main challenges:

  1. To propose ways to create more coherent national and European approaches on Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and resilience strengthening;
  2. To enhance risk management capabilities by bridging the gap between science and legal/policy issues at local and national levels in six European countries;
  3. To address the issue of efficient management of trans-boundary crises.

ESPREssO will develop a Stakeholder Forum promoting effective mechanisms and interactions with the key players (e.g. scientists, authorities, users, civil protection, UNISDR platforms…).

A comprehensive approach to the ESPREssO objectives requires a strong, multi-disciplinary group. The ESPREssO consortium is formed by seven European partners having a sound expertise in legal and governance issues and natural risk management, socio-economic aspects and resilience, hard science, statistical approaches to multi-risk and resilience. The group, led by AMRA Scarl, Naples, Italy, includes: GFZ, Potsdam, Germany; BRGM, Orleans, France; Deutsches Komitee Katastrophenvorsorge e.V. DKKV – Germany; ETHZ, Zurich, Switzerland; University of Huddersfield – UK; Københavns Universitet – Denmark.

 

An overview of the ESPREssO activities and meetings is provided in the following figure:

ESPREssO phases