Norway established its national platform for disaster risk reduction (Samvirkeområdet natur) 1 September 2011. It is set up as an authority network of governmental agencies and other stakeholders focusing on natural hazards (geological and hydro-meteorological).
The national risk assessment concluded that extreme weather and landslides are among the hazards most likely to affect Norway, and that they can have severe consequences. The country has also recently experienced serious events of floods, storm surges and forest fires. The Arctic climate in the north gives an extra dimension to present hazards, which may increase with climate change.
The following bodies are represented in the national platform:
- The County Governor of Møre og Romsdal
- The County Governor of Oppland
- The County Governor of Troms
- The Climate and Pollution Agency (KLIF)
- Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB)
- Directorate for Cultural Heritage
- Geological Survey of Norway (NGU)
- National Office of Building Technology and Administration
- Norwegian Agricultural Authority
- The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS)
- The Norwegian Coastal Administration
- Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management
- Norwegian Mapping Authority
- Norwegian National Rail Administration
- The Norwegian Meteorological Institute
- Norwegian Public Roads Administration
- Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE)
The Platform has currently no specific budget, and activities are financed by DSB as well as by other members of the Platform.
The national platform will provide a forum for better coordination and information exchange between different sectors and different governmental levels. Disaster risk reduction in Norway is organized in accordance with the principles of responsibility, similarity, and subsidiarity. According to these principles, disaster risk reduction is integrated into all levels of planning and in all sectors. The municipal level has a key role in implementing disaster risk reduction policies, as they have the main responsibility for emergency preparedness as well as prevention through land use planning.
A steering group of director generals (or equivalent) meets once a year to define main priorities for the national platform. A network group of government authorities meets twice a year. The network group is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the platform and for information exchange with the participating agencies.
The national platform is coordinated by the Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB), which also has the secretariat for the Norwegian Climate Adaptation Programme. The platform is organized in close affiliation with the climate adaptation programme.
A mandate for the national platform was decided at the first Steering Group meeting on 15 October 2011. It is based on the priorities of the Hyogo Framework for Action, and includes climate change adaptation. The platform is expected to further define activities relevant for strengthening cooperation within the priorities of the mandate.