Polish IDNDR (International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) Committee was created in 1991 by the decision of the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry and was established in the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management in Warsaw. The Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (polish acronym: IMGW) is a research-development unit created on the basis of the decree no. 338/72 issued by the Council of Ministers on 30 December 1972 on merging the State Hydrological and Meteorological Institute with the Institute of Water Management.
Polish National Platform for DRR as a continuation of former Committee apart from continuity of activity was formal established in 2009 by official notification from Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the ISDR Secretariat in Geneva.
Within the structure of the Polish National Platform for DRR the following bodies are represented:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of Environment
- Governmental Security Centre
- Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration
- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
- Institute of Meteorology and Water Management
- Military University of Technology
- Polish Geological Institute
- Polish Committee of Geo-technique
- Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy of Science
- The Main School of Fire Service
- Inspection of Environmental Protection
- Polish Red Cross
- National Insurance Service
Polish National Platform for DRR is a non-governmental organization. Currently the Platform has not specific budget, activities are financed by IMGW budget as well as by other member of the Platform.
Polish National Platform for DRR actively participates in common initiatives concerning:
- creation of research programs connected with protection systems;
- sharing experience in the field of flood protection;
- training on contemporary problems of extreme environmental threats;
- early warning systems;
- education and information systems on unusual threats.
The detailed areas of activity include:
Strategic priorities which are as follows:
- forecasting dangerous events,
- carrying out and implementation of research works in the scope of natural threats (prevention, preparedness, response, recovery),
- preparation of land-use plans including high risk areas;
- public education;
- information and communication systems,
- risk assessment and methods of hazard effects reduction,
DRR system improvement including
- organizational, operational and legal,
- economic and financial,
- social and sociological protection of population ,
- coordination and cooperation of governments, organizations and people’s activities in extreme situations.
The representatives of Polish Committee participate in meetings with lectures and reports.
Special reports were prepared for:
- the Second International Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2005,
- the Second International Conference on Early Warning Bonn 2004
- the Third InternationaConference Bonn 2006.
Special attention was focused on Central European Disaster Prevention Forum Platform meetings including organization of two meeting is Poland (Warsaw and Cracow).
The Committee initialized:
- research programs regarding risk of natural disasters,
- publications regarding risk analysis,
- monographs about great flood event in 1997,
- schools and conferences on natural and technological disasters.
Examples of other activities are listed below.
Education at schools
Preparation of the educational materials for teachers for use during lessons at school –with general objective – how to prepare for flood)-basic information and tests for children, title: How to cope with flood –didactic materials for teachers; IMGW 2003
Education for media
The handbook "Collaboration with media"- IMGW 2003 – publication for journalists entitled "Natural hazards"-general idea of this publication–how to use "user friendly" definitions in information provided to the public and general overview of IMGW activities as NMHS
Schools organized by IMGW each year
- on disaster risk management with wide participation of the crisis management centers, research units, fire departments,
- on water management issues with wide participation fro water administration bodies and research units.
Center for Hydrological and Meteorological Education in IMGW
Center was created in 2006. Main task is to provide workshops and lectures for administration and other entities in hydrology, meteorology, water management issues, data base and GIS Solutions (for example flood hazard and flood risk maps), crisis management and public participation.
Participation is free of charge, financing is provided by National Fund for Environment and Water Management.
Office for Local Government Collaboration in IMGW
Office was created within IMGW structure in 2004.
Main tasks of the Office are:
- Improvement of collaboration between the Polish NMHS (IMGW) and local authorities on the flooding issues
- Organizing series of meetings between IMGW and local governments with the aim to exchanging experiences
- Collaborating with other IMGW organizational units in preparing informational materials as well as in line of Institute services and products attractive to local governments
- Local warning systems creation and improvement.