Portugal National Platform


Portugal subscribed to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) in 2005 and has taken, since then, concrete steps to integrate and streamline Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) into national development strategies, recognizing the importance of DDR for the promotion of sustainable economic growth and progress. DRR has also been increasingly included in humanitarian aid policies, especially within bilateral cooperation established in this regard with African Portuguese speaking countries. The need for an increased coordination among the relevant stakeholders led Portugal to create an institutional basis for the already existing informal settings and arrangements to promote DDR. The establishment of the Portuguese National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, in May 2010, was a key issue towards better coordination of prevention, preparedness, and response activities.


The Platform, created under the auspices of the National Authority for Civil Protection, is chaired by the Minister for Internal Affairs and composed by: 

  • Delegates of the Ministries responsible for the areas of: Defence; Justice; Economy, Transports and Communications; Public Works; Agriculture and Forests, Environment; Social Security; Health; Education and Scientific Research;
  • The President of the National Authority for Civil Protection;

And representatives of the:

  • National Association of Portuguese Municipalities;
  • National Association of Portuguese Parishes;
  • General Staff of the Armed Forces;
  • National Guard;
  • Public Security Police;
  • Association of Professional Fire-fighters;
  • League of Portuguese Fire-fighters (organisation representing the associations of Volunteer Fire-fighters);
  • Judiciary Police;
  • Security Coordination Office; 
  • Maritime and Aeronautical Authorities;
  • National Institute for Medical Emergency;
  • Madeira and the Azores Regional Governments.


The Platform has no specific budget assigned. The activities developed are financed by the budgets of the Ministries, agencies and other members of the Platform. 


The Platform is a co-ordination mechanism to facilitate the integration of DDR into prevention, preparedness and response policies and programmes, aiming at reducing the risk, preventing and mitigating the consequences caused by natural disasters and increasing safety both of the population and of the environment and heritage.

By promoting the co-ordination and cooperation between the stakeholders involved in DDR, such as authorities, public services, the private sector, research institutions and NGO’s, the Platform aims at improving the capabilities and enabling the civil society to mitigate losses produced by disasters, whilst raising the awareness towards risk and disaster management, also promoting the co-ordination between the national and local levels.


The Portuguese National Platform for Disaster Reduction approved in 23 February 2012 the following activities for the triennium 2012 – 2014:

1. Organize an annual contest for municipalities in order to distinguish good practices regarding risk reduction.

2. Increase the application of scientific research issues to the civil protection system needs. 

3. Promote closer cooperation with professional orders (engineers, architects, nurses, etc.) and associations in order to include civil protection subjects in the curricula of university degrees. 

4. Improve non-university curricula in the field of DDR. 

5. Promote training of teachers in the area of civil protection, accrediting these actions along with the Ministry of Education. Prepare manuals to support training. 

6. Organize a national drawing contest for the first cycle of education, regarding DRR. For the other levels of education a contest to create a logo for the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is in progress. 

7. Increase the safety of health facilities and schools in Portugal, raising awareness on the entities responsible for prevention, preparedness and response of these facilities. 

8. Create first intervention teams in old urban centres for prevention and first response. 

9. Create groups of volunteers, in partnership with Professional Orders of Nurses, Psychologists, Engineers, Architects and the Association of Technical Engineers. 

10.Establish a National Network for Civil Protection Communicators 

Activities 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 contribute to increase risk reduction at local level. For the time being, activity number 4 is concluded. All the others are under way. 

In addition to these activities, the national level is supporting the local level in increasing disaster risk reduction measures by developing several activities: 

a) All municipalities have civil protection emergency plans that are being reviewed according to the specific legislation issued in 2008. 

b) Special emergency plans for specific risks have been developed, which include the municipalities that can be affected by these risks, e.g. earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and forest fires. 

c) Internal and external emergency plans for Seveso industries, according to legislation which transposes the Seveso Directive into the national legal framework. The Seveso industries external emergency plans refer to the municipalities where the industries are located. 

d) Operator security plans for critical infrastructures, according to legislation which transposes into the national legal framework the Directive for the Protection of European Critical Infrastructures. External safety and security plans for these critical infrastructures will be developed soon, involving the municipalities where critical infrastructures are located. 

e) Spatial planning considers risks affecting municipalities and regions in order to organise construction and land use, avoiding increased vulnerabilities in the territory (also under appropriate national legislation). 

f) Exercises at national and local level are regularly undertaken in order to test emergency plans. In addition, under the national Fire Safety Regulation, special attention is given to high risk buildings such as schools, health facilities, hotels and residences for elderly people, where an exercise takes place once a year with the involvement of local authorities and civil protection agents.

g) Concerning information and knowledge supply and sharing, useful for the municipalities to develop their work, several instruments can be referred such as: (i) the Emergency Planning Information System (http://planos. prociv.pt); (ii)Technical Guidebooks on risk analysis and emergency planning (http://www.prociv.pt/Pages/detalhe4.aspx?IDitem=58); (iii) risk maps delivered to the municipalities affected by each considered risk; (iv) results of scientific studies developed with the scientific community, e.g. the study of seismic and tsunami risk involving the municipalities of Lisbon Metropolitan Area and the Algarve, (http://www.prociv.pt/ Documents/PEERS_AML_CL.pdf;http://www.prociv.pt/Documents/ ERSTA_ANPC.pdf); (v) data on natural and technological accidents occurred (inventories). 

h) More than 500 civil protection clubs were created in schools all over the country for children between 6 and 10 years old.

Local level engagement 

At local level, a relevant work is being developed, especially by the four RESILIENT CITIES in Portugal (that joined the Campaign “Making Cities Resilient”): Lisbon, Amadora, Cascais and Funchal. 

Bringing together public authorities, private stakeholders, research institutions, social and cultural local organisations, as well as volunteer groups of citizens, municipalities set up a significant range of activities, among others: 

  • Support to local entities wanting to elaborate their emergency plans;
  • Organise information and educational initiatives addressing DDR and training exercises for different target groups (children, elderly people, disabled people, municipality workers, general public e.g. in shopping centres); 
  • Information on DDR issues and self-protection measures published on brochures, DVD, local journals, on Facebook and Youtube; 
  • Promote scientific local studies on risks affecting the municipality;
  • Promote a “culture of safety and prevention” in schools, in the family and the local community. The “School Safety Plans”, the “Family Emergency Plan” and “Local Emergency Plan, preparing local communities on how to perform in emergency situations”, this one targeted at Parish Councils, are good examples of guides published by some of the Resilient Cities to raise awareness towards risk and on how to be prepared to face a disaster. 

It is intended to continue promoting the application of new cities to the RESILIENT CITIES Campaign.

Portuguese National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection
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