PPRD press release: Third PPRD South Steering Committee Meeting - Putting Civil Protection co-operation at the top of the Euro-Mediterranean political agenda (14 June 2011 - Sarajevo – Bosnia & Herzegovina)
The increasing risk of disasters threatening the Euro-Mediterranean region and the growing importance of strategies to reduce disaster risks will be at the heart of the third meeting of the PPRD South Steering Committee to take place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 14 June 2011.
Sadik Ahmetovic, Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina together with Franco Gabrielli, Head of Italian Civil Protection Department and Renzo Daviddi, Acting Head of the European Union Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina will open the third Steering Committee meeting organized by the EU-funded Euro-Mediterranean Programme on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters (PPRD South).
During this key event, the Directors General of the National Civil Protection Authorities of the 27 EU Member States and the 14 Mediterranean and Balkan Partner Countries will meet with representatives of the European Commission, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the UN agencies working with disaster management in the Mediterranean region. They will review the latest results obtained by the PPRD South Programme and agree upon the proposed work-plan for the coming months in the light of the recent impressive series of disasters in the region and worldwide.
Since 2009, PPRD South has organized 15 workshops and meetings attended by over 350 civil protection officials from the Partner Countries
They participated among others at the workshop on earthquakes, in the visit to the earthquake-damaged city of L’Aquila and to the EU earthquake response exercise in Tuscany; they attended the trainings and table-top exercises on planning in advance appropriate response to possible disasters and the training workshop on flood risk management in Turkey. The Programme also organized for the first time in the area two regional workshops dedicated to the most recent technological innovations for civil protection: the use of Geographic Information Systems for risk assessment and mapping and the use of satellite images to support crisis response actions.
PPRD South achievements
PPRD South achievements, which will be illustrated during the event, include also the implementation of 5 pilot awareness raising projects involving around 145,000 people in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestinian Authority and Montenegro, and the development of the regional Risk Atlas with its proposed methodology for risk assessment and mapping. If adopted by the Partner Countries, this methodology will provide a better understanding of the existing hazards in the Mediterranean countries and of the communities exposed to such hazards.
In the Mediterranean, major emergencies in the past eight months included the wildfire in Mount Carmel, Israel, which triggered broad international aid efforts also from the PPRD South partner countries; heavy floods in Morocco, Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro and Turkey; earthquakes in Spain and Turkey, and the migration crisis from Libya which involved Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Italy and Malta.
All these events did influence PPRD South implementation. Where possible actions were or are being put in place in view to address issues raised by these crisis such as the increased focus on the EU Floods Directive during the workshop on floods in Turkey, the preparation of a study on tsunamis and on the possible tsunami-industrial accident domino effects in the Mediterranean and the set up of the collaboration with the UNESCO project Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the Mediterranean.
The meeting will end with the endorsement of the future Programme work-plan which includes, among other activities, the organization of workshops on drought, resilience, mass events, and climate change. The meeting will also decide what countries will host some of the future PPRD South activities and workshops both in Europe and in the Mediterranean.
Alessandro Candeloro, +39 349 0850931