The unprecedented flood in Germany and Belgium on 15-16 July 2021 showed the gap between available scientific information and impact forecasting tools and the timely and effective warning by local authorities, resulting in tragic loss of lives.
- disaster risk reduction
The dramatic flooding event that occurred in Germany and Belgium on the 15-16 July 2021, affecting also neighbouring countries, has highlighted a clear gap between available scientific information and impact forecasting tools and the timely communication and consideration of related warnings by local authorities, which resulted in an insufficient capacity to evacuate people at risk. This gap sadly reflects the insufficient understanding by local authorities and populations of risk exposure for this type of extreme events (exacerbated by climate change), as well as a lack of clear governance mechanism to react to sudden extreme events. This requires a cross-sectoral, cross-border, cross-disciplines integDisasrated approach as well as a full risk awareness at all levels, including by citizens.
In this respect, based on recommendations made by civil protection experts, policy-makers and the scientific community, the Horizon Europe Cluster 3 thematic area Disaster-Resilient Societies (DRS) for Europe has issued several topics on integrated disaster risk reduction (DRR) aspects. These topics recognise that, besides modelling and impact forecasting tools available to date, space-based applications have a strong role to play in DRR, for instance for tracking the evolution of forest fires or convective clouds precursors of flash floods. Within the 2021 Horizon Europe call, four DRS topics therefore indicate that “if projects use satellite-based, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, they must make use of Galileo/EGNO, as well as other data and services, while the use of Copernicus for earth observation is encouraged”.
In this regard, and in order to clarify and facilitate interactions among the DRR and spatial communities, DG HOME will organise a workshop in the framework of the Community for European Research and Innovation for Security (CERIS). Discussions will turn around the DRS topics, inviting experts to express their view about the scope of the research actions and their links to space-based applications.
The event was recorded. See the video here: