07.09.2016 - UNESCO Venice Office

I-REACT: Natural hazards, multihazards and emergency preparedness plans and scenarios

I-REACT, a European-wide platform for risk management

The September workshop is a milestone event of the H2020 Project “Improving Resilience to Emergencies through Advanced Cyber Technologies” (I-REACT) which aims to set an integrated platform to support emergency response in case of floods and wildfires, or other extreme events, by leveraging on a wide array of new information and communication technologies for real time reporting, exploiting social media, imagery from space as well as wearable (bands, smart glasses) and drone technologies.

UNESCO’s contribution to the I-REACT project is consistent with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, in particular with the use of communications and geospatial and space-based technologies and related services to strengthen the use of mobile phone networks in support of national measures for successful disaster risk communication - as appropriate and in accordance with national laws.The technological innovation embedded in the I-REACT project aspires to increase effectiveness and coordination of emergency responders on the entire disaster management cycle, with particular emphasis in multi-hazard preparedness and warning.

The International workshop on “Increasing Resilience to Natural hazards through Information and Communication Technology” is jointly organised by the Section on Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction and the Science Unit of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), in cooperation with the Institute Mario Boella - ISMB and the Consorzio per il Sistema Informativo del Piemonte (CSI-Piemonte) in Italy. The event will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 14-15 September 2016.

The workshop is built upon an interactive framework in which emergency responders and carefully-selected international advisors will interplay with I-REACT system developers to provide substantial feedback on how the system should be conceived, designed and developed so as to better tackle the hazards at stake - mainly floods and fires – and, how to bridge the existing gap between innovative space-based solutions and end users in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR). The lack of information, the inherent complexity modern tools and their poor interoperability constrain end users by putting up obstacles to benefitting from innovative solutions.

UNESCO’s role in enhancing the capacity of Member States in DRR through the use of technological innovation and science is fully in line with this strategic vision, which also entails a meaningful action and a well-devised, innovative mobilisation of citizens and professional volunteers, through the use of an integrated system, that encompasses social media and crowdsource technologies.  

The I-REACT workshop in Paris will aim to meet two objectives. Firstly, that of setting the stage for dialogue between I-REACT developers and disaster management professionals with a view to gain insight into ways of designing more tailored solutions to emergency responders and citizens through a co-design session aimed at the definition of the information that should be collected from the field during the entire emergency cycle. Further, that of identifying through interactive methodologies and earlier devised questionnaires which operational procedures and processes can be improved during emergency situations resulting from natural hazards under different scenarios, especially in the case of floods and fires. The whole cycle of the Disaster Risk Management triggered by the hazardous event will be analyzed and results incorporated into the development phase of I REACT platform.

The workshop will host end users from 9 member states in Europe. I-REACT’s Advisory Board members, composed of high profile experts and professionals from the public, private and intergovernmental sectors, will also participate in the workshop. The Advisory Board will interact with the project team and users and, help define the strategy for a successful implementation of the project with a medium and long-term perspective. The consultation will serve to identify practical ways to link research and innovation activities of the I-REACT project to the requirements of national and international disaster risk management professionals. This also with a view to better coordinate efforts and services for risk reduction and disaster prevention for a more resilient society, that adopts a broader and a more people-centered preventive approach to disaster – as recommended by the Sendai Framework.

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I-REACT (Improving Resilience to Emergencies through Advanced Cyber Technologies) is a Horizon 2020 3-year project (2016-2018) involving a consortium of 20 partners. The project will integrate multiple existing systems and European assets to facilitate early planning of disaster risk reduction activities. The focus will be on natural disasters triggered by extreme weather.

The project is coordinated by the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella of Turin. Consortium partners include: Geoville, Eoxplore, Terranea, Alpha Consult, UNESCO (Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe), Politecnico di Torino, Celi, JoinPad, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Meteosim, Bitgear, Ansur Technologies, Technical University of Vienna, Scienseed, CSI Piemonte, Aquobex, Answaretech, and Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission.

Website : http://www.i-react.eu/

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