18.09.2013 - UNESCO Venice Office

Benefits of disaster prevention measures: consolidating and widening an innovative risk assessment methodology


The 3rd KULTURisk workshop entitled 'Benefits of disaster prevention measures: consolidating and widening an innovative risk assessment methodology', which will be held in Venice, Italy, on 19-20 September 2013. The KULTURisk collaborative project, Knowledge-based approach to develop a cULTUre of Risk prevention, is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) – Environment.

Effective strategies and plans of Disaster Risk Reduction are built on a good understanding about the risks a community is facing. This understanding can only be achieved through a Risk Assessments methodology that considers the multi-faceted physical/environmental, social and economic aspects.

The extreme consequences of recent catastrophic events have highlighted that risk prevention still needs to be improved to reduce human losses and economic damages. The KULTURisk project, coordinated by UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education - one the largest international postgraduate water education facility in the world based in Delft, the Netherlands, aims at supporting the spreading of a culture of prevention, by offering the possibility to evaluate the actual economic, environmental, cultural and social benefits of different risk reduction measures. This evaluation is carried out with the use of a comprehensive risk assessment methodology.

The KULTURisk methodology has been developed and validated on water-related hazards (i.e. floods, debris flows and landslides, storm surges), in different European case studies and with different receptors/elements at risk (i.e. people, economic activities, cultural heritage, natural and semi-natural systems). One objective of the project is to generalize this methodology and explore the applicability of the KULTURisk approach to different types of natural hazards, like earthquakes, forest fires, etc.

The aim of the two-day workshop to be held at the Arsenale di Venezia, Tesa 104/105 CNR-ISMAR, is to present the Risk Assessment methodology developed by KULTURisk and to discuss it with the main national and European stakeholders and experts of different natural hazards.

The workshop will be articulated into 3 main sessions: 1. Towards a new culture of prevention: from international DRR strategies to local implementation; 2. KULTURisk methodology for assessing the benefits of prevention measures; and, 3. From water-related hazards to other natural hazards.

The Science unit of the UNESCO Regional Bureau from Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), will intervene in the third session and present some insights on the UNESCO strategy in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and on the multiple actions undertaken by the Science Unit in order to strengthen the capacity of South East European Member States in Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) and preparedness through its successful fundraising activities.

Project Web Site: www.kulturisk.eu

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