International Day for Disaster Reduction: a snapshot of the CMCC research

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International Day for Disaster Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.
Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.
The 2018 edition continues as part of the “Sendai Seven” campaign, centered on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. This year will focus on Target C of the Sendai Framework, reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030.

The CMCC Foundation is at the forefront –with its researchers and projects – to address this issue while providing concrete recommendations and solutions.
The need for prevention from natural disasters in Mediterranean coastal areas subject to increasing sea level rise and climate change impacts; flood hazard and risk assessment in urban environments, under current and future climates; disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation strategies for the EU; climate services for different users; a climate risk analysis and a flood risk assessment in Paraguay: these are some of the issues addressed by CMCC research projects ETC/CCA, CLARA, SAVEMEDCOASTS, SAFERPLACES, CHAKE OU.
Here a snapshot of the CMCC research on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Since 2011, the CMCC Foundation leads the European Topic Centre on Climate Change impacts, vulnerability and Adaptation (ETC/CCA), a consortium of 14 European Institutions contracted by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The center assists the EEA in supporting and informing policy development and implementation in the area of climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation (CCIVA), the main supported policy process being the EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
Five CMCC research divisions: RAAS (coordinator, under the scientific lead of researcher Silvia Medri), ECIP, IAFES, CSP, REMHI, are involved in this consortium.
In the framework of the activities of ETC/CCA the CMCC Foundation coordinates the content update and improvement of Climate-ADAPT while leading the contributions to the first evaluation of the Climate-ADAPT portal, the main European Web Portal for climate change adaptation information in Europe. The platform is an initiative of the European Commission and the EEA, and helps users accessing and sharing information on: expected climate change in Europe; current and future vulnerability of regions and sectors; national and transnational adaptation strategies; adaptation case studies and potential adaptation options; tools that support adaptation planning.
Enhancing the coherence between climate change adaptation (CCA) & disaster risk reduction (DRR) is another important theme of the ETC/CCA work, essential for reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience of societies. In 2017 the EEA released the report “Climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Europe”, with a major support by the ETC/CCA and a main CMCC contribution that leads the work. The report assesses current practices and level of know-how, and highlights emerging innovative tools national, regional and local authorities are using to tackle the impacts of weather- and climate-related hazards.

CLARA – Climate forecast enabled knowledge services – is a Horizon 2020 funded innovation action set to catalyse more efficient natural resource management and improved disaster risk management and resilience by exploiting the potential of innovate climate services.
Building upon the recent advancements in climate modelling and forecasts, including the Copernicus Climate Change Service, the project sets to develop a portfolio of users’ co-designed climate services able to inform policy and decision making in five priority areas: disaster risk reduction, water resource management, agriculture and food security, renewable energy sources and public health. For each service, the project illustrates the genuine benefits and economic value in the face of climate variability and short-term climate change, and formulates business strategies to energize the European market with climate services and foster the European innovation potential.
The CLARA project is carried on by a consortium of 11 partners, coordinated by the CMCC Foundation under the scientific lead of Dr. Jaroslav Mysiak, director of the CMCC Division RAAS – Risk assessment and adaptation strategies. Other CMCC divisions involved in the project include: ECIP – Economic analysis of Climate Impacts and Policy, REMHI – REgional Models and geo-Hydrological Impacts, and CSP – Climate Simulation and Prediction Division.

The SAVEMEDCOASTS project aims to respond to the need of prevention from natural disasters in Mediterranean coastal areas subject to sea level rise and coastal inundation impacts. The main objective is to provide advanced methods to develop multi-hazard assessments in Mediterranean coastal areas lying below 1 m above sea level and characterized by high economic and environmental value. Sea level rise effects will be assessed for multi-temporal scenarios, simulating the inland extension of marine flooding and coastline position up to 2100, based on the best available high resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTM), known rates of land subsidence and local sea level rise estimates. Risk assessment methodologies will be tested in pilot sites in Italy, Greece and Cyprus (e.g., Monterosso, Lipari, Lefkada) to provide very high-resolution risk information for civil protection planning and prevention, that will be shared with the stakeholders and policy makers during a series of participatory workshops and training activities. The CMCC is involved in the project with RAAS Division / [email protected]’Foscari.
CMCC researchers developed in particular a Climate change Coastal Risk Index (CCRI) to provide guidance and operative criteria for exposure, vulnerability and risk assessment in Mediterranean coastal areas. The overall aim of the index is to identify, map and prioritize natural and human targets at higher risk from climate-related hazards (sea level rise inundation and storm surge flooding) in vulnerable (flood-prone) coastal areas, providing a knowledge base for national-scale adaptation planning and disaster risk management. The CCRI was applied to the Italian peninsula producing a range of spatial risk and vulnerability indicators and statistics including the estimate of population, infrastructures, urbanized and agricultural areas at risk.

The SAFERPLACES project employs innovative climate, hydrological and hydraulic, topographic and economic modelling techniques to assess pluvial, fluvial and coastal flood hazard and risk in urban environments under current and future climates. The service is designed to support the identification and assessment of flood risk mitigation measures and plans, inform climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies, and help to foster multi-stakeholder agreements and partnership for resilience building.
SAFERPLACES builds upon the successfully completed 2017 Climate KIC Pathfinder project “PLACES – Pluvial flood hazard and risk assessment and mitigation in European cities”. The CMCC Foundation is involved in the project with RAAS Division; among its tasks, there will be activities meant to foster consultation, dialog, external review and collaboration with a range of user organizations and networks benefiting from the SAFERPLACES service, including city and regional councils, water reclamation boards and (water/energy) utilities, river basin authorities, and investors and insurers.

The Chake OU project aimed at strengthening institutional and community preparedness and coordination capacities for disaster risk reduction in Paraguay. Paraguay is an interesting case study being one of the first country to have implemented the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction as a national law. CMCC’s divisions RAAS and REHMI contributed to the project by developing a climate risk analysis and a flood risk assessment for the country. A main objective of the study was to enhance the knowledge base upon which effective disaster risk reduction measures are taken upon in the country as well as improving the availability and quality of relevant data to support national monitoring efforts under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Key results were discussed and presented to the Ministry of National Emergency as well as to national academics and practitioners.

Read more:
The official website of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The ETC/CCA official website.

The Climate-ADAPT Portal.

The video of the CMCC webinar “Informing and supporting climate policy: the European Topic Centre on Climate Change impacts, vulnerability and Adaptation (ETC/CCA)” held by CMCC researcher Silvia Medri.

CLARA project official website.

SAVEMEDCOASTS project official website.

SAFERPLACES project on the CMCC website.

CHAKEOU project on the CMCC website.

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