German Framework for Flood Risk Management

The German federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz is well advanced in its programme of actions required to comply with the provisions of the EU Flood Directive. So far, the preliminary flood risk assessments; the flood hazard maps; and, the flood risk maps have been completed for the entire state. In early 2011, the flood risk management plans for the River Nahe (4.000 km.) catchment were commenced.

These follow the framework set out in the German LAWA-directive “Recommendations for the Establishment of Flood Risk Management Plans” which includes a comprehensive guide to all the diverse action areas that occur in the flood risk management cycle. Appropriate policy objectives have been set and strategies formulated.

Corporate water risk tools

To mark World Water Day, Bill Baue takes a look at new corporate water risk tools introduced by WRI, Ceres, and GEMI

Source: Bill Baue for the Guardian Professional Network

The term ‘water risk’ is new enough to draw a blank on Wikipedia search, though the concept of measuring and managing water-related risks dates back to antiquity. Egyptian priests in Pharaonic times used nilometers to predict flood or drought from the rise and fall of the Nile. Now, the recent rise of water risk tool launches suggest that the business community is waking up to the physical, reputational, regulatory, and litigation risks around freshwater availability in a warming world. Read more >

Global Risks Report 2012

World Economic Forum

Quote: “Economic imbalances and social inequality risk reversing the gains of globalization, warns the World Economic Forum in its report Global Risks 2012.

These are the findings of a survey of 469 experts and industry leaders, indicating a shift of concern from environmental risks to socioeconomic risks compared to a year ago. Respondents worry that further economic shocks and social upheaval could roll back the progress globalization has brought, and feel that the world’s institutions are ill-equipped to cope with today’s interconnected, rapidly evolving risks.

The findings of the survey fed into an analysis of three major risk cases: Seeds of Dystopia; Unsafe Safeguards and the Dark Side of Connectivity. The report analyses the top 10 risks in five categories – economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological – and also highlights “X Factor” risks, the wild card threats which warrant more research, including a volcanic winter, cyber neotribalism and epigenetics, the risk that the way we live could have harmful, inheritable effects on our genes. Key crisis management lessons from Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters are highlighted in a special chapter.”

Global Risks Report 2012

Risk Returns

This book was published for launch at the third Session of Global Platform for Disaster Reduction (GPDR) and it is the latest in a series of volumes addressing natural disasters, and how their impact can be reduced by effective capacity building and prevention strategies.

Source: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)

Global warming contradicts just world beliefs

Authors: Matthew Feinberg (Psychology Department, University of California), Robb Willer (Sociology Department, University of California)

Abstract (quote):

“Though scientific evidence for the existence of global warming continues to mount, in the U.S. and other countries belief in global warming has stagnated or even decreased in recent years. One possible explanation for this pattern is that information about the potentially dire consequences of global warming threatens deeply held beliefs that the world is just, orderly, and stable. Individuals overcome this threat by denying or discounting the existence of global warming, ultimately resulting in decreased willingness to counteract climate change.

Two experiments provide support for this explanation of the dynamics of belief in global warming, suggesting that less dire messaging could be more effective for promoting public understanding of climate change research.”

Download Report Feinberg & Willer, 2011

Cohesion Policy

The main goal of PRIMO is to develop an holistic approach of city governance, i.e. an integrated approach where the city is considered as an entity and in which all institutions and stakeholders cooperate to realize political targets. In this approach the common adressing of risks and benefits, of chances and threatenings is crucial for success. Moreover the ‘tuning’ with higher governmental institutions is crucial. This approach is anchored within our statutes and businessplan, our networks, products and services. Multi-level governance is a crucial factor of urban development and as approach and as attitude risk management of the first degree. It is the core business of our members.

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‘Xynthia’ and ‘Celine’

‘Xynthia’ and ‘Celine’: How many more of these storms can we take?

Author: Professor Eelco H. Dykstra
Source: RISK Management & Governance, Edition 6, Summer 2010

As of February 2010, the twelve countries (Portugal, Spain, Andorra, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Denmark and Sweden) affected by the European storm Xynthia now have a completely different take on the harrowing tale in the book “the storm” (ISBN: 9789013062533).

Not only does the book contain the main scenario for the international Katrina Program but it lays out, in reality-fiction style, the risk, response and consequences of a super-storm called celine and a near-total paralysis of european critical infrastructure.

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Statement on the prevention of oil spills in the North Sea Region

“The General Assembly of the North Sea Commission, held in Stavanger (Norway) on 18 June 2010, expressed their real concerns in respect of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The General Assembly urges all governments to urgently investigate the risks which exist in the North Sea… The North Sea is of fundamental importance to the lives of its inhabitants and the economies of all the countries around the North Sea.” Source: North Sea Commission

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