Adapt Planning to Social, Health and Economic Vulnerability

Social, health and economic vulnerability are critical and though ultimate goals of the policy-driven risk assessment tool under development by the knowledge network CRISPRO. Results from the multi-hazards approach questionnaire delivered by 40 first responders, policy-makers, experts and mayors were presented on 30.09.2021 at the regular CRISPRO webinar, which focused on aspects of resilience.

We can be using modern technologies to draft disaster risk assessments and contingency plans based on scenarios for multiple hazards activation. Professor Dr Manzul Kumar Hazarika, the Director of AIT’s Geoinformatics Center (GIC), unwrapped recent scientific advances to the multi-hazard risk assessment, early warning, emergency mapping and damage assessment, community-based disaster management, and capacity building. He presented the institute’s work promoting the applications of Remote Sensing and GIS in disaster management and related topics. However, recognising the emerging importance of these technologies and the potential future demand for skilled professionals is critical for policy-makers on local, regional, and national levels. By this, we mean that there shall be a change into professional toolbox and competence profiles of people engaged in building the resilience of community and societies for achieving progress.

Risk mapping outlines different hazards that interact with the area’s vulnerability and with the preparedness in the territory is used by the Czech Institute for the Protection of the Population. The cumulated risks are afterwards linked to the preparedness maps that present available sources and means for reaction to a particular event. An upgrade approach is also applied in the Slovak Republic. The comprehensive system of catalogues and attributes of protected interests and areas combines the values of properties to further damage loss calculation of the vulnerability. The Slovakian integrated mapping under development functions as a common management information system referring to all first responders, including rescuers and police, private civil protection units and volunteer organisations.

Participants stressed the resilience aspects of one economic sector that is vastly developing in Europe and rapidly affecting the environment and community public spaces – the tourism sector. Human activities in nature influence the performance of stable models and vice versa. The shift to unexpected meteorological conditions contribute to behaviours changes in the Alps, declared Elena Pede from the Department Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche del Territorio / Regional and Urban Studies and Planning, Italy. Needs today are assessed and assigned to the cooperation model.

For doing so, the conditions of exposure, capacity response and vulnerability for protected interests of the community and/or society are explored. In addition, of course, it is of great importance to find protocols and systems meeting the expectations for securing greater protection and mitigation of the potential negative impacts and decreasing the level of risks driven by hazards, disasters, extraordinary events and climate change. Improving the people’s quality of life, the sustainable development of the territories and the cross-border economic and social systems through cooperation on the economy, the environment and the services to citizens shall also be part of the risk assessment from a territorial aspect. Direct impacts refer to the increase of natural hazards, desertification, ecosystems changes, water scarcity, forest fires, hydro-geological and hydraulic instability, etc. we should consider climate change scenarios more and more in spatial and emergency planning. Local authorities are in greater need of adapting the traditional parameters and urban planning policies to the needs of emergency planning, architecture, green spaces distribution, public services, etc.

Empowering socio-economic resilience will support policy-makers in calculating exposure, sensitivity and adaptation costs as crucial for both land-use and emergency planning.

For example, the management of cultural events such as the international pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago requires specific attention by local authorities. Therefore, the CRISPRO assessment tool for mayors and regional policy-makers shall enable them to use practical methods for risk assessment of local events that vastly contribute to change of environment and increase of community vulnerability in terms of emergencies and accidents.
Marta Trueba from the Oficina del Campus Industrial de Ferrol, Universidade da Coruña, Spain, presented a practical risk assessment toolbox concerning the development of a civil protection plan, comprising “specific plans” covering preparedness measures for challenging one unique event: the Camino and linking it to contingency Planning from trans-regional aspects with Asturias, Castilla and Portugal. The integral role of the protected interests is presented by the individual and group pilgrims, religious spaces, private spaces, public spaces, concerts, events, etc. Thousands of pilgrims, from children to ancient, moving on foot, on the bicycle or horseback, on the wheelchair, all of them heading to Santiago, and the emergency Planning considers different health statuses (ageing, illnesses, health persistence etc.), motivations and weather conditions. For challenging all emergencies raised by the international pilgrim route, the regional authorities convene a temporary protection body as Integral Coordination Center 112 and mobilise groups of volunteers, trained and ready to assist in the case of an emergency along the route.