Cross Border Complex Floods And Forest Fires Prevention And Management
Recent disasters around the globe strongly indicate that most challenging territories for managing floods and forest fires are the cross border ones. Various reasons (economic, social, political, cultural) make it difficult to agree, establish and implement joint strategies and policies dealing with climate change impacts, societies’ resilience and emergency management. A huge identified deficit in exploitation of research and projects’ outputs to strengthen civil protection systems exists at border areas. Available technological advancements and innovations cannot do not reach fire brigade, forestry and civil protection services. due to lack of personnel, high rigidity in existing plans and procedures, inability to create cross border standard operation procedures and most importantly to identify the cross border area as a single area of intervention prior and during an emergency. SOLVE creates a coherent risk prevention and management strategy and capacity building framework to exploit on existing or underdeveloped prevention and mitigation strategies and tools exist. Floods -including flash and urban ones- and forest fires –including wild urban interface fires can be devastating and create political, social and economic problems, hindering any progress made for economic development and social cohesion, while they can drive away investments. Cross border area cannot afford missing opportunities for growth and employment. SOLVE focuses on joint actions for most common risks (forest fires and floods). Main outputs: a) Modern equipment and joint training of operational teams (1st responders), b) Provision of scientific support and knowledge (through innovative approaches, methodologies and tools to operational decision making and c) Capitalization and mainstreaming of results. d) active citizens’ participation to prevention activities through Participatory GIS platform and focused actions. Such approach is novel and fosters the cross border cooperation at a sustainable basis, following the provisions of new civil protection law 4662/2020 and the 2020 cross border collaboration guidelines of DG ECHO. SOLVE has a dual character approach: a) Working on most common risks, building on past and ongoing successful projects’ results and b) joint actions not only at the levels of risk assessment, early warning and management procedures, but also at conducting large scale joint exercises, common training and immediate exploitation of results both at policy and operational levels. The overall SOLVE objective is to minimize the risks from forest fires (including Wild Urban Interface ones) and Floods (including flash and urban floods) for the Florina regional unit & Pelagonia region in a long term basis and in a way that can be replicated in other cross border areas. SOLVE approach transform cross border area from problematic one concerning disaster risk reduction and management into a promising one fostering and facilitating cooperation.