ESPREssO: Enhancing Synergies for disaster PRevention in the EurOpean Union

The project is structured upon the central role of three main challenges to be addressed in order to propose ways to mitigate differences, to identify gaps and to overcome the boundaries among different topics:

  • Integrating DRR and CCA, to propose ways to create more coherent national and European approaches and resilience strengthening.
  • Integrating science and legal/policy issues into DRR and CCA, to enhance risk management capabilities by bridging the gap within these domains at local and national levels
  • Improving national regulations to prepare for transboundary crises, to address the issue of efficient management of disasters induced by natural hazards - including cascading effects and “Natech” events (natural hazard-triggered technological disasters) - requiring a coordinated effort from two or more countries in the EU, and/or the support of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

ESPREssO aims to contribute to a new strategic vision for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in Europe and to promote new ideas for the future roadmap for research and innovation activities in the field of natural hazards and policymaking, in light of changing climatic patterns and new risk landscapes, based on the priorities identified by the main international agendas such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 2015 UN Paris Climate Agreement.

ESPREssO has developed the Stakeholder Forum and Think Tanks with the aim of promoting effective mechanisms and interactions with the key actors (e.g. scientists and research community, governmental authorities, general public, civil protection, UNISDR platforms, key EU and global institutions etc.). During the three Think Tanks, project members and stakeholders have been engaged in “serious games”, based on a table-top scenario exercise/tool called RAMSETE (Risk Assessment Model Simulation for Emergency Training Exercise), which was specifically designed by the ESPREssO team to stimulate discussions and to gather opinions.

Feedback from the interaction and discussion with the stakeholders have been collected through an on-line questionnaire survey and the on-line repository developed in the ESPREssO Action Database, representing an additional strong basis to identify gaps and needs in DRR/CCA research, policy and legislation and possible solutions to overcome these.

Besides the project management and coordination, ESPREssO is divided into 5 main Work Packages:

  • WP1 - Stakeholder engagement and analysis
  • WP2 - Synthesis of existing legal, policy and science knowledge base
  • WP3 - Development of hazard-specific scenarios for RMS
  • WP4 - Evaluation of proposed strategies
  • WP5 - Dissemination and guidelines

The final outcomes of the project are two documents, the ESPREssO Vision Paper and the Guidelines, which have been developed by the project partners taking advantage of an extensive review process involving the ESPREssO community at large, from the Advisory Board to the members of the Stakeholder Forum and Think Tanks, including experts in the field of DRR and CCA.

The ESPREssO Enhancing Risk Management Capabilities Guidelines is intended to provide local authorities and civil protection bodies with a set of general recommendations and check-lists for optimizing disaster risk governance.

The ESPREssO Vision Paper on future research strategies following the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030, outlines the key missions for natural hazard research over the next ten years in the light of the changing climate and emerging risks.

Deliverables, media articles, newsletters, posters, presentations and outcomes and publications are available on the ESPREssO website.

AMRA Scarl (coordinator) IT
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches Geoforschungszentrum DE
Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières FR
Deutsches Komitee für Katastrophenvorsorge e.V. DE
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich CH
University of Huddersfield UK
Københavns Universitet DK