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Dr. Mechthilde Fuhrer EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement Council of Europe.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Mechthilde Fuhrer EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement Council of Europe."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Mechthilde Fuhrer EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement Council of Europe

2 Initiative of the Council of Europe Aware of the new challenges to be faced, and with reference to either the CoE Action Plan on Disability and article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), the Major Hazards Agreement EUR-OPA of the Council of Europe decided in 2013 to organise a survey on the safety and security of people with disabilities in case of disasters. A questionnaire was sent to the member States and the responses confirmed that this problem was largely unknown and unsolved.

3 CoE publication 2014 The Council of Europe published the document “Major Hazards and People with Disabilities” : a) Report reflecting the state of the art in the countries having submitted responses; b) a political Recommendation stressing the importance for action; c) Guidelines on how to undertake first steps towards improvement.

4 Awareness The publication was largely publicised via multiple channels, including the Internet and international meetings or conferences: Conference on People with Disabilities in Disaster Preparedness and Response, 4-5 December 2014, Brussels Workshop on needs of persons with disability throughout disaster management cycle, organised by the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, January 2015, Riga, Latvia The response from most addressees was very encouraging and the Council of Europe raised huge awareness for the topic at international level.

5 Idea of a Toolkit The discussions revealed that there were already interesting initiatives here and there, but they were not known or not structured in a way allowing for sharing good practice. In 2014, the Council of Europe decided to organise a new survey with the aim of collecting good practice at international level and to compile these examples in an “easy to use” Toolkit: Major Hazards and People with Disabilities

6 7 success factors Additionally to the 7 success factors the toolkit takes into consideration the 4 phases of the disaster risk management cycle and follows the “design for all” principle.

7 What needs to be done? 1 st success factor: Commitment of decision makers. Decision makers at the highest levels must be convinced of the necessity for action and must support the development of DRR strategies, that take into consideration the societal changes. Such commitment cannot be based on good intentions alone, but needs to be accompanied by strong political decisions.

8 What needs to be done? 2 nd success factor: Coordination and continuity. One central body or person must be entrusted with the coordination of DRR activities at national level. Even if responsibilities are shared by particular subgroups, the coherence and continuity of actions can only be guaranteed through a strong central coordination.

9 What needs to be done? 3 rd success factor: Networking. A coordinator must set up one or more networks bringing together all relevant stakeholders. The 2 CoE surveys have shown that the communication between user organisations, rescue services and (political) decision makers need to be improved radically.

10 What needs to be done? 4 th success factor: Strategic planning. The 4 phases of the DRR cycle must constantly be upgraded taking into consideration the new habits of the population (like deinstitutionalisation), new legislation about human rights (like privacy) and new technologies (like accessible warning systems).

11 What needs to be done 5 th success factor: Knowledge management. Changing habits of the population, new technologies and updated strategic planning calls for ongoing training of rescue services in order to allow them to face these new situations adequately. But there is also a need for educating the population on how to behave during disasters.

12 What needs to be done? 6 th success factor: Optimising resources. Resources: it is not only about money! Improvements can be achieved through - anticipative political decision making, - adequate training and education activities, - innovative combination and reorganisation of existing services, - intelligent networking, etc…

13 What needs to be done? 7 th success factor: Communication and marketing. Raising awareness through diverse channels and with varying supports can contribute to better preparedness of the population and to the valorisation of the important work done by rescue services.

14 Who, where, how? Practice has shown that it is not possible to just copy- paste good examples. It is important to transpose good practice in a way that takes into consideration the local context. This allows for the development of strategies that can be shared at regional, national and international levels.

15 Standardisation and Harmonisation The recent Workshop on needs of persons with disability throughout disaster management cycle, organised by the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union has shown that examples of good practice in the field of warning systems exist and that they work very well ….. at the national level! It is important to keep in mind that disasters do not stop at national borders and that DRR strategies must be harmonised in order to be effective.

16 Contribute to the CoE toolkit Toolkit: es/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId= c acb1 es/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId= c acb1 Template: es/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId= c acb0 es/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId= c acb0 Workshop on the Toolkit (21-22 May, tbc)

17 Workshop on the Toolkit, May2015 THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

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