Thessaloniki (GR), 9 December 2011
River floods, flash floods, urban floods and floods from the sea in coastal areas are afflictions encountered by regions and countries all over the world. Figures are dramatic: some 85,000 people are killed and 230 million affected by natural disasters worldwide every year. The consequences of these disasters are not only economic and financial, but also environmental and social. It is therefore crucial to prevent and manage floods and engage all relevant stakeholders in the process.
The Flinkman project is born from this assessment. Launched in January 2010 and co-financed by the European Commission under the civil protection instrument, Flinkman is a two-year project promoting three guiding principles: cooperation, coordination and communication. It aims to improve flood risk management by developing a framework for cooperation among all players involved in flood management: politicians, agencies, experts and of course, the citizen.
During today’s Flinkman final conference, participants agreed that though this event marks the end of the project, their mission does not stop here. Regions need to strengthen their defence against catastrophic events and to do this they must learn from each other. Flinkman has shown that the most successful plans are those where all stakeholders are engaged early on in the process. By contributing their knowledge and proposals to a common pot, together they develop comprehensive strategies that cover all possible risks and that everyone can implement if the need arises.
The Flinkman project is lead by the Decentralised Administration of Macedonia-Thrace (GR) and involves the Province of Noord-Brabant (NL), the Land Hessen (D), the Balkan Environment Centre (GR), Sigma Consultants (GR) and the Assembly of European Regions (AER). It marks the conclusion of AER’s Emergency Planning Network, which operated during 2007-2009 and focused on how European regions can develop joint strategies and share their resources when facing emergencies.
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