Institutional and economic dimensions - dealing with uncertainty and Disaster Reduction
Convenor: P. Ciavola  | Co-Convenors: Lee , Heyer , Tetzlaff 
 / Tue, 14 Sep, 16:30–18:45  / Room Agathe-Lasch-Lecture Room
 / Attendance Wed, 15 Sep, 10:30–13:00  / Poster Session: 'Topic Islands'

The management of risk reduction due to storm surges rests with public institutions, through the construction of engineering work to prevent the phenomenon (e.g. storm surge barriers, dykes, etc). However, experience has shown that the involvement of end users is essential in building up a culture of awareness, which may eventually lead to actions like retreat from risky areas or obtaining proper insurance for assets at risk. While there is normally a good public understanding of the phenomenon in areas which have suffered historically from marine flooding, often people do not realize that they may be living in areas at risk and public opinion turns against institutions when events happen. The common attitude of the public leads to the classic newspaper headline: Why we were not warned it could happen? The answer may be: Because we did not know it could.

Key roles of the public institutions and organizations include establishing the key operational requirements, and identifying an appropriate framework for the early warning system. As for decision-analysis tools and their management, it is essential to determine the options for strategic mitigation in compliance with the governance, while the currently available technologies for risk assessment and prediction are adequately understood and applied. A breakthrough has been provided at EU institutional level with the publication of the Directive 2007/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the assessment and management of flood risk. This directive now requires Member States to assess if their coastlines are at risk from flooding, to map the flood extent, the position of assets and humans at risk in these areas and to take adequate and coordinated measures to reduce the risk. The Directive also reinforces the rights of the public to access information on flood risk and set up a consultation procedure in the planning process. The IOC Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM), through the guidelines on Hazard Awareness and Risk Mitigation (2009, Manuals and Guides No.50 / ICAM Dossier No.5), provides assistance to policy makers and managers in the reduction of the risks to coastal communities, their infrastructure and service-providing ecosystems from coastal disasters including storm surges.

Papers in this theme might address:
- Institutional dimensions of storm surge response
- Civil society as organisational force
- Public bodies as organisational force
- Management scales
- Warning systems: Present and future
- Technological progress to improve the information basis
- Effectiveness of hazard lines or set back lines
- Current reflection of risk and response in governance
- Institutional response to uncertainty