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 Newsletter no.8, May 2005

  Download (PDF): Newsletter no.8
 

 Topics

 

 New International Flood Initiative is launched

 

 APFM at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction

 

 Workshop of WMO and the International Water Law Research Institute (IWLRI) on Legal Aspects of Flood Management

   Flood management in a transboundary river basin
   Flood management interventions and environmental considerations
   Share your experiences on Community Approaches to Flood Management
   Flood Management Practices from various regions of the world
   Expert meeting on Integrated Flood Management in San Jos Costa Rica
   World Wetlands Day
   Subscribe to the APFM newsletters
   Explore the APFM website

 New International Flood Initiative is launched

Mr K Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO and Mr Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of WMO launched the International Flood Initiative (IFI) during the session of the Thematic Segment at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) to improve and develop risk management measures against increasing flood-related disasters. An International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (I-CHARM) will be established as a global facility in support of the Initiative under Public Works Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan. Integrated Flood Management has been taken up by the initiative as the central concept.

Subsequently, during a workshop in Geneva, a group of experts set out the mission of the International Flood Initiative, which promotes an integrated approach to flood management, at the same time, reducing social, environmental and economic risks that result in and from floods and increasing the benefits from floods and the use of flood plains.

The objectives of the initiatives are to build capacities in countries in order to gain and advocate better understanding and handling of hazards, vulnerabilities and benefits involved with floods by promoting all measures leading to that end by applying the following guiding principles:

-  Living with Floods;
-  Equity;
-  Empowered participation;
-  Inter-disciplinarity and trans-sectorality; and
-  International and regional cooperation.

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 APFM at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction

The WCDR was held from 18-22 January 2005 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. APFM was represented at the conference to advocate for IFM and to liaise with the disaster management community by presenting the activity and output of the programme.
 
Session on Integrated Flood Risk Management
The session on Integrated Flood Risk Management through appropriate knowledge sharing and capacity building systems was organized by the Government of Japan, the and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology on January 20 in WCDR Thematic Segment. A presentation on L­egal and Institutional aspects of IFM was made with panel that was followed by a discussion on legal frameworks to support an integrated approach to flood management. Representative of APFM pilot project in South Asia presented the outcomes of the pilot project on the Community Approach to Flood Management.

The participants of the session discussed and supported a statement on Integrated Flood Risk submitted to the ISDR Secretariat. APFM disseminated APFM outputs materials through WMO booth.

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 Workshop of WMO and the International Water Law Research Institute (IWLRI) on Legal Aspects of Flood Management

A workshop was held between representatives of WMO and IWLRI at Dundee University, Scotland UK on 14 and 15 April 2005, with the aim of reviewing the contents, determining the steps towards finalization of the advocacy paper on the Legal and Institutional Aspects of Integrated Flood Management. Focus of the workshop was to enhance the guidance aspect of the publication by developing a rapid Assessment Tool, that would allow countries to test compatibility of their legal framework and guide appropriate reform.

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 Flood management in a transboundary river basin

Cuareim is a transboundary river sharing water resources between Brazil and Uruguay. A pilot project has been developed and coordinated in Brazil by the "Instituto de Pesquias Hidraulicas" (IPH) and in Uruguay by the "Dirreccion Nacional de Hidrografia" (DNH) so as to develop non-structural actions to manage floods within the framework of IFM.
The activities undertaken include an evaluation of the possible approaches to flood management duly assessing both structural as well as non-structural measures with active involvement of community.
 
Based on a joint topographic survey by DNH and IPH, topographic map of the cities of Artigas and Quarai, topobathymetric surveys, river channel surveys of cross sections were carried out. A water balance study for the river basin was carried out and the availability-demand water balance was established for 11 sub basins under conditions of present demand and conditions of potential future demand for the river basin.  The existing private sector stakeholders such as CTM (Joint Commission of the Salto Grande Dam) were also involved and agreed to contribute their scientific knowledge and experience throughout the pilot project.

Multi-stakeholder workshop are being organised to provide input from various societal needs. ANEP (The National Administration of Public Education, Uruguay) and DNH organised a workshop in April 2004 where social members of the Local Emergency Committee, doctors, assistants, heads of police, as well as firemen, army- and technical personnel, participated. A mass awareness campaign involving the educational bodies in the area to inform about measures to be taken during, and following the occurrence of extreme flood events was organised for sensitising mass opinion on the flood issues a day of cleaning the river banks of the River.

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 Flood management interventions and environmental considerations

For the last couple of decades sustainable development has required environment and development to play complimentary role in meeting the needs of mankind other forms of life. In recent years a paradigm shift has started to gain momentum realising that floods are part of nature and that they can never be fully controlled. The shift also recognizes that factoring environmental considerations into flood management practices is essential.

However clear guidance on how to deal with environmental issues in flood management is still missing. How environmental considerations are to be factored in the decision making process and how tools such as environmental impact assessment and cost benefit analysis to includes environmental considerations could be applied needs to be understood.
In order to raise awareness of policy makers about the links between flood management interventions and the ecology of rivers, wetlands, floodplains and river deltas and the wider consequences on people livelihoods and the long-term productivity of the floodplain. Further it aims at presenting an indicative set of strategies and tools to mainstream environmental considerations into flood management practices in order to harmonize IFM principles and environmental/ecosystem considerations.

It is planned to formulate an expert group from various organizations working on flood management issues to guide the preparation process.

For more information: http://www.apfm.info/advocacy/advocacy.htm

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 Share your experiences on Community Approaches to Flood Management

APFM provides a platform to share experiences in integrated flood management. Through this platform it is our endeavour to encourage and enable the involvement of local communities in various stages of flood management with a view to further develop and promote community action in flood prone areas.

The APFM therefore invites various actors (both non-governmental/civil society and governmental) involved in activities that promote community action for flood management to share their experiences. You are invited to post relevant experiences or information on your activities and your organizations to the APFM, Technical Support Unit (apfm@wmo.int).

For more information: http://www.apfm.info/regional_projects/sastac.htm

 

 Flood Management Practices from various regions of the world

A number of case studies on flood management were, and are being, collected from various regions of the world, based on the experiences of organizations active in flood management. The synopses, the extended summaries and the complete text of case studies collected, can be downloaded from the APFM website.

For more information: http://www.apfm.info/case_studies.htm

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 Expert meeting on Integrated Flood Management in San Jos Costa Rica

An expert meeting on IFM was held on 1-2 February 2005 in San Jos Costa Rica to develop a possible pilot project between Nicaragua and Honduras. A possible pilot project between Panama and Costa Rica was also discussed. The Chair of CATAC and the Permanent Representative of Costa Rica with WMO, three experts from Costa Rica participated in the meeting. It was dedicated to select two possible basins in river Negro (Honduras and Nicaragua) and river Sixaola (Costa Rica and Panama).

 

 World Wetlands Day

Beyond the tsunamis, World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2005 organised by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was held in Gland Switzerland for declaration on natural mitigation of natural disasters. The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, Forests and Landscape, UNEP, UNHCR, WHO, FAO, CMS, CITES, International Association of Hydrologists, IUCN, WWF, BirdLife International, Wetlands International, IWMI, and European Space Agency and the APFM agreed on a "declaration of principles" entitled "Beyond the tsunamis: a way forward"

For more information: http://www.ramsar.org

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 Subscribe to the APFM newsletters

 Subscription to the APFM newsletters are available through the APFM website. This enables users to receive them regularly by filling your email address. It is also possible to unsubscribe it if you do not want to receive them any more.

Fore more information: http://www.apfm.info/newsletter.htm

 

 Explore the APFM website

Since October 2004 the APFM website has been renewed and updated with a simple but distinct design and clear structure.
The APFM website is one of the Information services that provides information on:

-  Principles of IFM,
-  Advocacy papers on IFM
-  Good practices/lessons learned in IFM
-  Pilot projects implemented under the APFM and
-  A set of flood management databases.

All the outcomes and publications related to APFM are accessible through the website.

For more information: http://www.apfm.info

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