While attending the 2021 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, emphasised the centrality of investment in prevention and preparedness for better confronting a future risk landscape of more frequent and extreme disasters.
The EU remains committed to meeting its targets under the Sendai Framework and continues to support its Member States in preventing and preparing for disasters. Among others, the imminent launch of the Knowledge Network under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism will contribute to that endeavour.
During the Forum, Commissioner Lenarčič said: 'The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst health crisis seen in the EU's history. Sadly, it is not the only extreme circumstance that we have witnessed in recent years. Climate crisis is already here, and science is telling us we can anticipate more frequent and more intense disasters. This requires all of us to act together and prepare better for the future. As co-organiser of the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, the European Commission wishes to contribute to greener resilience of communities in Europe and beyond by supporting the enhancement of disaster prevention, informed by the best scientific practices and knowledge.'
At this year's 2021 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction, 22 government leaders from across Europe have come together at this event to jointly pledge for making disaster prevention and actions to strengthen resilience to disasters a priority.
It takes place timely after COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and links closely to the anticipated effects of climate change, including more extreme disasters, greater human tragedies and material damage.
The Forum is part of a regional series and co-organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the Portuguese National Authority for Civil Protection.
In recent years, the EU has seen a wide range of crises that caused devastation to human life, property, the environment and cultural heritage. Looking ahead, the EU expects more extreme events due to climate change.
Via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU enables its Member States to exchange information regularly on disaster risks, runs exercises together and pools rescue teams and equipment that are rapidly mobilised when a disaster overwhelms any other country in the world.
For 2021, the EU also allocated €75 million in humanitarian aid to preparedness actions worldwide. Via its Science and Knowledge Service and the Copernicus programme, the Commission provides science, knowledge and information to support Member States with early warning, response and risk assessment.