Predicting forest risks and building up resilient societies

International Workshop by NetRiskWork in Solsona explored resilience and adaptive capacity of European forest landscapes by promoting knowledge exchange and networking

How do different natural disturbances affect forests; in what way do they interact and influence each other? What are the challenges for forests in times of climate change? How do natural disturbances affect society and what can we do to mitigate risks? To what extend are risks predictable, and how do we need to shape governance and communication to build up a resilient society?

These questions were discussed in the framework of the international and interdisciplinary workshop “Managing Forest Risks Towards Desaster Reduction: The Case of Wildfires, Storms, Floods and Avalanches and Their Interactions” in Solsona, Catalunya, organized by the project NetRiskWork (networking for the European Forest Risk Facility). The workshop took place from 3-6 October 2017.

A “Risk-Interaction-Matrix” developed by the Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg FVA (Germany) was used to visualize the interactions between the different natural disturbances. It became evident that the discussion of interacting disturbances is always dependent on the local circumstances, disturbance intensity, and moreover, the human defined land management objectives.

Furthermore, the workshop served to exchange experiences in the development of FRISK regional nodes and to rainstorm and define next steps for network nodes for instance in Bulgaria. All presentations and the workshop proceedings will be found here.

The project NetRiskWork aims to provide a platform of knowledge and best experience exchange dealing with different European forest risks and their interactions, delivering operational guidelines for natural risk disaster reduction meanwhile building regional/thematic networks of expertise. The project will perform a best practices capitalisation process on risk planning and management capabilities of wildfires, storms, avalanches and flood hazards, as well as a crosslink assessment on how are these hazards interacting in a changing climate context all across Europe, as well an informal and permanent multi-actor knowledge exchange platforms will be consolidated at local/regional level by the specific hazards supported by a European scope coordination.

Coordinator of NetRiskWork is the Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC). Project partners are European Forest Institute, the Forest Research Institute (FVA), Pau Costa Foundation, the Civil protection General Directorate of Regione Sardegna (DGPC RAS), and CEREN (Test and Research Center of the ENTENTE). More information on the partners here.

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