Under the umbrella of the DAREnet project, co-organised by the Croatian Ministry of Interior, Civil Protection Directorate and RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation, on the 28th of September 2021, the Workshop entitled: „Strengthening Resilience and Capacities of Flood Protection and Response Stakeholders – Good Practices and Development“ was organised. Topics were divided in three groups: Civil protection training, procedures and methods; Information sharing/digitalization; Water governance. Panel discussions on the first day of the event were followed on the 2nd day (29 September 2021) by the field (demonstration) exercise with operational forces involved in flood response (State Civil Protection Intervention Unit, Croatian Red Cross, Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, local Voluntary Firefighters and local Emergency Service). Exercise scenario was the rupture of the embankment caused by a large water wave, and the aim was to demonstrate standard operating procedures, verify mutual cooperation and coordination of stakeholders, as well as the exchange of relevant information. Alongside with demonstration exercise, exhibition of flood defence equipment was held. 

The event was an opportunity to gather and exchange the knowledge and best practices of prone flood regions Danube and Sava River Basins as one of DAREnet’s project efforts. Beside DAREnet consortium partners in this hybrid format event, there was around 50 participants from State Administrations, Operational Civil Protection Forces, Institutes and Associations of Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia.

On Friday the 17th of September was the Danube Flood Resilience Innovation Competition formally launched. This year’s competition addresses the subject of equipment and technology. Submissions can cover a wide range, from innovative technologies and equipment to the further development of existing solutions for specific areas of application not yet covered.

The three best ideas will be invited to the next DAREnet Annual Practitioner Forum (February 2022) to present themselves to a broad audience. This event is a unique opportunity for practitioners to meet, exchange and network with academia, industry, policy makers and funding authorities.

The first winner will receive support for the (further) development of the solution/idea through a tailor-made proposal/concept development workshop.

Submit your ideas at www.darenetproject.eu/innovationcompetition.

The Danube Flood Resilience Innovation Event was held successfully from 16-17 September 2021 in Budapest and Balatonföldvár, Hungary. The event was attended by approx. 40 participants from the DAREnet consortium and members of the EUSDR PA5 Disaster Management Working Group. For the first time since the start of the pandemic were the invited stakeholders from across the region able to meet each other physically, while others joined virtually. While ensuring appropriate COVID-19 related hygienic measures did the meeting allow for fruitful discussions regarding current needs, future plans and cooperation opportunities in the field flood resilience innovation in the Danube River Region. The meeting was comprised of plenary and break-out sessions, as well as the participation at the annual Firefighter Expo.

Building on joint activities of the past while paving the way for future did the event enable a closer and stronger collaboration between the two stakeholder networks. This will from now provide the framework for the planning of joint activities until the end of the DAREnet project and beyond.

Key representatives of the DAREnet project coordination team and representatives of the Budapest Firefighter Association met to discuss the ideas and possibilities to hold physical event that will strengthen the collaboration between the partners of the DAREnet project and the EUSDR PA5 DMWG members. Taking into account potential travel restrictions related to the on-going pandemic has it been decided to jointly plan for a hybrid meeting towards mid/end of September 2021 in Hungary.

After an extended period of joint activities and alignment has the decision been taken to formalise the strategic cooperation between the DAREnet project and the EUSDR PA5.

By adding the Budapest Firefighters’ Association as a beneficiary to the DAREnet project will existing ties been strengthened significantly. The cooperation is aimed to enhance flood resilience in the Danube River region by providing a platform for cooperation that facilitates discussions between relevant stakeholders to foster innovation and collaboration. Concrete steps for action will be taken during the next weeks.

DAREnet has participated at the Community of Users on Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies (CERIS) cross-networking event on 21 April 2021. Together with the Horizon 2020 projects FIRE-IN and eNotice, DAREnet was representing the group of EU networks of security practitioners. Facilitated by DG ECHO, the event was further attended by institutional networks such as UNDRR E-STAG, the UPC Knowledge Network and the Spanish Community of Users. The aim of this event was to foster the exchange among the various security (research) networks and to further deepen the collaboration to enhance research and innovation.

More information about CERIS can be found at https://www.securityresearch-cou.eu/

DAREnet has hosted a dedicated session during the DiMaND workshop on preparedness practices on 24 and 25 February. The event took place as hybrid event in Budapest and virtually.

DAREnet Coordinator Christian Illing of THW presented the results of the 2nd Annual Practitioner Forum which served as starting point for the discussions with the participants. Best practices including related challenges and gaps have been identified with respect to trainings, exercises, capacity building and innovation as well as technology. The outcomes of the workshop constitute valuable contributions for the future work for both DAREnet as well as DiMaND. Furthermore, this event significantly contributed to strengthening the collaboration between DAREnet and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region Environmental Risks Priority Area.

About DiMaND
DiMaND is a DG ECHO UCPM Knowledge Network project and coordinated by the Disaster Management Working Group of EU Strategy for the Danube Region Environmental Risks Priority Area. The main goal of DiMaND is to support this initiative and to strengthen the Disaster Management Network in the Danube Region by promoting the network of governmental and non-governmental disaster management organizations in the Danube Region. DiMaND aims at extending the cooperation and joint efforts of the countries in the Danube Region for reaching a common understanding and developing standards regarding the management of environmental risks. For this, DiMaND will develop recommendations for the involvement civil protection organizations and fire and rescue services involved in disaster management, thus contributing to the UCPM Knowldge Network.

Based on the outcomes of the 2nd Annual Practitioner Forum, DAREnet and EUSDR PA5 have jointly prepared a result paper. This paper summarises the outcomes of the event and provides recommendations deriving from the discussions. The facilitated discussion with responder organisations, academia, industry, public authorities and policymakers was regarded as highly beneficial, and it has been agreed to continue the dialogue in the future – and even to extend it to additional stakeholders. In this respect, DAREnet and EUSDR PA5 will continue their successful cooperation to facilitate professional exchange, share best practices, aiming at improving flood resilience in the future.

The organisers thank all participants and speakers for their contributions, making this event a success.

The paper can be downloaded in the Results section or here.

DAREnet and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region Priority Area 5 on Environmental Risks have successfully concluded the second part of this year’s Annual Practitioner Forum. This episode in forms of a panel discussion was attended by more than 50 persons of all countries of the Danube River Region, representing first responder organisations, academia, industry, and public authorities. It aimed to facilitate discussions on policy-level about how the challenges, gaps and needs that were identified in the first part could be addressed. The panel was comprised of representatives of EC’s DG HOME, DG ECHO and DG REGIO as well as the Danube Transnational Programme and the EUSDR PA5 Disaster Management Working Group. Building upon the outcomes and recommendations of the first part, the panellists discussed how innovation in flood risk management training in the Danube River Region can be enhanced through strategic partnerships.

DAREnet and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region Priority Area 5 on Environmental Risks have successfully concluded the first part of this year’s Annual Practitioner Forum. This first of two online events was a workshop targeting at first responders dealing with the topic of floods in the Danube Region. The thematic focus of the workshop was “training”. The workshop took place on 24th November 2020 and was attended by more than 50 persons of all countries of the Danube River Region, representing first responder organisations, academia, industry, and public authorities. The outcomes of this workshop are currently being summarised and will serve as basis to facilitate a panel discussion to take place on 2nd December 2020. This panel discussion with speakers from the EC’s DG HOME, DG ECHO and DG REGIO as well as the Danube Transnational Programme and the EUSDR PA5 Disaster Management Working Group will complete the 2nd Annual Practitioner Forum.

Registration to the panel discussion is still open at www.practitionerforum.eu.