A new pattern of risk management: The Hyogo Framework for Action and Italian practise
On January 2005, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction adopted the "Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2025: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters" [UN-ISDR (United Nations, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction), Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development: understanding the links between development, environment and natural hazards leading to disasters, World Summit on Sustainable Development, August-September 2002, Johannesburg, 2002]. This "white paper" seeks to promote "an effective integration of disaster risk considerations into sustainable development policies, planning and programming at all levels" [UN-ISDR (United Nations, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction), Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development: understanding the links between development, environment and natural hazards leading to disasters, World Summit on Sustainable Development, August-September 2002, Johannesburg, 2002. p. 1] outlining a strategic and systematic approach to reduce vulnerabilities and risks to hazards. The current paper discusses each aspect of the Hyogo approach in relation to the Italian experience. Italy represents an interesting case because of its multiple hazard environment, and the fact that it has developed an integrated approach to risk reduction planning. Strengths and weaknesses of the "Italian way" of dealing with risk are identified, and compared with the theoretical processes suggested by the framework. Implementation of selected key actions in Italy has helped identify a series of obstacles to progress, further defining the gap that still exists between theoretical framework and actual practise. The various activities constituting "risk management" (viz., assessment, prevention, mitigation, monitoring, early warning, preparedness) are here considered in a comprehensive framework wherein each phase is connected to the others. The paper focuses on natural hazards, which are more frequent in Italy (landslides, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, natural soil erosion). The main results include: - A new process for dealing with risk, using the framework for guidance, is identified. We track the reasons for Italy gradually adopting this process in dealing with her vulnerabilities to natural hazards. - Those factors that appear to interfere with an integrated approach to risk management are identified as a function of selected experiences. - Guidelines for analysing vulnerabilities to disaster in a multi-hazard, integrated context are proposed.
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