PRO NEWS programme starts its journey

REC Albania participates as part of the project consortium

April 20, 2017 | By Loreta Hysa

Floods are a continuous threat to Albania and represent huge potential damage to the social and economic assets of the country. In early February 2015, floods in the south of the country damaged 5,975 hectares of land and affected more than 600 families. According to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), the impact of floods does not rely exclusively on extreme meteo-hydrological conditions, but also on the proper implementation of integrated and coordinated policies on risk management, which should include early warning, preparedness and prevention measures. In this regard, the new "Programme for Improving National Early Warning System and Flood Prevention in Albania" (PRO NEWS), financed by the European Union Delegation to Albania, aims to ensure increased resilience to floods by strengthening Albania's National Early Warning System and improving disaster prevention in line with EU good practices.

The first steering committee meeting, held on April 10-11, 2017, marked the launch of the PRO NEWS programme. The scope was to present and further discuss the endorsement of the workplan and the activities that will be carried out throughout the implementation of the programme. The meeting, organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Directorate for Civil Emergencies and co-chaired by the EU Delegation to Albania, brought together representatives from main national stakeholders of the sector, such as: the Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment; the Ministry of Agriculture; the Technical Secretariat of Water Council; the State Authority for Geo-spatial Information; other responsible flood prevention authorities in the country; the consortium partners responsible for programme implementation; and other international organisations.

The implementing consortium includes: the Italian Civil Protection, as coordinator; the Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia (DHMZ); CIMA Research Foundation (CIMA); the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF); the Regional Environmental Centre (REC); and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The consortium members presented the programme’s components and a detailed workplan for the first phase of implementation.

The PRO NEWS programme is designed: to improve the legal and institutional framework on early warning, flood management, civil protection and emergency planning; to develop flood hazard maps according to the provisions of EU Floods Directive; to promotion the development and adoption of awareness raising campaigns; to support Albanian institutions in accessing the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism; and to improvement of early flood warning systems to prepare for integration into the European Flood Awareness System.\

Capacity-building activities such as technical and dissemination workshops, advisory and technical missions, as well as trainings and exchange of expertise, will be used to achieve the expected results. Project activities will be shared through online platforms, media and related events.

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TAGS: Albania | Flood prevention | Flood protection