Infrastruktur und Umwelt

Symposium: Dealing with Flood Risks Together – Taking Action Together / 19 November 2014 in Essen

“Planning is the foundation – successful implementation is the result,” was the message from Johannes Remmel, the Environment Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, during the second symposium dealing with the implementation of the Flood Risk Management Directive in North Rhine-Westphalia, held on 19 November 2014 in Essen.

Under the title “Dealing with Flood Risks Together – Taking Action Together: Flood Risk Management in North Rhine-Westphalia”,  the Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection had invited interested parties to a presentation and discussion of the current situation regarding flood risk management planning. The main focus was on the question of how a joint implementation of risk management measures might successfully be arranged. The project team from INFRASTRUKTUR & UMWELT (IU) was responsible for technical and organisational aspects of preparing and implementing the symposium. IU Partner Dr Peter Heiland moderated the events of the day, including the various discussions.

The Environment Minister, Johannes Remmel, opened proceedings with an address that looked at the National Flood Protection Programme recently agreed between the German central government and the German Federal States, as well as the tasks and future challenges facing North Rhine-Westphalia itself.

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One session, titled “No More Reason Not to Know – the Use of Flood Hazard and Risk Maps in Risk Management”, was concerned with the practice of flood risk management planning, including legal aspects of the same. Finally, various stakeholders, including representatives from local government, delineated the opportunities and stumbling blocks that they had observed in the course of actively contributing to flood prevention. These included the tension between the administrative demands of flood risk management planning in line with EU-Directives on the one hand and the daily realities of cooperation between very many stakeholder authorities, all with their own priorities, on the other.

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In an open discussion, there was also an opportunity to hear from stakeholders who aren’t directly responsible for the implementation of flood prevention measures but who are very important for their success. 

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The event ended with a look at future work in the field of flood risk management in North Rhine-Westphalia and how it ties in with the EU Water Framework Directive, as well as the role of central government in flood risk management and the National Flood Protection Programme.

Further information regarding the symposium can be found <<< here >>>. [Note: linked website in German]