The rapid risk assessment
After a successful 2nd Engagement workshop in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on the 3rd and 4th October 2017, the project team have produced the final version of the Rapid Risk Assessment (RRA) template and methodology and an EMETNET Impact Assessment. Workshop participants gave constructive and useful feedback on both the rapid risk and impact assessments, which has been taken into account in the final versions. Evaluation feedback has shown us that an online RRA form is preferred over a word document and we have now produced an online, electronic version of the RRA template.
The network of experts
Identifying and inviting experts with the areas of expertise needed within the network is an ongoing process during the project. Through engagement with project stakeholders and experts, areas of expertise were identified which could be required to support deployed experts in the field. The network of experts currently contains 46 members from a number of European countries. The network has been tested in two exercises and could now function in pilot mode in the case of a real ‘live’ event.
In the recent Engagement workshop, participants explored the different roles and tasks of the ad hoc expert working group which would be convened to conduct a RRA in response to an environmental emergency.
The second of the two EMETNET exercises was held on the 24th and 25th October 2017 where 17 experts joined the exercise over 2 days. Experts and the project team had the opportunity to test out the new online, electronic version of the RRA template.
The incident scenario presented to the EMETNET ad hoc expert working group was a flooding incident after a dam collapse in Mosul, Iraq. In the scenario, several cities and towns downstream from the dam were flooded, killing a number of people, damaging homes, infrastructure and the environment. The working group was asked to answer several critical questions on the first day of the exercise and to produce a RRA on the second day. The group split into a number of small sub-groups with each sub-group focussing on a specific question(s) depending on their area of expertise. The group worked remotely but collaboratively with the use of web conferencing facilities and a collaborative document sharing platform, which was used to fill out and exchange documents. The outputs from this exercise were a document containing the answers to the critical questions and a RRA.
What does the future hold?
We are currently looking into ways of continuing the network beyond the lifetime of the project and ensuring that the RRA methodology is adopted. Unfortunately, a proposal for implementation of the EMETNET outputs, which we submitted to DG ECHO under the 2017 call for proposals, was not granted funding, though we were on the reserve list. We are looking into submitting another proposal this year. The Coordination of Assessments for Environment in Humanitarian Action Initiative, a joint initiative including UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit (JEU), has shown an interest in our outputs. This Initiative is developing a Framework for Environment in Humanitarian Action, an online resource which could house the RRA tool. Furthermore, the Initiative is setting up a working group on remote environmental analysis that will be led by JEU. Members of the EMETNET project team have joined this working group, and we will share our experiences of building the EMETNET network with the group and explore synergies. A paper on the project was recently published in the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering (paper can be accessed via our links page).