CATALYST Virtual Meetings completed
Preparations for Regional Workshops


21 September 2012 - The CATALYST Project has completed its first round of regional Virtual Meetings in which issues and challenges in capacity development for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation specific to each of CATALYST's four target regions were discussed . Preparations are now under way for the Regional Workshops.


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CATALYST Virtual Meetings completed
Preparations for Regional Workshops

The CATALYST Project has completed its first round of regional Virtual Meetings.  Preparations are now under way for the Regional Workshops, the first of which will take place in Giovinazzo, province of Bari, Italy, 27-28 September 2012.

The CATALYST Project, an EU FP7 funded project, aims to create opportunities for capacity development among stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction and adaptation in the context of natural hazards. The project's stakeholder members include both regional and global experts in the field, representing NGOs, governmental and inter-governmental agencies, the scientific community, relevant networks and the private sector. 

The core activity of the project is taking place through its 'Think Tank' process, which includes an Online Forum, Virtual Meetings and Regional Workshops.  The Think Tank is designed to foster communication and knowledge exchange, not only within Europe, but within and between regions across the world so that practitioners for disaster risk reduction can share knowledge and experiences with experts in other regions. 

The CATALYST Think Tank process has been focused in the first year of the project on regional Virtual Meetings and Online Forum discussions.  The Think Tank members participating in these have discussed issues and challenges specific to each of CATALYST’s four target regions (Central America and the Caribbean, East and West Africa, the European Mediterranean, and South and South East Asia).  The aim of each Virtual Meeting was to identify the state of the art in capacity development for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the region; to provide examples of best practices in the field; and to identify gaps in the provision of capacity development, particularly in the case of informing policy making. 

In the European Mediterranean region, for example, drought and earthquakes were identified as the major hazards.  During the Virtual Meeting, experts from NGO's, universities and research centres located throughout Europe as well as from the United States, stressed the importance of good quality scientific information and best practice examples that are accessible to all. However, because of language and cultural barriers, reports and recommendations are not always shared.  For instance, it was noted by Peter van der Keur of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), one of the CATALYST Project's partners, that: "With regard to drought, the management of land use and irrigation, and the management of groundwater and surface water are not fully integrated."

The next phase of the CATALYST Project involves the further analysis of the outcomes of the regional Think Tank's Virtual Meetings and Online Forum discussions through a series of four Regional Workshops that will allow Think Tank members to meet face-to-face.

The first of these, for the European Mediterranean region, will take place 27-28 September at Vedetta sul Mediterraneo, Giovinazzo, Bari, Italy, hosted by the Water Research Institute of Italy’s National Research Council (CNR-IRSA).  The theme will be capacity development within the management of climate extremes and earthquakes. 

Further workshops are scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 10-11 October, for the East and West Africa region; in November in the Caribbean for the Central America and Caribbean region; and in Bangkok, Thailand, 23-24 January 2013 for the South and South-East Asia region. 

The final outputs of the project will support the work of the European Commission in close cooperation with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) to provide tools and guidelines for the development of effective practices for UNISDR actions.


For additional information about the CATALYST project, see:
Or contact:
mhare AT seeconsult DOT org


Editors note
Project partners include seeconsult GmbH; the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ); TWAS -  the academy of sciences for the developing world; the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS); Alterra (a research institute for the living environment based in the Netherlands); and the United Nations University (UNU) Institute for Environment and Human Security.

CATALYST is a coordination action financially supported by the European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013), under grant agreement 283177.

Disclaimer. The results contained in this website were produced within the CATALYST project "Capacity Development for Hazard Risk Reduction and Adaptation" funded under the FP7 by the European Commission. This website is the sole responsiblity of the CATALYST Project and does not represent the opinion of the European Community nor is the European community responsible for any use that might be made of the data appearing herein.
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