In an illuminating report from the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (IRES), the management and anticipation of natural disasters in the country are under scrutiny. The study, spurred by the aftermath of the seismic activity on September 8, reveals several significant gaps in territorial planning for risk and crisis management, with rural and isolated areas being particularly vulnerable.
Identified Shortcomings in Disaster Risk Prevention
The report highlights various shortcomings, including the absence of pre-studied coordination scenarios, lack of local disaster prevention plans, inadequate resources in affected communities, and inefficient emergency access to affected sites. Furthermore, the study notes slow local rescue mobilization, the absence of precise geographic information systems, inefficient aid distribution, and a deficit in local actors' awareness and training on disaster risk prevention.
This assessment underscores the wider significance of science and knowledge in disaster risk prevention and management. Despite evolving financial and institutional frameworks, such as the Fund to Combat the Effects of Natural Disasters (FLCN) established in 2009 and the Solidarity Fund against Catastrophic Events created in 2019, the report indicates that these measures are still insufficient.
Strengthening Legal and Institutional Frameworks
The country has made efforts to fortify its legal and institutional framework for disaster management and anticipation. This includes the 2020-2030 National Strategy for Managing Natural Disaster Risks, the 'Vigisrisque' plan for flood anticipation and integrated management, and various national emergency and maritime rescue plans. However, the IRES report suggests that this framework needs to evolve further to encompass all aspects of natural crisis management and anticipation.
Proposed Strategic Orientations
In response to these challenges, the report proposes strategic orientations for improved governance at global, anticipation and prevention, and resilience levels. These include developing a comprehensive institutional governance of disaster risks, integrating multi-risk and multi-crisis resilience approaches into public policies, and incorporating risk knowledge into social and cultural values of prevention and societal resilience.
The IRES report serves as a stark reminder of the importance of robust crisis management frameworks. It calls for a strategic approach that not only addresses immediate disaster response but also focuses on anticipation, prevention, and resilience, underscoring the importance of integrating disaster risk management into the fabric of societal values and public policies.