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Boosting Disaster Prevention through Innovative Risk Governance

Insights from Austria, France and Switzerland

image of Boosting Disaster Prevention through Innovative Risk Governance

In 2014 the OECD carried out work to take stock of OECD countries' achievements in building resilience to major natural and man-made disasters. The report suggested that albeit significant achievements were made through effective risk prevention and mitigation management, past disasters have revealed persistent vulnerabilities and gaps in risk prevention management across OECD. Based on the findings of this OECD-wide report a cross-country comparative study was undertaken in Austria, France and Switzerland to test the recommendations put forward in specific country contexts. This report summarises the individual and comparative country case study findings. It highlights that the risk prevention policy mix has shifted in favor of organisational measures such as hazard informed land use planning or strengthening the enforcement of risk sensitive regulations. In the meantime, the great need for maintaining the large stock of structural protection measures has been overlooked and vulnerability might increase because of that. The report highlights the need for better policy evaluation to increase the effectiveness of risk prevention measures in the future. The report highlights practices where countries succeeded to make risk prevention a responsibility of the whole of government and the whole of society, by analysing supporting governance and financing arrangements.

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Boosting resilience through innovative risk governance: the case of Alpine areas in Austria

This chapter summarises the country case study findings of boosting resilience through innovative risk governance in Austria. After an overview over the prevalence of natural hazards, focusing on Austria’s Alpine regions, and the past social and economic costs of disasters, the chapter documents Austria’s progress in establishing resilience against major disasters through disaster risk prevention and mitigation measures. The chapter illustrates Austria’s long-standing tradition in dealing with natural hazards and shows how responsibilities are shared across government sectors and levels. It also highlights the effective integration of citizens and communities in risk disaster risk management, from assessing hazards to financing disaster risk prevention. The chapter puts forward recommendations to confront future prevention challenges, such as meeting continuously increasing demand for new protection measures and the growing need to invest in the maintenance of existing infrastructure to sustain the intended protection levels.

English

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