Training together in Georgia for a stronger civil protection system
The EU-funded programme Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters in Eastern Partnership countries phase 3 (PPRD East 3) aims to increase the resilience to disasters in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. The programme, which is implemented by Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) as the lead agency and programme coordinator, the Emergency Services Academy Finland, the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic – Section of Crisis Management, the Centro Internazionale in Monitoraggio Ambientale (CIMA) and the Italian Red Cross (CRI) support to establish an early warning early action-based civil protection approach.
This approach was practiced during a full-scale exercise on forest fires in Tbilisi, Georgia in May and June, aiming to strengthen inter-institutional and regional coordination. Forest fire is a prominent risk in all partner countries and we are stronger together. Leading up to these dates, there was extensive work with early warning early action trainings, such as active monitoring and early detections of fires to trigger anticipatory actions. Drones have been used to practice detecting fire risks, start rapid mapping action, to support rapid assessment and to understand the behaviour of the fires, for example near buildings and the urban interface of fires.
- Early warning to early action measures have the power of drastically reducing the number of wildfires. Our aim is to make sure that fires don’t even start, to safeguard the environment. However, when a fire starts, scientific organisations embedded in the Civil Protection system can also provide reliable tools for increasing situational awareness during operations making response more efficient. Davide Miozzo Deputy Team Leader and Early Warning Systems Expert said during the exercise.
There has been a systematic approach to integrate cross-cutting issues into the planning and implementation of the exercise. There was an established code of conduct and feedback and complaints mechanism to ensure a respectful and safe environment for all participants.
Activation of all-inclusive civil protection systems and operational planning
In order to enhance the Emergency Preparedness capabilities the PPRD East 3 programme works with all civil protection systems, civil society and volunteers. This is crucial to strengthen the response planning processes. During the exercise, Red Cross participants from Georgia, Ukraine and Italy trained Search and rescue, psychosocial support and first aid.
“Situational awareness and operational planning is crucial during a properly coordinated response. All the operational structures have to part of it, particularly in case of international deployments. Our aim is to have an enhanced coordination capacity, testing the integration of different procedures and the interaction with high level situational awareness provided by research components.” Lorenzo S. Massucchielli, Planning and Preparedness Expert.
During an operation, the all-inclusive Civil Protection System approach, triggers the possibility to have a unique operational plan, effective coordination and support, with a positive impact on the effectiveness of the activity and a significant cost reduction, such as common and shared logistics, integrated communication, and avoiding overlapping activities. This approach also supports the integration of the community, ensuring better preparedness and augmented resilience.
Partnership and ownership is key
The PPRD East 3 Programme has a supportive approach to capacity development, where partnership and ownership is key. Peter Glerum, Team leader concludes: “We build on existing capacity and adapt to the needs and priorities in each partner country. With this the programme achieves a strengthened alignment with the European Union civil protection mechanism and a safer future for all partner countries. This exercise was an example of how this works in practice. We were very happy with the results seeing everybody from different countries and backgrounds working together.”
About the programme
The 3rd phase of the EU-funded programme “Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters in Eastern Partnership countries – phase 3 (PPRD East 3)” is implemented during the years 2020-2024, with the purpose to strengthen disaster risk reduction and crises management in the Eastern Partnership countries and to promote regional cooperation with the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
The programme has three main objectives:
- Enhancing the capacity of the civil protection organisations
- Enhancing the multi-stakeholder approach by involving all stakeholders including other government agencies, civil society and the academia.
- Strengthening the regional cooperation of the partner countries and the cooperation with the European Union.
The programme is implemented by a consortium consisting of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) as the lead agency and programme coordinator, the Emergency Services Academy Finland, the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic – Section of Crisis Management, the Centro Internazionale in Monitoraggio Ambientale (CIMA) and the Italian Red Cross (CRI).
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents represent only the views of the author and is their sole responsibility. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Latest reviewed: 20 June 2023