2. Flood risk management
Convenors: Jeroen Aerts, Luciana Esteves, Frans Klijn, Heidi Kreibich, Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Corinne Larrue
Risks of flooding in urbanised coastal areas are changing due to two main driving forces: variations in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events (floods, windstorms) combined with sea level rise and socio-economic trends in terms of the number of inhabitants and economic assets at stake and their vulnerability. This theme covers all issues that relate to analysing and managing risks of flooding events now and in the future.
Reducing risks is the most important response to managing climate extremes. We focus in this theme on reducing economic losses and losses of life due to flooding. An approach currently under research and implementation is the ‘multi-layer approach’. The first layer being strengthening the flood security measures, for example build a dike or increase possibilities for natural coastal protection measures (eg. dunes or mangrove forests). Adjusting building codes, robust waterfront development and other smart architecture to cope with storm and flood risk belong to the second layer. But vulnerability to flooding events is also determined by the coping capacity of a coastal city following the event through evacuation, relief and rehabilitation options. In addition, adaptive capacity determines the perspectives for managing risk through research, planning and implementation of measures that reduce risk. Community based flood protection measures will be an important topic for presentations and discussion.
Insurance and other financial instruments can play a role in covering and spreading risk of extreme losses. Experience in awareness raising and incentivizing risk reduction through these financial instruments can help in the design of products with benefits beyond mere risk transfer.
Finally, the session will address what additional information and tools are needed from climate and vulnerability science for flood preparedness and management. What uncertainties surround the trend analysis of climate extremes? What uncertainties are present in future simulations of climate extremes and losses? How can disaster related risks and their uncertainties be better communicated?
In short the session will address the following questions: How can extreme event exposure be analysed and reduced, and what type of adaptation strategies can be developed for managing low probability events? What are (potentially) successful examples of community based flood protection measures and how does this relate to spatial planning and zoning regulations? Which financial instruments are available to cover residual risks? How can insurance schemes provide incentives to reduce risk? How can we innovate in damage estimation and reduction, and in evacuation and risk communication? Which information and tools from climate and vulnerability science are needed for the management of extreme events?