Updated: 09-Aug-2001 Week of 30 July - 5 August 2001

1 Aug. 2001

Flood preparedness and response
in the Carpathian region

In recent years, floods, landslides and mudflows in the area of the Tisza river, Ukraine, have become increasingly serious. NATO is currently developing a pilot project on regional flood preparedness and response in Ukraine, together with the neighbouring countries of the entire Tisza catchment area. Calls for the development of a pilot project in the field of Civil Emergency Planning were made at the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers on 15 December 1999 when the NATO-Ukraine Work Plan for the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Charter in 2000 was approved.

The main aim of the project is the creation of an effective flood warning and response system in the Carpathian region which would guarantee the protection of population from natural disasters.

The assessment phase, consisting of site selection and definition, the assessment of the regional capabilities, data evaluation and validation, and the development of the strategy and work plans is scheduled to begin in September 2001. This phase will take approximately 6 to 8 months. Experts will conduct interviews in the regional centres, tour facilities and review support documentation. Implementation of the entire pilot project will take 18 to 24 months

Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and USA have placed experts on hydrography and hydrology at the disposal of the project.

Financial resources totalling some 200,000 USD have been committed from the NATO budget and from donor countries that are members of NATO's Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in order to fund the assessment phase of the project. Cooperation and synergy with governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations involved in similar projects in the region is also envisaged.

Mr Ivan RONSSE, Head of the Belgian Civil Emergency Planning Agency (CPND) has accepted the mandate of NATO's Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee (SCEPC) to act as co-ordinator between NATO and the international expert task force involved in this project. For further information regarding the Pilot Project, he can be reached at e-mail: cpnd_cnvv@mil.be.

Additional information: