Disasters that can be triggered by hydro-meteorological events are interconnected and interrelated with both human activities and natural processes. They therefore require holistic approaches to help us understand their complexity in order to design and develop adaptive risk management approaches that minimize social and economic losses and environmental impacts and increase resilience to such event.
A particularly important part of the management of complex problems such as disasters due to extreme hydro-meteorological events, is improving forecasting, prediction and early warning capabilities (especially over a range of spatial and temporal scales) using state of the art science and technology to help policy makers and emergency services to develop robust prevention, mitigation and preparedness strategies. Important as it may be, it is however only one part of the answer. Equally important is that these systems are integrated into broader management strategies (structural and non-structural, engineering and natural) and are supported by appropriate institutional and organisational arrangements.
The main goal of PEARL is to develop adaptive, sociotechnical risk management measures and strategies for coastal communities against extreme hydro-meteorological events minimising social, economic and environmental impacts and increasing the resilience of Coastal Regions in Europe.
To achieve its main goal, PEARL adopts a holistic risk management approach, based on the following three premises:
- Risk management is a socio-technical process, which cannot be studied by separating social and technical processes and designing them in isolation;
- The relationships between the parts are mutual, emergent, dynamic and nonlinear and are guided by the self-organising capacities of each part and the (unpredictable) dynamics of their coevolution;
- The process of strengthening any kind of flood risk mitigation measure (such as forecasting, prediction and early warning capabilities) should be understood and studied within the context of the larger flood management process which depends on interactions with other sub-processes at different levels.