CoastWAVE Project Partners and Stakeholders Take Stock of Key Project Achievements and Discuss the Implementation of Tsunami Ready Programme in the North-East Atlantic & Mediterranean


CoastWAVE Project Partners and Stakeholders Take Stock of Key Project Achievements and Discuss the Implementation of Tsunami Ready Programme in the North-East Atlantic & Mediterranean

CoastWAVE Project Partners and Stakeholders Take Stock of Key Project Achievements and Discuss the Implementation of Tsunami Ready Programme in the North-East Atlantic & Mediterranean 610 458 Ocean Decade

Over 40 national representatives, stakeholders and experts assembled at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris for a meeting of CoastWAVE, a Project implemented by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and funded by the European Commission’s DG ECHO in the context of the UN Ocean Decade 2021-2030.

The meeting served as a platform to discuss the project’s key achievements, challenges, and opportunities in the implementation of the CoastWAVE project which is coming to a close by end of June 2024. Participants focused their discussion on the implementation of Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme (TRRP) in the North-East Atlantic, the Mediterranean (NEAM) and connected seas region.

In the opening remarks, Dr. Denis Chang SengIOC/UNESCO Programme Specialist, thanked DG ECHO for the continued cooperation for the ICG/NEAMTWS. He emphasized that the CoastWAVE project is a UN Ocean Decade endorsed action, which has truly made a big difference and impact, not only in the seven project countries, but also in other North-East Atlantic & Mediterranean countries.

Ms. Auriane Denis-Loupot, Analyst at the European Commission Emergency Response Coordination Center (ERCC/DG ECHO), highlighted that the CoastWAVE meeting was very timely, considering that project phase I is coming to an end on 30 June 2024.

She emphasized, “For DG ECHO, this project is a crucial contribution to the European Commission’s Disaster Resilience Goals adopted in 2023. It aids local communities in better preparing for tsunami and coastal risks, contributes to enhancing early warning systems in the region, and raises awareness of a hazard that is often overlooked. Finally, it also aligns with the global goal of the United Nations Early Warning for All initiative to have all people on earth protected by early warning systems by 2027,” said Ms. Denis-Loupot.

Dr. Derya VenninIOC/UNESCO Associate Project Officer: “In our concerted efforts, we have organized over 30 workshops, facilitated 21 educational activities, conducted 9 community exercises, and disseminated over 90 social media posts as a cohesive team. Our endeavors extend beyond the implementation of TRRP, as we actively work to enhance capacities within the countries involved in the project.

At the meeting, representatives from project countries – Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Malta, Morocco, Spain, and Türkiye reported on the implementation progress of the TRRP. The session was moderated by Denis Chang Seng and Derya Vennin.

Project partner Ms. Pauline Galea (University of Malta) presenting on results achieved in Marsaxlokk, Malta. © UNESCO
Participants discussing challenges of the Tsunami Ready implementation. © UNESCO

Among key achievements, the following were highlighted:

  • Early Warning Systems: Significant progress has been made in bolstering early warning systems across the project countries to alert coastal communities against potential tsunamis.
  • Community Awareness and Education: The CoastWAVE project partners have effectively conducted extensive tsunami awareness campaigns, educating vulnerable coastal communities on tsunami evacuation procedures, preparedness measures, and the importance of recognizing tsunami natural warning signs.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: The meeting showcased successful international collaboration among NEAM region countries, exemplified by joint tsunami exercises like NEAMWAVE23 Tsunami Exercise, sharing best practices, and collaborative research, enhancing the coastal resilience of participating communities.

Additionally, representatives from Italy (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, INGV), Israel (National Steering Committee for Earthquake Preparedness), France (CENtre d’Alerte aux Tsunamis, CENALT) and Portugal (Civil Protection Agency, CPA) shared their experience in implementing Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme.

Finally, Dr. Vennin, moderated a hands-on exercise on the challenges faced during the implementation of the project, as well as potential solutions to ensure project is brought to a successful completion in June 2024.

This meeting also served as a platform for final planning, ensuring that the project maintains its significant impact in mitigating the risks posed by tsunamis in the NEAM region.

The outcomes of the meeting were presented during the 18th session of ICG/NEAMTWS-XVIII session between 6-8 February 2024.

For more information on the COASTWave project, click here.


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