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Social Capacity Building for Natural Hazards: Toward More Resilient Societies (CapHaz-Net)
Start date: 01 Jun 2009, End date: 31 May 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The main objectives of CapHaz-Net are to identify and assess existing practices and policies for social capacity building in the field of natural hazards and to elaborate strategies and recommendations for activities to enhance the resilience of European societies to the impacts of natural hazards. This will be achieved by bringing together different scientific disciplines and by enhancing and fostering communication between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners from across Europe. CapHaz-Net focuses on synthesising and integrating knowledge and perspectives from five topics: risk perception, social vulnerability, risk communication, risk education, risk governance. These are central for developing social capacities of societies and communities for natural hazards. For each topic, main perspectives, actions and initiatives are identified and assessed that can improve capacity building. The project is structured in three phases: In a first phase key studies and initiatives will be identified and assessed within each of the main topics, achieved through literature review work and thematic meetings. The outcome will be a living document representing the state of the art and providing initial suggestions on how to improve societies’ capacity building. In the second phase these results will be down-scaled in particular regional contexts and evaluated in respect of local experiences and existing practices and tools, achieved through a series of regional hazard workshops. The network will consider three geographical areas representing different natural hazards types. During these workshops best practices and chances of improved legal tools and strategies but also gaps of knowledge are identified and assessed. In the final phase, the network will integrate findings and develop recommendations that provide a synthesis concerning specific steps to improve social capacity building of European societies’ facing natural hazards and give guidance for future research.
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