Focusing on Civil Protection

CIVPRO hosted an international conference on Civil Emergency Management at the UH.


Co-operation, co-operation, co-operation is the key-word, State Secretary Risto Volanen emphasized in the conference “Civil Protection-Resilience to Terrorism and Natural Disasters”.

The aim of the conference is to deepen the understanding of civil emergency management, to challenge existing disaster strategies and to stimulate cooperation and debate within the field of comprehensive crisis management.

In the old world we used to prepare for two kinds of risks, Risto Volanen continued, war and peace. Today a much more comprehensive approach to security and crisis management is needed. Co-operation is the key-word.

Lars Hedström, Deputy Director General from the Crisis Management Coordination Secretariat at the Swedish PM’s Office, stressed preparation for the unexpected. “The worst thing is to be surprised, decision-makers should never be surprised. Early warning is essential. The Financial Crisis, the Georgia-Russia conflict show that we need to be prepared. The challenges for 2009 include a holistic approach to crisis management and capacity building through knowledge and information sharing”, Hedström concluded, as the countdown of the Swedish EU Presidency is approaching in 2009.

“A new type of awareness arose from the disaster of the Tsunami in 2004. The events of September 11, the hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Pakistan, ushered in a new era in the global risk portfolio”, Dr. Timo Hellenberg stated in the opening of the conference on November the13 th. Dr. Hellenberg is Head of the CIVPRO Civil Protection Network.

The event is arranged in Helsinki and continues until the 14th.

The CIVPRO Civil Protection Network is an international group of civil protection experts and institutions conducting research on issues regarding civil protection, risk management and emergency preparedness. The Network is coordinated by Aleksanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki.

Text and photo: Karin Hannukainen

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