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Please find here your downloadable copy of the Winter 2022-23 issue of Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience News for the latest views and news at www.cip-association.org/CIPRNews.

- A Standard to help protect Critical Infrastructure
- Government and Industry Cooperation: More Important Than Ever for Cybersecurity Awareness
- Help2Protect: an eLearning program to counter Insider Threats
- Testing Environments Help S&T and CISA Secure Transportation Infrastructure
- Can responsible AI guidelines keep up with the technology?
- Infrastructure Resilience Planning Framework (IRPF)
- An Interview with Port of New Orleans
- Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience North America Preview
- Industry and Agency Reports and News

Download your Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience News at www.cip-association.org/CIPRNews

Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience News is the official magazine of the International Association of Critical Infrastructure Protection Professionals (IACIPP), a non-profit organisation that provides a platform for sharing good practices, innovation and insights from Industry leaders and operators alongside academia and government and law enforcement agencies.

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Risk information is everybody’s business. Here is why it is a whole-of-society effort

More risk data is produced every day. However, new findings often don't make it out of the scientific silos to the broader public. In the face of false information, it is essential to find new ways of making risk information accessible to everyone.

  • Risk information should provide scientifically sound information, tailored to the everyday concerns of society.
  • Science, private sector, governments, and media need to understand each other’s interests and qualities.
  • A whole-of-society approach calls for all parties to communicate clearly and listen carefully.

Different stakeholders may have different priorities and angles around risk . For example, public leaders may prefer a responsive angle on manifested disasters for strategic reasons, while private developers may not want to stress risks to prevent them from raising a lot of attention.

Establishing collaboration requires dialogues between institutions. This is easily hindered by unclear distribution of responsibilities or language and jargon barriers.

5 ways to enable an all-of-society approach

To create a holistic conversation around risk, stakeholders need to develop strategies for closer collaboration. Here are five enablers that support these dialogues and facilitate effective communication:

1. Building trust

People are willing to collaborate on risk communication when strong relationships are in place. Long-standing partnerships between universities and municipalities, for example, benefit from knowing each other's objectives and differences to build trust and understand each other’s priorities.

2. Clear communication

Clear communication is key when bringing together the private sector, governments, and civil society. Only when all parties understand the different risk scenarios and risk reduction options, can they develop solutions that serve the community. "Knowledge brokers", knowledgeable in various fields, can play an important role in "translating" across sectors and aligning conversations.

3. Financing innovative collaborations

Informative, unbiased risk communication requires independent funding for thorough research and reviewing. Finance for collaboration on risk communication is increasingly important, at a time when independent media are financially constrained by the economic downturn.

4. Understanding each other's needs

Effective collaboration with the media and creative sectors is enabled if all parties understand each other’s needs. For instance, scientists who approach media with interesting stories, written in simple language, show an understanding of media timeframes and requirements. RSuch stories can give insight into how DRR issues affect audiences' everyday lives.

5. Creating incentives

Collaborations can flourish if they clearly benefit all practitioners and rule out reasons for mistrust. Hence, underlining the proactive position of risk communication and the increase in credibility are among the most important steps.

Political figures as well as scientists benefit from early on communication, rewarding them with greater credibility and confidence.

Incentives targeting the private sector may aim at openly informing the greater public about potential risks and in return tailoring their products to meet the consumers' needs.

Within the media and creative sectors, creative and engaging programming that helps audiences feel informed and empowered to act can attract other stakeholders.

Risk communication that serves society

Risk communication should support informed decision-making. Available data needs to be translated into information and actionable knowledge.

Therefore, practitioners of diverse backgrounds need to find new ways of collaboration that highlight shared perspectives, bring together visions, and foster creativity.

Disaster risk is ultimately linked to people's everyday lives and therefore can be explored through a wide range of programming and formats. This is where all stakeholders come together; in providing scientifically sound information, tailored to the everyday concerns of society.

[Source: UNDRR]

FEMA Obligates Over $10M Through Swift Current Initiative

FEMA has obligated $10.28 million in flood resilience projects through the Flood Mitigation Assistance Swift Current initiative. This is the first FEMA initiative funded through President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The initiative allocates a total of $60 million to Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania—all states affected by Hurricane Ida—to equitably expedite mitigation grants to disaster survivors with repetitively flooded homes. The application period opened April 1, and by Aug. 1, the funding requested exceeded the amount made available through the Swift Current Initiative by over $9 million. FEMA continues to review all other subapplications submitted to the Flood Mitigation Assistance Swift Current initiative and will announce further selections in the upcoming months.

Selections include acquiring 31 flood-prone properties in New Jersey and converting land to open space while two properties in Louisiana will be reconstructed to better withstand flooding. More information about these and other selections is available on FEMA.gov.

Swift Current seeks to substantially speed up the award of Flood Mitigation Assistance funding after a flooding event and reduce the complexity of the application process. Its goal is to obligate flood mitigation dollars for repetitively and substantially flood damaged properties insured through the National Flood Insurance Program as quickly and equitably as possible after a disaster event.

The program recognizes the growing flood hazards associated with climate change, and of the need for flood hazard risk mitigation activities that promote climate adaptation, equity and resilience to flooding. These hazards are expected to increase in frequency and intensity.

Chemical security experts call for multisector cooperation against terrorism

The devastating impact of chemical weapons and explosives used in acts of terrorism continues to affect civilian populations and is well known for its destructive and long-term harm.

Last year over 1,000 improvised explosive device (IED) attacks were conducted by non-state actors, injuring over 7,150 people in more than 40 countries. Many attacks come from chemicals that criminals acquired through weak points in the supply chain – from manufacturing to storage and retail– and made into weapons.

To counter this threat, some 220 chemical security practitioners from more than 70 countries met at INTERPOL’s 3rd Global Congress on Chemical Security and Emerging Threats to find ways of reducing vulnerabilities by enhancing multisector cooperation and collaboration.

With a focus on acquisition, transportation, physical and cyber security of chemical materials, the meeting highlighted a range of security issues, such as detecting cross-border movements of regulated material and implementing regulatory frameworks.

Terrorists’ misuse of e-commerce and new technologies

The Global Congress also explored ways to counter emerging threats including terrorists’ misuse of e-commerce and new technologies to acquire toxic and precursor chemicals.

Due to the substantial growth and access to the Internet in recent years, so too we have seen an increase in digital content produced and shared through platforms such as instant messaging, social networking, blogs and online portals. The misuse of technologies can be seen as a result of this rapid growth in content, and with it a rise in suspicious activities.

Law enforcement agencies provided examples of investigative techniques that could be used to identify and prosecute the illicit purchase or sale of chemicals on the Dark Net. These lessons provided delegates with solutions to address the use of sophisticated technologies for nefarious purposes.

"The concerted effort of global law enforcement, along with our partners, is key to combatting the use of explosive precursor chemicals and chemical weapons,” Mr Hinds added.

Dual-use and precursor chemicals have a wide legitimate function in the production of consumer goods such as pharmaceuticals, cleaning supplies and fertilizers. This raises significant challenges to prevent and monitor, and remains one of the inherent threats to chemical security worldwide.

INTERPOL awareness video - ‘The Watchmaker’

In this context, an INTERPOL-produced awareness video was premiered at the meeting to engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders in understanding the importance of individuals and companies to secure dangerous toxic chemicals, including equipment.

Entitled ‘The Watchmaker’, the video highlights the need for multisector cooperation to combat these threats and will be used in a series of INTERPOL capacity building workshops and other activities related to counter-terrorism and prevention.

“Multisector collaboration is essential for us to tackle the threats we face from criminals who gain access to dangerous chemicals with malevolent intentions. Morocco is committed to strengthening the engagement of these issues as part of our proactive approach to combating terrorism,” said Mr. Mohammed Dkhissi, Head of National Central Bureau, Rabat.

Other measures proposed by the Global Congress Network include:

- Advocating chemical security recommendations such as increased retail reporting on suspicious activity;
- Expanding the INTERPOL-hosted Global Knowledge Hub, which allows members to engage in interactive discussions and access good practice guidance;
- Strengthening the Global Congress Network through greater diversity of expertise and activities across regions and sectors;
- Promoting decision-making tools such as a customer database, which can flag areas of security concern.

Since its inception in 2018, the Global Congress has been jointly led by INTERPOL, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and implemented in cooperation with the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

Designing a flood early warning system (FEWS) for West Africa

The great West African drought that started in the 1970s was undoubtedly a turning point in the region’s environmental discourse. It is well recognised as one of the most significant climate-driven disasters in recent history. The event was the onset of an era of rainfall uncertainty and variability, driving recurring floods and droughts across the region.

West Africa, an agglomeration of 16 countries, spans from the dense humid forests of the south to northern Saharan desertscapes (Figure.1). The region’s rainfall cycle is controlled by the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Changes in rainfall patterns have been attributed to climate change as well as land-use changes. ‘The Sahelian paradox’, is the increase in river flows despite reducing rainfall seen in many river basins. The complexity of hydrological and regional wind systems make it difficult to accurately predict long-term rainfall trends and their consequences.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has invested significantly in drought management in the past. However, these nations have been unprepared for the sudden rise in floods over the last decade. In 2020, a year of particular flood severity, 198,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, 96,000 people were displaced and 2.2 million people were affected across West and Central Africa. If no action is taken, an estimated 32 million people will be forced to migrate internally by 2050.

In response to increasingly frequent disasters, many early warning systems for floods have been launched in West Africa. Flood early warning systems are typically designed around four broad considerations: knowledge of risks, monitoring and warning, response capacity and communication. These systems monitor real-time atmospheric conditions to predict weather conditions, and warn people and governments on how and when to act to minimise disaster impacts. Such tools are especially effective when emergency action plans are laid out and agreed upon by different stakeholders.

Existing flood early warning systems (FEWS) have not been able to meet stakeholders’ needs regarding timeliness of information, geographical coverage, uninterrupted communication, accuracy and open ownership. To increase the adoption, effectiveness and usefulness of warning systems, stakeholder engagement in the design phase is crucial. Generally, empirical evidence on the effectiveness of participatory processes in sustainability science and disaster planning has been weak.

The EU Horizon 2020 FANFAR (Reinforced cooperation to provide operational flood forecasting and alerts in West Africa) project aimed to change this. Within FANFAR’s broader aim of developing a FEWS, our research focused on designing such a system in collaboration with 50-60 stakeholders from 17 countries. Stakeholders included emergency managers, representatives from regional and national hydrological services and river basin institutions. Two key participating organisations were the West African consortium members AGRHYMET Regional Center and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.

We used a research approach called Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). MCDA helps find possible solutions in situations where multiple, often conflicting, criteria need to be considered when assessing options. The first research question investigated what a good FEWS looks like in the West African context.

The second and broader objective explored the relevance of using MCDA as a participatory and transdisciplinary approach for a large project potentially benefiting millions of people across several countries. The participatory process was designed around three key project phases and implemented through a series of stakeholder workshops (Figure 2).

During the first phase of co-designing, stakeholders developed a joint understanding of the problems of existing flood warning systems. They came to a consensus on objectives that were needed to prioritise functions in the warning system. The second phase focused on knowledge co-production, where scientific and societal perspectives and practitioners’ expertise from different sectors were integrated.

The aim of MCDA was to design a FEWS in a way that best meets the objectives and preferences of all stakeholders. During the final stage of co-dissemination and evaluation, the aim was to translate the knowledge produced into solution-oriented and scalable products.

From the co-designing phase, ten objectives emerged as fundamentally important to stakeholders, clustered into four groups. These were clarity and accuracy of information, reliable and timely information access, affordability of production development and operation, and long-term financial and operational sustainability of the early warning system (Figure 4). The ten objectives received different weights depending on their importance to stakeholders.

Of the eleven versions of FEWS that were created by stakeholders and the FANFAR consortium, three were assessed to be well-performing and robust. One version, for example, could function with relatively minimal resources such as poor internet connectivity, unstable power supply and a limited number of skilled personnel. It suggests the FEWS should be simple and robust rather than incorporating many complex features.

MCDA was particularly helpful in focusing on stakeholders’ values. It helped in navigating and reconciling conflicting stakeholder preferences. MCDA was also helpful for knowledge co-production by providing clarity on stakeholder preferences, incorporating diverse perspectives from different disciplines and assessing different FEWS versions despite uncertain data.

The uptake of the FANFAR FEWS in West Africa will depend on a multitude of other factors. These include operational data collection, strategies to increase local capacity, securing long-term funding for operations, maintenance, and technical development. Local and regional governance structures also play an important role. However, because it was built on a common understanding of contextual challenges among diverse stakeholders, we believe the resultant FEWS will be useful to stakeholders from different regions, sectors and professional backgrounds.

 

[Source: Lienert, J. et al. (2022) 'How to co-design a flood early warning system (FEWS) for West Africa' Water Science Policy, doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.53014/CBJJ5560]

WMO issues guidelines on coastal flooding early warning systems

New WMO Guidelines on the Implementation of a Coastal Inundation Forecasting Early Warning System offer solid and practical advice for countries, donors and experts seeking to set up early warning systems against an increasing hazard.

The guidelines are a contribution to the UN Early Warnings for All initiative and reflect the high priority needs of small island developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries that are particularly vulnerable to these coastal hazards.

“The severity of the impacts of disasters, especially on coastal communities, is well known and documented. A contributing factor is the increasing intensity and frequency of meteorological and oceanographical hazards caused by climate change, including sea-level rise, which can seriously affect SIDS and other coastal nations,” state the guidelines.

“It is critical to recognize that coastal inundation can result from single or multiple hazards, and that it is being exacerbated by the impacts of climate change, especially associated with sea-level rise."

“Coastal inundation events are an increasing threat to the lives and livelihoods of people living in low-lying, populated coastal areas. Furthermore, the issues for most countries that have vulnerable coastlines are the increasing level of development for fishing, tourism and infrastructure, and the sustainability of their communities,” it says.

The new guidelines were presented during a side event during WMO’s Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services and Applications (SERCOM), attended by more than 140 participants from all over the globe, including the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Africa.

WMO is grateful to the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems Initiative and the Korean Meteorological Administration for financial support.

These guidelines are based on the successful implementation of demonstration systems in four countries between 2009 and 2019 through the Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project, which included a special focus on Pacific islands. They also incorporate key principles of WMO's Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) and the Severe Weather Forecast Programme.

The aim is to be a “one-stop” shop that countries can follow to prepare and implement their own coastal inundation forecasting early warning system. It provides a straightforward 10 step process with templates featuring policy, management and technical processes that countries or regions can use to build their own early warning system, from vision through to “go-live” implementation. As such information is not always readily available in many countries, these guidelines have concentrated on these features in developing and building a system, including necessary information for sponsors and advice on the resources necessary for success.

The Guidelines are also a registered activity of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

ASEAN Framework on anticipatory action in disaster management

The ASEAN Framework on Anticipatory Action in Disaster Management provides guidance for defining and contextualising anticipatory action at the regional level with some considerations for its implementation by Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This Framework outlines three building blocks of anticipatory action and proposes a Plan of Action for 2021–2025 with the primary aim to streamline anticipatory action in disaster risk management (DRM) through joint regional efforts. The implementation of the action plan will strengthen the ASEAN’s vision of building disaster-resilient nations and communities.

It aims to help advance implementation of anticipatory actions in the ASEAN region while supporting ASEAN in spearheading a common language, objectives and ambition for the global community working on anticipatory action. It represents a landmark commitment from ASEAN to move the anticipatory action agenda forward in the subregion in support of a climate-resilient future. It should be seen as a vehicle to accelerate regional policies and support ASEAN in implementing global frameworks, including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An anticipatory approach can achieve these commitments by addressing the humanitarian–development nexus and gaps between disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, maximising climate science and disaster risk finance.

The importance of early warning systems in disaster risk reduction

It is not enough for an early warning system to correctly identify an incoming hazard, it must also ensure that the populations and sectors that are at risk can receive the alert, understand it, and most importantly, act on it.

Disasters, increasingly frequent and intense, have become a major issue requiring urgent action. In 2021, 432 catastrophic events took place, incrementing the average of 357 annual catastrophic events recorded in 2001-2020. Only last year, 101.8 million people were affected worldwide, and the economic losses amounted to 252.1 billion US dollars.

The impacts of a disaster are often unequally distributed, affecting disproportionately the most vulnerable. These events cause a disruption in the economy and livelihoods of people, producing dramatic socio-economic downturns that hamper short-term recovery and long-term development. On this basis, the promotion of resilience to face all kinds of shocks and stresses is considered a key element for the global development agenda.

In line with this perspective, and in accordance with its mandate, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has focused on building resilience through the promotion of employment and decent work.

In order to achieve this, the ILO works with its tripartite constituents – governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations – to develop a response to disasters that can answer immediate needs, but also deploy a long-term vision to build resilience for risk management through employment-centred measures. These include skills development, job creation through employment-intensive investments, enterprise support and business continuity management, among others.

This year, the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction focuses on early warning systems, a fundamental element to decrease the destructive impacts of a disaster. An effective early warning is capable of saving many lives and reducing damage by 30% if activated 24 hours before the event. However, today, one-third of the world’s population, mainly in the least developed countries, is still not covered by early warning systems.

The purpose of early warning systems is mitigating the risk produced by disasters, but these risks are compounded by the socio-economic vulnerability of the population exposed to the hazards. In this context, early warning systems must be inclusive and sensitive to the different sources of vulnerability. As indicated by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) , these systems must be people-centred, end-to-end, and multi-hazard.

Early warning systems play a significant role in the world of work. By disseminating timely and accurate information regarding disaster risk, they enable preparedness action as well as a rapid response from workers, employers, and national or local authorities, and can therefore prevent human and economic losses in the workplace. For instance, farmers, pastoralists, fishers, and foresters are among the most-at-risk communities to disasters. Moreover, early warning systems can also play a crucial role in decent work, as part of the occupational health and safety standards in disaster-prone countries.

Early warning systems are essential to prepare and respond effectively in the short term, corresponding to the first stages of disaster management. Moreover, the implementation of such systems can also contribute to building resilience, as enhancing preparedness strengthens the capacity to recover rapidly, and reduces vulnerability.

Forest fires: €170 million to reinforce rescEU fleet

Following a record-breaking forest fire season in Europe, the Commission is proposing today €170 million from the EU budget to reinforce its rescEU ground and aerial assets  starting from the summer of 2023. The rescEU transitional fleet would therefore have a total of 22 planes, 4 helicopters as well as more pre-positioned ground teams. As from 2025, the fleet would be further reinforced through an accelerated procurement of airplanes and helicopters.

Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: "Due to climate change the number of regions affected by wildfires is increasing, going beyond the traditionally affected Mediterranean countries. The last summers have clearly shown that more firefighting assets are needed at EU-level. By building up our fleet of aerial means and ground forces, the EU will be able to ensure a prompt, flexible response, including in situations where fires are burning in multiple Member States at the same time.”

Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn said: “While the record-breaking forest fires this summer may have been overshadowed by other crises, today's proposal to reinforce rescEU shows that the EU budget will continue to support those in need. European solidarity across EU Member States remains strong and we are ready to support this solidarity with financial means.”

Wildfires in the EU are increasing in scope, frequency, and intensity. By 1 October, the data for 2022 reveal a 30% increase in the burnt area over the previous worst year recorded (2017) and a more than 170% increase over the average burnt area since EU-level recording started in 2006.

This season, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre  received 11 requests for assistance for forest fires. 33 planes and 8 helicopters were deployed across Europe via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which were joined by over 350 firefighters on the ground. In addition, the EU's emergency Copernicus satellite provided damage assessment maps of the affected areas.

Makati City becomes the second Resilience Hub in Asia-Pacific

The City of Makati in the Philippines is named as the second Resilience Hub of Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) in the Asia-Pacific region on 27 September 2022.

Makati has already been recognized as a Role Model City of the MCR 2010-2020 initiative by sharing know-how and experiences for reducing disaster risk, building urban resilience with other cities and participating in regional forums.

Under the leadership of Mayor Mar-len Abigail S. Binay, the city has adopted the principle of “Resilience is everybody’s business” at all sectors of society to manage disasters and build urban resilience in the country.

“We’re committed to continuing the journey of advocating resilience as a way of life through a Resilience Hub by collaborating with our constituents, partners and other local government units,” said Ms. Binay.

The Chief of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Mr. Marco Toscano-Rivalta, congratulated the Mayor, the City of Makati and its people for their vision and determination to continue strengthening disaster resilience and supporting other cities along the resilience pathway.

“Disaster risk is local, and it is at the local level where leadership, partnerships and solutions make a difference. MCR2030 is a catalyst for local action, a platform for collaboration and sharing of knowledge to localize disaster risk management and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,” said Mr. Toscano-Rivalta.

Makati, also known as a financial hub of the country, has developed a three-year plan of the Resilience Hub, which focuses on creating and building an online knowledge portal. The portal’s objective is to enhance peer-to-peer support, and disseminate risk data, information and expertise by conducting workshops, seminars and events related to strengthening urban resilience towards disaster risk reduction.

The plan also aims to improve city-to-city cooperation by working with other local governments in the Asia Pacific Region and beyond, promote synergies between cities to learn from each other and other disaster risk reduction activities, including capacity building, disaster preparedness, response and prevention.

The city is also in the process of developing the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Academy to learn from its best practices, using case studies and knowledge bases from other cities, leveraging experiences from an international group of practitioners who already participated in the initiative.

Notably, the city has continually mainstreamed and institutionalized disaster risk reduction management across all levels of the city since signing up to the MCR campaign in 2010.

As one of the pilot cities applying MCR tools, Makati held multi-sectoral annual workshops, reviewed and reassessed the city’s progress in implementing the Ten Essentials for MCR2030 through the Local Government Self-Assessment Tool.

The city was one of the first municipalities to utilize the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities, which was developed through then UNISDR’s collaboration with global technology companies such as IBM and AECOM.

In 2017, the city established a resilience roadmap called the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, using the now adapted Disaster Resilience Scorecard. Makati used Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities - Public Health System Resilience Addendum to enhance the city’s disaster risk reduction management.

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