As part of the Franco-German cooperation, the AFPCN-DKKV “Stammtisch” has been held regularly since this year with the long-term aim of creating a European platform to facilitate European cooperation and the exchange of expertise and “best practices” between European platforms and experts.

The “Association Française pour la Prévention des Catastrophes Naturelles” (AFPCN) is the French counterpart to the DKKV. AFPCN was founded in 2000 to continue the work of the French Committee of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), as a national centre for collective, cross-cutting and cross-risk reflection on natural hazards and as a recognised actor in international cooperation in this field.

To provide an initial platform for exchange and discussion, the first joint AFPCN-DKKV WebTalk took place this month. Under the title “Exchange of experience on flood management in France and Germany: Dialogue between practitioners at local level”, risk prevention practices in Cologne and Paris were discussed.

Dr Marlene Willkomm, deputy head of the flood protection centre of the “Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln” (StEB) spoke about flood protection in the city of Cologne and in particular about public relations and communication in relation to flood risk management. While Régis Thépot, Deputy Secretary General of AFPCN and international expert on DRR policy implementation, shared his experience as a practitioner in the field of flood risk management in France and specifically in the field of flood risk governance.

Patrick Pigeon, professor at the University of Savoie-Mont-Blanc and member of the Laboratory of Mediation (University of Paris IV, Sorbonne), moderated the dialogue which enabled a successful exchange between speakers and audience. The aim of this WebTalk was to highlight good practices from which mutual inspiration can be drawn, as well as to identify further topics for future exchange.

During the lively discussion, the importance of involving all stakeholder groups was emphasised once again. In Paris, regular simulations are needed to raise awareness among the population, as the last flood happened some time ago. But also in Cologne, the involvement of the population in prevention work is an important key for effective and inclusive flood management.

Due to the numerous positive feedbacks for this format with great exchange effect, the next WebTalk with DKKV moderation will now be planned in the following.

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