Day 1 of the 4THGeneral Assembly of the “PLACARD” project started with an introductory meeting and welcoming statements from Mr. Diogo de Gusmao-Sorensen (DG RTD). It was underlined that an independent review is taking place and potentially the project could become a “success story” of the Horizon 2020. With this regard, the legacy of the project will be  important for the future of the consortium.

Currently, we have almost 40 months of the project behind and 20 months are still ahead of us. Almost 35 activities of the project (both, as organizers and co-organizers) covered representatives and key actors from European, International, National and Local levels where Climate Change Adaptation (short, CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (short, DRR) integration was the most popular topic of the events. At the same time, for Climate Finance and DRR there was only one event in the last 40 months.

Inputs/results of the project have been already provided for Horizon 2020, BRIGAIDE, IPCCC AR6, EU Adaptation Strategy, Climate-ADAPT and other platforms – recommendations of the project were cited in some reports/papers, such as, for example, “Assessing the Real Costs of Disasters” (OECD).

The Great PLACARD TV Show was the next point on the agenda and during three sets of the TV show participants of the projects were able to discuss with the audience the most exciting achievements from the last years and summarize their plans for the future.

The first set of the Great PLACARD TV Show was hosted by Ms. S. Bharwani and during this set participants were discussing the narratives for preparedness and prevention as well as the climate services. In fact, narratives are not only helping us to understand the interactions between CCA and DRR, but also could be used to encourage collaboration (introduced by Ms. I. Coninx). Climate services – is a broad definition how we use the climate knowledge for our policyies (implement it into the decision-making process) or it`s the way how we deal with climate risks (presented by Mr. J. Mysiak). Hence, climate knowledge is crucial for decision-making process and implementation of the policies.

Set 2 of the TV Show (hosted by Mr. Richard Klein) was dedicated to the issues of terminology and information, especially to the knowledge management aspects. Additionally, Mr. R. Schwarze delivered some of the results from the WP2 where more than 300 actors from different groups of stakeholders were covered by the project and added to the network. Moreover, effectiveness of the network increased significantly – previously, only 19% of the members could be reached out for (now more than a half). Nowadays, the PLACARD network could be described as “the network of networks” as it unites different networks from the areas CCA and DRR. Ms. J. Barrot were talking about the common taxonomy for CCR and DRR community – it`s crucial point in order to make CCA and DRR a compass for the future (see picture 1).

Picture 1. The Great PLACARD TV Show with Mr. R. Klein, Ms. J. Barrott and Mr. R. Schwarze.

The third set of TV Show was about the foresight activities and the way how they could enhance collaboration and outcomes of the project (provided by Mr. T. Capela Lourenco). It’s clear, that there is a strong request for the foresight activities and European Environmental Agency (short, EEA) is a main driver. Another important finding is that there is a separate community for the foresight events and we should find our own way how to create “CCA+DRR community” – bring together DRR and CCA people. Also, Ms. M. Steenbergen delivered the main approaches being used during the last meetings in order to improve the effectiveness of collaboration. As a result, an E-learning course was introduced (contains 5 modules), which could give an answer to the question «how to organize an effective meeting?».

Shortly after a lunch-break, Mr. J.R. Picatoste from European Environmental Agency (short, EEA) presented results of the evaluation of Climate-ADAPT – a platform, which collects and proceeds information concerning climate change adaptation measures and strategies. The evaluation process was conducted in two ways: internal assessment and external feedbacks. Participants of the 4th General Assembly could discuss and comment results of the evaluation process.

Another important aspect of CCA and DRR is related to the possible health problems. This topic was introduced by Ms. V. Murray from Public Health England (short, PHE). In her presentation Ms. V. Murray underlined the existing influence of climate change on health – injuries, diseases, as well as limited access to the healthcare. Hence, it`s important to count properly the number of deaths and take it into account by the “The Adaptation GAP Analysis” during the COP24.

At the and of the first day of the 4th General Assembly a plenary discussion took place on several issues: climate and DRR finance (led by Mr. R. Klein); boundary panel and translation to the larger CCA and DRR network (led by Ms. I. Coninx and Mr. R. Schwarze); PLACARD Legacy (Mr. K. Adams).

The second day of the 4th General Assembly started with a presentation by Ms. M. Dali from DG CLIMA. During her presentation on the evaluation ot the EU Adaptation Strategy for climate change participants of the projects could get important information concerning the possible additional economic costs of climate change for the humanity. Since 2013 almost 25 countries have already implemented adaptation strategies, where DRR is an important component. Additionally, over 1 thousands of the cities joined the Covenant of Majors and in 2015 CCA part was also introduced for the participants of this initiative. At the same time, resilient infrastructure is the core by related strategies of the cities (climate proofing of the projects, standards, etc.).

In order to evaluate the EU Adaptation Strategy a support study have been conducted and the active consultations with stakeholders took place. As a result, implementation of the CCA Strategies is strongly recommended, especially for sub-national actors and actions. Also, engagement of the businesses is needed to enhance to overall result. It’s also clear that strategic and operational coherence between CCA and DRR is important to tackle environmental risks and adopt to climate change.

Next presentation was dedicated to the assessment of the real costs of disasters – prepared by Ms. T. Deubelli from OECD. According to the findings, the costs of human-made disasters are increasing and have reached already billions of USD in 2016. Nevertheless, we still need a better evidence with comparison over the time to facilitate reporting and support the evaluation process.

The main objective of the assessment made by the OECD is to review national and regional efforts. Ms. T. Deubelli (picture 2) underlined aslo that prevention and recovery efforts are two important components of the financial aspects by DRR topic. With this regard, collecting the information is a crucial problem and only in some countries was partially solved (for instance, in Japan).

Pic. 2. Ms. T. Deubelli from OECD delivering important insights  from the latest report on real costs of disasters.

Ms. R. Cook from UNISDR delivered some information concerning the contributions of the E-STAG (Scientific and Technical Advisory Group) to the DDR topic and underlined the role of STAG in bringing together scientists and experts in the above-mentioned area – 15 experts from 50 countries are already engaged (socioeconomics for DRR and Data for Resilience). Additionally, it was stated that 30 countries of the Europe have already started to report on Sendai Monitor.

Mr. M. Pulquerio from the University of Lisbon (Portugal) informed the participants of the project on the results of the last ECCA in Glasgow in 2018 and announced the next event in 2019, which will take place on May 28-31 in Lisbon. The aim of the event is to bring two communities together and try to explore common topics in CCA and DRR areas.

The 4THGeneral Assembly of the “PLACARD” project ended with a discussion about the best performed achievements of the project and possible ways of improvements for the upcoming years.