European flood protection survey: public web consultation
The European Commission is seeking the views of the public, water-planning experts and business organisations in a wide-ranging consultation to reduce the risk of floods.Starting this week, an internet consultation is running for eight weeks, the results of which will feed into a proposal for a Floods Directive - one of the components of an action programme on flood risk management that the Commission is preparing.
Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment, said the recent floods in Romania, Bulgaria, Austria and the West Flanders region of Belgium had shown how catastrophic flooding can cause human tragedy, disrupt economic life and undermine Europe's progress towards sustainable development.
"Floods are a natural phenomena but there are ways to prevent them or at least to limit their impacts and thereby protect ourselves more effectively. We need better coordination involving the participation of all Member States to achieve this goal," he added.
Human activities such as the clearing of forests, the straightening of rivers, the suppression of natural flood plains and poor land planning have contributed significantly to increasing the risk of floods and climate change is likely to make this even worse.
The Commission intends to develop a proposal for a directive which will require the development and implementation of flood maps and flood risk management plans. It will also look to ensure that, where possible, all relevant EU policies, including the Common Agricultural Policy and the new Cohesion Policy, contribute to flood risk management.
To take part in the consultation please use this link Flooding Consultation.
The consultation runs until September 14th 2005.
By David Hopkins