Sea shells


Zoran Vojinovic

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands

January 2014 to December 2017

The main goal of PEARL is to develop adaptive, socio-technical risk management measures and strategies for coastal communities against extreme hydro-meteorological events minimising social, economic and environmental impacts and increasing the resilience of coastal regions in Europe.


  • develop a holistic risk governance framework (and supporting tools) based on coevolutionary systems thinking.
  • increase the understanding of dominant root causes of vulnerabilities and risk in coastal regions through an enhanced FORIN approach (the Forensic Investigation of Disasters).
  • develop novel concepts and models to better understand the coevolution of disasters due to extreme hydro-meteorological events under climate change and the consequent sociotechnical risks.
  • develop novel technologies and methods related to monitoring, modelling, forecasting and disseminating warnings and enriching the knowledge-base of possible responses that can improve strategic and operational flood risk management – firmly embedded into the social, technical, institutional, organisational and economic realities faced by coastal communities.
  • provide the means to strengthen risk governance and the role of various actors involved in the preparation of risk reduction plans, such as governing authorities, municipalities and local communities. PEARL will pay particular attention on the development of means for empowering stakeholders and trust-building between the public and the responsible agencies and authorities through innovative methods of learning & action alliances and collaborative modelling.
  • build a pan-European knowledge base that gathers real case studies and demonstrations of best practice across the EU to support capacity development for the delivery of cost-effective risk-reduction plans and to disseminate knowledge within the EU and beyond. In that sense, PEARL will also contribute to the development and revision of flood risk management plans in coastal areas as stated in 2007/60/EC (article 7) that are due in 2015 and are to be revised every six years. In this context, what is important to stress is that PEARL will also contribute to the possible revision of next phases of the Floods Directive, by transferring into the EU international experience from Asia, and especially Japan (post Fukushima) and Thailand (post Great Thailand Floods of 2011).

Main project outcomes

  • The project will examine 7 case studies from across the EU to develop a holistic risk reduction framework that can identify multi-stressor risk assessment, risk cascading processes and strengthen risk governance by enabling an active role for key actors.
  • The research programme links risk and root cause assessment through enhanced FORIN methodology, event prediction, forecast and warning, development of adaptive structural and non-structural strategies and active stakeholder participation.
  • The project aims to develop novel technologies and methods that can improve the early warning process and its components.
  • It builds a pan-European knowledge base gathering real case studies and demonstrations of best practice across the EU to support capacity development for the delivery of cost-effective risk-reduction plans.
  • Additionally, the project provides an interface to relevant ongoing tsunami work: it plugs into global databases, early warning systems and processes at WMO, and contributes to community building, development of guidelines and communication avenues at the global level through IWA.