ICFM5 Plenary and Special Session
The two plenary and 34 special and parallel technical sessions focused on several flood management themes,
including risk management, emergency response, early warning, climatic regimes and cross‐cutting themes. Related
discussions took place on how communities, nations and regions can, based on scientific knowledge, reduce levels of
flood‐related disasters and create resilient societies that are adaptive to global changes and future
Forecasting and Early Warning Systems
Secretary-General’s Advisory Board (UNSGAB)’s High-Level Expert Panel in the “Water and Disaster” identified
flood early warning as an essential element that supports the Hyogo Framework for Action. Many international
efforts are focusing on assisting nations and regions in dealing with challenges of water related disasters.
The International Flood Initiative jointly proposed by UNESCO and WMO and supported by ISDR, UNU, IAHS and
IAHR; the Associated Program on Flood Management and other similar initiatives, in their own way are
implementing follow up on the actions identified therein. The session provided a brief overview of some of
the present mechanisms being used for transferring the existing technologies in flood forecasting and early
warning to the developing countries and discussed the advancements in the flood forecasting and early warning
technologies and the gaps that need to be addressed through research.
Landslide and Debris Flow due to Torrential Downpours
objective of this plenary session was to explore the new features of such calamities in context of the global
climate change and socioeconomic development, and how to strengthen the capacity building in a comprehensive
way to restrain the growth of the risk effectively. The key points that were discussed in the session
chain of torrential downpours, floods, landslide and debris flow and their risk features;
of the outburst floods, landslide and debris flow and the effectiveness of countermeasures
coping strategies for nations or regions with different social economic development level.
session highlighted the main issues to be addressed and then to look at the measures that can be taken to
mitigate the risk.
Session 1:Flood Risk
Management Approaches as Being Practiced in Japan, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and United
Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat, the
United Kingdom Environment Agency, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers agreed to develop a document
to explore risk-informed approaches as being practiced and developed primarily in those four
include adapting to new understandings of risk that take into account the impacts of climate change, bridging
gaps between land-use decisions and flood risk management considerations, effectively communicating risk to
the general public in a way that promotes individual as well as societal responsibility, and aligning
planning and actions to identify and meet the most critical risks within a framework that is socially,
environmentally, economically, and politically acceptable.
special session provided an overview of the four countries’ collaboration and their resulting
jointly-prepared document. Presentations by each country highlighted example approaches, the drivers for
those approaches, and practices that are working or hold particular promise.
Steps for Adapting to Climate Change
Action 29 (Report: Water and Disasters: High Level Expert Panel on Water and Disasters/UNSGAB, March 2009)
reads as follows:
and international hydrological institutes must take the initiative to identify underlying
analytical and data requirements to meet climate changes
that are likely to be highly uncertain and so as to support structural and non-structural measures for
disaster risk deduction.”
practicing hydrologic research institutions worldwide should form a consortium to develop a new family of
practical hydrologic engineering tools, methods, procedures and professional standards for the planning,
design, operation and maintenance of infrastructure under non-stationary climate trends and climate change
uncertainty. The consortium would assess existing, and generate new ‘best management practices’ under climate
uncertainty, that could be used by water managers and specialists throughout the developed and developing
countries that would guide them through the transitional period of improved GCM development. International
aid agencies such as the World Bank, USAID, FAO and UNDP, would be engaged, as they would also benefit from
these new procedures.
Programme on Flood Management 10th Year Anniversary
jointly by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) in 2001, the
Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM) is the world’s premier comprehensive knowledge base for the
development and implementation of best practices in Integrated Flood Management (IFM),
studies, demonstration projects, and a considerable number of technical tool publications are the main
elements that form the growing knowledge base of the APFM since its inception. The IFM HelpDesk is the main
access gate to this knowledge base that has been accumulated to facilitate finding pragmatic solutions
bridging the gap between international policy consensus and management challenges.
occasion of ICFM5, the APFM Team and its partners presented its achievements and lessons learnt over the past
decade and to express its continued dedication to promote the IFM concept.
and Capacity Building in Flood Management
session discussed (i) challenges for education with particular emphasis on integrated flood management. (ii)
Competency profiles for flood experts of the future. And finally, (iii) different ways to improve the
education of flood experts. This includes revisiting the university curricula, CPD programmes, applied
teaching and learning methods, and joint educational activities in knowledge partnerships.
participants recognize the huge need to enhance and education related to the field of Integrated Flood
Management. Furthermore, the education needs to be revised to train effective experts in IFM with a strong
interdisciplinary background. Systems thinking, that considers the different components of the system in
relation to each other and tries to understand the whole systems in a holistic way, is pivotal to improve IFM
and has to be introduced to students and practitioners. The importance of live long learning in an IFM
context is essential.
Flood Resilient Communities
community resilience to flood risk, which promote an integrated flood risk management approach that
incorporates both hard and soft measures with active participation of community, is the way forward. Building
flood resilient communities will become an essential adaptation measure to cope with flood risk increases
brought about by climate change. This necessitates the need to incorporate ‘flood resilient communities’ as a
specific target in development programmes. This session
discussed the following themes:
building at different institutional levels to enhance community based flood management
risk reduction projects that contribute to community development and vice versa
and strategies that enhance community flood resilience
Session 6:Advances and
New Directions in Hydraulics of Flood Modeling
this special session four invited presentations introduced a variety of topics such as automated
two-dimensional dam-break modeling, operational flood modeling using game programming, bank stability and
sediment transport issues during floods, the use of observations in flood modeling, and urban flood modeling.
The panel discussion following the presentations discussed recent advances and new directions in hydraulics
of flood modeling.
Session 7:Flood Risk
Management tools and their application
special session was about Flood Risk Management (FRM) tools and their applications, with a focus on showing
how FRM tools can be used to assist decision makers and practitioners involved in flood risk management.
Several international projects are presented in which FRM tools have been developed and successfully applied
for flood mapping, risk mapping, calculation of failure probabilities of flood defenses, risk assessment,
resilience: Interdisciplinary approaches emerging from recent European research
session shared and demonstrated the research output of five leading EU projects, in a comprehensive way, to a
wider scientific audience. Also another major objective of this session was to bridge different aspects of
floods resilience (economic, social, communication, vulnerability) and to open the dialogue for establishing
an integrated flood risk assessment approach. The primary ambition of this session was to deliver a step
change in flood risk management communities’ ability to exploit capacities as a way of enhancing