The Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (ICG/NEAMTWS) held its Steering Committee meeting online on the 8 and 11 April 2022. Key issues discussed included the progress in implementation of the joint IOC-UNESCO European Union Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), CoastWAVE Project, the ongoing work on sea-level related risk perception survey, the 10-Year Research, Development and Implementation Plan for the Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme, new impetus to update the ICG/NEAMTWS Operational User Guide, as well as ongoing efforts to organize a side event at the African Conference on Priority Setting & Partnership Development for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, among others.
Figure 1. Marsaxlokk, Malta. One of the seven NEAM municipalities supported by the CoastWAVE Project.
The Steering Committee provided a progress update of the CoastWAVE project. The official kick-off meeting of the CoastWAVE project took place on 17 and 20 December 2021 with the participation of project country Focal Points. Members were informed that two new staff have been recruited: an Associate Project Officer and a Project Assistance will support the implementation of the project.
The Secretariat organized a meeting on 5 and 13 April 2022 with members of the Task Team on Tsunami Ready, Working Group 4 on Public Awareness, Preparedness and Mitigation, and the country Focal Points of the CoastWAVE project to elaborate on a CoastWAVE activity focusing on Coastal Multi-Hazard and Risk Perception Survey to be carried out in selected project countries to better understand how coastal populations perceive tsunamis, storm flooding and sea-level rise hazards and risks. The findings will help develop recommendations regarding enhancing risk communication strategies and educational products in the region.
The Task Team on Documentation Co-Chairs, Mr Nikos Kalligeris and Mr Stefano Lorito have started to update the 2011 Interim Operational Users Guide (IOUC, 2011).
The meeting informed that the ICG/NEAMTWS Secretariat is organizing a side event on Resilient and Safer Coasts at the kickoff African Conference on Priority Setting and Partnership Development for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development from 10-12 May 2022 in Cairo, Egypt. The Secretariat is also planning to have a meeting in June 2022 to discuss and familiarize ICG/NEAMTWS Member States with the new Tsunami Ready Guidelines and tools. The ICG/NEAMTWS aims to continue the strong partnership with the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) for the commemoration of World Tsunami Awareness Day on 5 November 2022. The theme this year will focus on the Sendai Framework global target G to “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi‑hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030”.
The Steering Committee also addressed the key outcomes and recommendations of the TOWS-WG-XV meeting which took place in February 2022. Key topics discussed include the Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme (ODTP) Scientific Committee (SC), Tsunami Ready Coalition, the newly formed Ad Hoc Team on Meteo-tsunamis and Ad Hoc Team on Tsunamis Generated by Volcanoes and the Tsunami Symposium. A Terms of Reference has been prepared for the Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme Scientific Committee and a timeline proposal to prepare the 10-Year Research, Development and Implementation Plan for the Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme. The newly formed Ad Hoc Teams will review and advise on gaps related to meteo-tsunami monitoring and warning systems and identify methodologies to monitor and detect volcanic sources of tsunamis.
The Steering Committee discussed the next ICG/NEAMTWS Session. Italy had provisionally offered to host the session in the city of Erice, Sicily with a pending date of early December 2022, to be agreed upon in the upcoming weeks. The ICG/NEAMTWS Steering Committee was attended by 22 participants.