Floods in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and lessons for French flood risk governance

Ioannis Kougkoulos (Lead / Corresponding author), Myriam Merad (Lead / Corresponding author), Simon Cook, Ioannis Andredakis

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Abstract

France experiences catastrophic floods on a yearly basis, with significant societal impacts. In this study, we use multiple sources (insurance datasets, scientific articles, satellite data, and grey literature) to (1) analyze modern flood disasters in the PACA Region; (2) discuss the efficiency of French public policy instruments; (3) perform a SWOT analysis of French flood risk governance (FRG); and (4) suggest improvements to the FRG framework. Despite persistent government efforts, the impacts of flood events in the region have not lessened over time. Identical losses in the same locations are observed after repeated catastrophic events. Relative exposure to flooding has increased in France, apparently due to intense urbanization of flood-prone land. We suggest that the French FRG could benefit from the following improvements: (1) regular updates of risk prevention plans and tools; (2) the adoption of a build back better logic; (3) taking undeclared damages into account in flood risk models; (4) better communication between the actors at the different steps of each cycle (preparation, control, organization, etc.); (5) better communication between those responsible for risk prevention, emergency management, and disaster recovery; (6) an approach that extends the risk analysis outside the borders of the drainage basin; and (7) increased participation in FRG from local populations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalNatural Hazards
Early online date12 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Flood risk governance
  • France
  • Natural hazards
  • Public policy
  • Resilience

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