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New guidance supports integrated flood management

A new guide to flood planning and management has been published: ‘Selecting Measures and Designing Strategies for Integrated Flood Management: A Guidance Document’.

The new guidance has been developed to support the design of well-balanced strategies for integrated flood management. Floods are the most common natural disaster with the largest impacts on society. Official statistics show a gradual decrease in the number of fatalities thanks to better early warnings, but flood damage appears to be increasing because of economic growth, and lack of prevention measures and flood-sensitive land-use planning.

The integrated flood management (IFM) approach aims to maximize the productivity and efficient use of floodplains and coastal zones, while minimizing the loss of life and impact on livelihoods and assets through protective measures. Absolute protection from flooding, however, is impossible. In planning for IFM, therefore, there is a need to decide what level of risk is acceptable, to decide how safe is safe enough.

The guidance document presents a policy analysis and planning framework to guide the steps of IFM. This framework reflects the policy cycle and puts stakeholder engagement and open and transparent communication at its core. Planning for IFM is approached as an iterative process working towards risk-informed decision-making.

The document was developed by the APFM Technical Support Unit in close cooperation with Deltares, with the support of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

Read the document (PDF).

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