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Enhancing risk management partnerships for catastrophic natural hazards in Europe.


Birgit Gerkensmeier, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht


The ENHANCE project interviewed Birgit Gerkensmeier, a project partner from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), on the case study North Sea/ Wadden Sea storm surges – risk culture, perception and management.

“The risk management at the Wadden Sea region should be seen as a multi-hazard task. We should consider different hazards such as demographic change, storm surges etc.”, says Birgit Gerkensmeier.

Watch the video for more insights on the case study findings!

Note to readers:

Birgit Gerkensmeier is a member of the Department Human Dimensions of Coastal Areas, Institute of Costal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and a PhD student at the University of Hamburg, Germany. During her studies in geography at the Universities of Bremen and Hamburg, she had already gained experience in storm surge research and was also engaged in different research projects dealing amongst others with raising stakeholders’ awareness on flood risks in regard to climate change impacts.

In the ENHANCE project Birgit is engaged in the case study on the trilateral Wadden Sea Region, assessing the scope of a multi-sector partnership on a transnational level as an additional measure to increase resilience against natural hazards in the area. This work is also related to her PhD, within which she focuses on handling risk and uncertainties resulting from natural hazards in coastal areas, putting major emphasis on the analysis of the role of stakeholders in a complex decision-making system.

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Swenja Surminski, Senior Research Fellow, London School of Economics


Can flood insurance schemes help prevent flooding and address the underlying risk of flooding?

“We ask if those flood insurance schemes can also help to prevent flooding, to address the underlying risk of flooding, by providing incentives to home owners to build more resilient homes, by working with property developers, or by influencing government’s decisions", says Dr Swenja Surminski.

Watch the video and learn about the research done within the ENHANCE case study on UK flood resilience and insurance partnerships.

Read the newly published policy brief Insurance instruments and disaster resilience in Europe – Insights from the ENHANCE project.

Note to readers:

Dr Swenja Surminski is involved in the ENHANCE project and leads one of the 10 case studies covered by the project: Flood risk and climate change implications for MSPs.

Click here to visit the case study page.

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Please register in our contact form on the bottom of the page if you would like to know more about the project.

The ENHANCE project has received funding under the
Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union
under grant agreement No 308438

ENHANCE communication & dissemination partner - Arctik | Website & back-office development - Zotoi