CIMA Foundation

The International Center for Environmental Monitoring CIMA Research Foundation is a non-profit research organization. It aims to promote the study, scientific research, technological development and advanced training in engineering and environmental sciences for the protection of public health, civil protection and ecosystems.

The scientific research conducted by the Foundation focuses on disaster risk mitigation. Since its inception, CIMA Research Foundation has been dedicated to hydrometeorological risk mitigation, developing mathematical models to improve the forecasting and prevention of flood phenomena, and wildfire forecasting and prevention. Over the years, its areas of research have expanded to include wildfire forest biodiversity conservation, satellite data analysis, risk assessment and damage data analysis. An important branch of the foundation is also dedicated to marine ecosystems and the cetaceans that populate the Pelagos Sanctuary and to the development of civil protection plans through participatory approach with the population. A line of research is also dedicated to regulatory review activities (including complex national and foreign institutional architectures), legal compliance, legal risk analysis in risk management and forensic investigation.

However, the Foundation’s activities are not limited to research. Our technicians and researchers contribute to the dissemination of knowledge through training, and to technological development thanks to ACROTEC Foundation, in house technological body of CIMA Research Foundation.

Redressing „slogans“ in risk management standards

Redressing „slogans“ in risk management standards

The critical or strategic infrastructure, supply chains, cities services are at any time endangered and vulnerable to any extraordinary event, demonstrating the case studies of the CRISPRO benchmarking exercise. Even a chemical, transport or fire incident could easily spread and contract any part of the civilian infrastructure. Nowadays, the EU security strategy emphasises the need for critical infrastructure protection (CIP).

Furthermore, extreme wind, temperature, snow, rain, landslides, floods, storms and tornado events, especially those with cross-border impacts, can be subject to political repercussions. In general, the personnel is not adequately equipped or prepared to effectively respond in such crises, which require an abrupt response and multi-sectoral control measures. In such situations, ad-hoc arrangements are commonly adopted, resulting in operational problems.

City smartening also increases interdependency and cost-effectiveness. Systems use one infrastructure/utility network as a provision or firmware for multiple services. It brings more troubles in unsecured by an extraordinary natural, social or cyber event.

CRISPRO collected examples demonstrate that the performance of emergency services is subject to comprehensive prevention and preparedness based on perceived expectations and incomplete evidence. If we don’t implement disaster response knowledge in developing our capacity for major operations, the lessons learned will be little more than a slogan.

CRISPRO benchmarks some essential measures following the preparation, reaction and recovery disaster management cycle.

  • regular monitoring of the resilience of most vulnerable areas, invest in the classification of vulnerability and invest in strengthening of monitoring and analytical source,
  • develop a specific na-tech and multi-hazards monitoring methods and intervention contingency planning, manuals and SOP for reaction to minimise the cascading effect of na-tech,
  • invest in the identification of all possible side effects,
  • prepare various types of intervention technologies and capacities, involve more multi-sectoral knowledge and expertise,
  • analyse regularly similar incidents in other countries, learn from previous historical incidents, learn from gaps and failure in reaction, immediately change SOP based on the latest gaps,
  • modernise early warning systems and promote live monitoring contingency planning
  • evaluate of social, economic and health vulnerability,
  • pay attention to relevant vulnerabilities, assess vulnerabilities in situational awareness, involve people with multiple experiences and knowledge in conduction situational awareness in the reaction.

Creating partnerships among first responders, businesses and community stakeholders can ensure that the right people respond to a crisis.

Public-private partnership (PPP) is becoming more and more important since the private sector owns and runs much of the vital functions of society. In addition, the civil society sectors organised voluntary organisations can have an important role to play in supporting the emergency services in the planning, response and recovery phases of most emergencies.

Through social media, members of the public who witness incidents can provide public safety and protection organisations with timely, geographic-based information. This information can be used by decision-makers in planning response strategies, deploying resources in the field, and, in turn, providing updated and accurate information to the public.

Artificial intelligence technology has penetrated all walks of life, bringing great changes to industry development and new experiences to human work and life. Today, Drones, robots and sensors can provide intelligent and accurate information concerning landscapes and damaged buildings. This allows rescue workers to understand the topography of a landscape and the extent of damage to a building. In addition, drones can find victims trapped in debris allowing rescue workers to get to them quickly.

It is worth noting that as all these new ways are helping to manage the risk in the form of planning, mitigation measures, incentives and capital investments, they also bring potential risks of malfunctioning, misinformation or deliberate misuse.

It would be useful to have a European Union level standard of collecting essential information of emergencies and the conduct of the participating organisations and actors. In emergency management, there is risk mitigation, and reduction risk management standards are designed as a tool for continuous improvements.

By learning from past case studies and attempting to foresee future requirements, it may be possible to reduce the negative consequences of extreme weather events through definitive and effective policy decisions.

Crowd sourcing and emergencies

Mrs Marina Tavra from the department of geodesy and geoinformatics at the University of Split (HR) presents crowd management models in emergency, disaster, and crisis.

The Climate Change vs Tourism in the Alps

The European Alps underwent significant climate changes in the last decades, and an intensification of the current trends is foreseen by regional climate projections by the end of this century.

Mrs Elena Pede from the Inter-university Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning, Politecnico di Torino, presents the increasing risk of natural hazards due to climate change: desertification, ecosystems changes, water scarcity, forest fires, hydro-geological and hydraulic instability. Further, the socio-economic impacts are alarming for the Alps, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, etc.

Focussed on critical infrastructure and public health

Focussed on critical infrastructure and public health

Critical infrastructure and public health affected by natural disasters are two combined threats to be given greater attention by crisis managers. More than half of questioned civil protection experts participated in the CRISPRO survey (38 respondents). The questionnaire was published in 5 EU languages and involved regional rescue services, first responders, universities, Crisis Management Units, National Emergency Supply Agency, Regional State Administrative Agencies, Crisis managers and individual experts.

Amongst critical areas of social importance are critical infrastructure, pandemics, natural disasters, drought, epidemics in combination with public disorder and smartening of the systems, ranging from  68 to 23%.

The survey tends to identify the most common combinations of emergencies and dynamic threat effects and better understand how to build a resilience assessment matrix, what to invest in and how to foster the vulnerability of the community systems, people and properties.

The emergency response system is considered a critical domain in disaster response, with 30 answers out of 38. The demand for public preparedness follows it by counting on 60% of the answers. Strategic coordination is gaining half of the reactions. Lastly, the actors mention technological equipment and rescue material (26%).

For gaining effective responses to various types and scales of disasters, communication with the relevant actors, planning, and participatory interaction of all actors is equally important as capacity building based on regular scenario-driven table-top exercises. The local regulatory framework and seconded legislation can diversify risk mitigation measures. As well as fostering of the public interests can be achieved by employment of modern technologies(use IoT, smart systems, AI, simulations, VR, online communication, integrated emergency response systems, digital or traditional early warning systems, etc. define). Cooperation with endangered communities, in terms of addressed work, is highly ranked than general information of the public. Structural investments are given only 18% of the answers.

The respondents highly ranked measures that can be provided and imposed within a small-scale budget due to overall low public spending on investments with a longer return rate. Practically some investments may concern the next generation of the population.

Respondents listed most often hazards that shall be subject to risk mitigation planning in the following order: natural disaster, public order disruption (public events, disruptive and/or dangerous events in public spaces and/or in the online world), CBRN contaminated environment, including biological agents, and infrastructure disruption (including shortage or access to services and citizens’ basic needs) are recurring.

Some respondents also propose to explore how economic and financial reasons and lack of community resources are assigned to the vulnerability of adverse events.

Further, we feature the vulnerability of the citizens’ ecosystems. Utility services are considered most affected by 29 out of 38 answers. Food security and access to drinkable water are claimed also in 58% of the cases, followed by the resident area disorder caused by environmental damages, landslides and floods.

Actors acknowledge that social and healthcare services are critical in terms of importance vs vulnerability. The educational sector is also ranked 42%, followed by cultural, traditions’ restrictions and community habits (27%). The results disclose some new trends in accounting for vulnerability vs values of the society. For example, restrictions and affected habits are considered more important than family connections, which also pledges greater awareness and public awareness of public threats.

Socially most affected are poor and excluded groups(migrants, alone mothers, jobless persons, etc.) for having insufficient and unstable sources to face the disasters(71%), as well as the elder people living in remote regions due to isolation and lack of access to food, water and utility services. In general, children are considered most affected as they are dependent on the care of other people who might be injured, victims, or excluded from basic needs (39%).

In addition, different events can lead to increased poverty and reduced income-generation activities (especially in agriculture). It can also lead to more personal bankruptcy due to decreased incomes and the inability of regular incomes (45-50%). Insolvency of the SME is also pointed out as the source of personal financial vulnerability, which expresses the connectivity between workplace and employees; any disaster causing damages to the small businesses leads to indirect negative effects on the workers and their families.

The last part of the survey provides information on the crisis communication means and capacity-building efforts in the risk management cycle. The investments in early warning count on 64% of answers, SMS services and online reporting systems for mapping hazards and threats(environmental damages, burdens, environmental health issues(air and water quality) are highlighted as the most effective means of crisis communication. Volunteers’ management applications are considered more important than virtual emergency centres. It highlights the importance of collective responsiveness and involvement of the public again, as mentioned in 18 of 38 answers.

The survey will be used to develop a scenario-based risk mitigation assessment matrix that will be publicly available in the form of an online tool on

Security of the pan-European infrastructure networks

Timo Hellenberg, a security expert from Finland, presents the initiative RAIN and how it deals with the mpact of extreme weather conditions on critical infrastructure and bringing mitigation tools to enhance the security of the pan-European infrastructure networks.

Online Course: Inclusive Disaster Risk Management

Local governments are at the forefront of dealing with natural disasters such as floods, floods, fires, earthquakes, droughts. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic as an unprecedented and biggest crisis of our time is hardly affecting societies and communities.  Not only, that these events hinder local level sustainable development, but also exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and creating new social inequalities. The vulnerable categories of citizens e.g. women, children, youth, disabled, the elderly, citizens exposed st social risks, etc are bearing the heaviest consequences that weaken their resilience. The exclusion suffered by these groups and their low level of participation in society can result in their needs being overlooked in disaster risk management measures. Therefore, the local governments need to integrate their needs and capabilities while planning and reducing the disaster risks and ensuring that no one is left behind.

The link of the IDRM e-learning course

Should you be interested in participating in the course in 2022, please contact us on

Introduction to CRISPRO

Why to be part of CRISPRO knowldege network

CRISPRO offers its network partners a digital presentation of the project goals.

  • get involved in regular discussions on how to build methodologies for risk assessment
  • get to know people from around the world and learn how they cope with risks
  • learn specific practical knowledge on combined threats
  • explore the social and economic value of hazards, disasters and disorders of the system
  • get access to different workshops 
  • develop new partnership initiatives
  • be first to know about funding schemes
  • use online tools for DRR learning(we promote the CIPROVOT DRR course)
  • use our online risk assessment and mitigation tool
  • be inspired by mitigation and investment measures 

Two Aspects of Managing of the Crowds: physical and virtual

About 80% of the world data come from geo-components, and they can be processed under machine learning. It means that data circulated can be localised. Though being of greater importance in search and rescue of people, for example, the team of scientists and researchers Marina Tavira, Josip Peros and Ivan Reciting from the University of Split, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy at the regular CRISPRO webinar hold on 21.10.2021. The scientists added that GIS-based crisis management could take advantage of social network data validation. They are sourcing the system with data from the crowds and managing it by introducing the Virtual Support teams, widely promoted by the unique NGO VOST Europe presented by the “maker” and developer Jorge Gomes, ahead of the international network.

He added that crowdsourcing had been used, with success in several instances. While many groups continue the purely conceptual discussion about the pros and cons of using crowdsourcing in DRR and crowd management, VOST Europe focuses on the cases of successful data gathering to help decision-makers and citizens (African natural disaster case). Social network information crowding can also enable the direct involvement of citizens in the research and investigation processes. For example, they can be asked to share the photos they have taken at a particular place and time concerning a criminal or disaster-related accident. Furthermore, it can foster the citizens’ participation and make them accountable for the environment and communities. As a result, citizens can feel important and helpful, and it can be considered a “democratic” model for illustrating public engagement in disasters or emergencies.

Volunteered geographical information or VGI and remote sensing technologies are basic for modern data aggregation and rapid filtration through machine learning and big data processing. It is extremely important in the interventions referring to the life and health of persons worldwide. Remote sensing data and volunteered geographical information from non-experts collecting and sharing data can be acknowledged as an essential complementary tool of the traditional situational awareness technologies. It refers to the professional capacities of the rescue and searches intervention teams who challenge the physical obstacles in the area affected by the disaster or public disorder incident/riot/unrest. Social-network-based data aggregation can support rescue and emergency planning, especially in the remote or lesser density populated regions such as the Arctic and Barents see areas, outlined Mr Hannu Rantannen, a security expert of the project. “Improving maritime safety in the Arctic Ocean through Ai and Virtual Control Room”. The Barents Rescue Event is an excellent platform for testing and validating technological solutions, and the upcoming one in the fall of 2023 in Bodo Norway, added Hannu Rantanen.

Another physical aspect of the crowd management interventions refers to the CBRN incidents in public spaces, shopping malls, airports or religious places, added Mr Timo Hellenberg, a security expert.
Geo-referencing and geo-positions shall also move from planning and monitoring to intervention support tools for the first responders. It can be useful for disseminating information through the traditional communication channels used during specific interventions.

Rapid processing and data aggregation can also influence the scenarios at the very moment of the reactions. The most popular forms of public crowd management scenarios were presented by Leonard Leso, a Security Analyst with a long 44 years career in the Carabinieri Corps, the military and police force of Italy. He raised attention to the essentials of crowd management: defining the antagonists and lessons learnt, planning for the public order operations, mobile teams setting, training and procedures for public order that can also be enabled by the alert information as an entry point and gets to any rescue situations. Furthermore, spacial recaptured evaluated images involving citizens and extracting reliable data could support the field interventions.

The teams’ preparation is driven by particular national and regional scenarios of potential risks outlined by Jari Honkanen from the Ministry of Interior of Finland. Further, he referred to the leading principles of the Finnish civil protection driven by the comprehensive approach, integrated preparation for peace-time and war-related emergencies, making all actors responsible for carrying out their functions in all security situations, and stressing the pragmatic public/private cooperation, also supported by the military authorities. The territory of Finland is divided into risk classes. The regression model determines four risk levels, and it is based on the number of inhabitants and buildings. The regression model has been calculated according to real house fires and any prognosis for risk level in a square 1 km x 1 km. While the National Risk Assessment outlines 20 scenarios, the sub-national risk assessments are drafted cross-sectorally to represent the region’s municipalities, authorities, businesses, and working groups. The representatives of the National Rescue Platform do provide insights into their communities and reference groups extensively.