Lessons learned about the importance of raising risk awareness in the Mediterranean region (north Morocco and west Sardinia, Italy)
In order to mitigate the potentially dramatic effects of natural hazards, risk management measures are critical. However, the lack of interdisciplinary indicators and adaptable governance frameworks highlights society's vulnerability in the particular context of global environmental and climate change. This interdisciplinary research aimed at identifying reliable risk indicators and societal responses regarding natural hazards and climate change impacts to provide a governance framework for disaster risk reduction. Different societies face diverse risks and do not necessarily have the same level of local awareness of these risk. To explore the diversity of risks, two sites were selected from the Mediterranean basin, one chosen from the south coast (north Morocco) and the other from the north coast (the Italian island of Sardinia). North Morocco, a region of multi-risks, is characterised by high demographic and economic pressures; west Sardinia has remarkable biodiversity of wetlands and is characterised by high environmental and agricultural pressures, which in both cases intensify the vulnerability of the coastal areas. Testing for the local population's preparedness for future financial protection allowed for discussing the importance of risk awareness sessions or activities as an indicator of risk management. The significance of risk awareness sessions is shown in a quantitative part of the study, and its importance is also discussed with local stakeholders in north Morocco in a qualitative part of the study. It is shown that, although risk awareness sessions are recognised as important in risk management, they are not necessarily implemented. Based on these findings, further ideas on a new series of less descriptive, more dynamic and more user-friendly indicators are suggested. How can risk sessions be a dynamic indicator of a resilient society? The obtained results could serve in future governance frameworks for the mitigation of natural hazards in the Mediterranean region and more widely. Finally, the urgent need for continuous work to overcome the communication gap between the scientific community, risk administrators, civil society and the general population is emphasised.