Comparative Analysis of Flood Management in Brazil and Germany: An Examination of Regulatory Instruments and Legislative Framework (PAP014894)
daniela helena brandão caldeira, Dr. Christoph Külls
The spring-summer of 2013 in Germany and the summer of 2013-2014 in Brazil claimed several deaths and caused significant losses in residential buildings and public infrastructure. Recurring extreme flood events in both countries have led authorities to improve policies and find efficient strategies. The impact of floods can be mitigated with structural and non-structural measures. In order to avoid (prevention) or to limit (mitigation and preparedness) adverse effects of hazards it is important to develop urban flood management instruments regarding the changes of urbanization in natural run off patterns, particularly in big cities. A comparative analysis of current regulatory instruments and legislative framework reveals that authorities have been choosing different ways and strategies to tackle these issues in Brazil and Germany. This paper investigates the legislation framework from both countries in which different paradigms have been established; including a critical analysis concerning flood risk management and regulatory instruments. The review shows that flood risk management has been improving in Germany with the use of a long-term policy scheme based on technical instruments and public participation. As a member of the European Union, Germany follows the EU Directive 2007/60/EC with the federal states responsible for flood risk maps, hazard maps and the dissemination of these new information tools as well. Another important characteristic is the recognition of flood risk management as a cross-sectional task, which represents a connection to environmental protection policy based on a holistic approach to water management. In contrast, Brazilian authorities have a strong focus on Flood Defense System. The Brazilian National Policy of Protection and Civil Defense (Federal Law n. 12.608/2012) enhance the hazard protection even though one of their objectives is the adoption of a systemic approach of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Financial assistance and reconstruction of public infrastructure in affected areas are the main goals. Furthermore, warning systems and weather monitoring have been implementing in order to support the emergency planning. However, all these measures adopted by Brazilian authorities represent the proactive pre-incident activities and are only part of the aims in Germany. The paradigm that has been adopted in Germany emphasizes flooding as a river function and engages the water resources managers. Introducing this new culture of dealing with flood risks for example in Brazil could be an alternative to design a more effective urban flood regulatory instruments by using the technical knowledge from the National Water Agency (ANA) and states' water agencies. This study provides an opportunity to evaluate the paradigms in both countries and examines the strategies to implement the flood policy in order to ensure whether German and Brazilian authorities can prevent hazards in the future.