European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA)
BeSafeNet 2022 fact sheet

The European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) is a platform for co-operation between European and Southern Mediterranean countries focusing on major natural and technological disasters. The main objectives of EUR-OPA are to reinforce and promote co-operation between member states in a multi-disciplinary context to ensure better prevention, protection against risks and better preparation in the event of major natural or technological disasters. EUR-OPA currently has 24 member states and it supports in particular projects on education and disaster risk reduction aimed at promoting a culture of prevention, for example through emergency response drills in school establishments together with annual national campaigns. It also provides preventive information and education on how to stem the effects of natural disasters as well as developing a methodology on basic knowledge for schoolteachers on safety activities in emergencies etc.

BeSafeNet project

The BeSafeNet project was initiated under the umbrella of EUR-OPA to achieve three main goals:

1.       Promote a culture of safety among youth:

·         Raise awareness on the implications of their actions and their perception of emergencies.

·         Replace fear with a culture of preparedness.

2.       Disseminate knowledge to multilingual societies:

·         Create a common knowledge database of best experience.

·         Disseminate information in several languages for the benefit of the wider society.

3.       Become an interactive tool:

·         Open the BeSafeNet website to other users and organisations for their benefit and comment.

·         Enrich its content by contributions based on real-life experiences and information provided by experts. The target is the general public, especially - school teachers and students.

Olympiad 2022

The Olympiad is an online competition between schools on the theme “Better knowledge against disasters”, and is open to secondary schools in the 24 member States of the Agreement[1]. The age limit to participate is age 11 to 16. The competition will give pupils a chance to increase their knowledge on natural and technological hazards that they could face even outside of school. The pupils will learn the adequate behaviour in these situations and how to reduce/prevent as much as possible the potential impact of disasters.

The quiz is based on five of the hazards featured on the BeSafeNet website. Fifty multiple choice questions (10 for each of the 5 chosen hazards) requiring a single answer. It will be available online on 18 February 2022 at 09.00 GMT.

Registration of participants is open until 18 February 2022 - at 08.30 GMT.

[1] The member States of EUR-OPA in 2021 are: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Morocco North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, ,  Ukraine.