Integrated and enhanced protection against serious risks in a cross-border area of the Iberian Peninsula

The BIN SAL RIESGOS project arose from the need to coordinate the protection of joint border areas between Spain and Portugal and intervene effectively in the case of serious road and rail accidents.

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Civil protection vehicle for fighting against chemical and technological risks on the E-80 motorway © Council of Salamanca Civil protection vehicle for fighting against chemical and technological risks on the E-80 motorway © Council of Salamanca

" One of the achieved goals of the project is to promote qualified technical training for cross-border protection against technological and natural risks, thereby preserving the physical and environmental qualities of the territory. To do this it was essential to strengthen cross-border protection systems of built heritage against natural hazards, which is what is intended with this initiative. "

Francisco Javier Iglesias García, Presidente de la Diputación de Salamanca

The local districts of Cova da Beira in Portugal and the Spanish region of Castilla and Léon were the main beneficiaries of this project which focused on the development of an integrated approach to civil protection. Key to this was the acquisition of additional equipment to help deal with technological risks and fire prevention. Awareness raising seminars were also conducted for professionals and the general public.

Risk awareness and management

The activities realised centred on the acquisition of new hi-tech equipment, the conception of new strategies and action plans for the prevention and fight against technological hazards, and hazards linked to natural risks and pollution. In addition, mapping of physical risks was performed for different Euro-regional areas.

Joint actions between the two regions comprised of training sessions and best practice exchanges in Fuentes de Oñoro, Spain and Vilar Formoso, Portugal, to improve the prevention capability of technological accidents. This involved conducting accident simulations with respect to the transport of dangerous goods. Additionally, amongst the general population awareness raising seminars were hosted to promote environmental education, increase awareness of different risks and how to manage them, and teach protection and recovery techniques.

Improved environmental and built heritage protection

The project has led to the consolidation of cross-border systems to help prevent natural hazards (drought, snow, rising riverbeds, storms, forest fires), pollution of water resources and the degradation of heritage buildings. Improved technology and enhanced technological knowledge for managing the road and rail networks are also notable achievements. Overall, the particular physical and environmental qualities of this territory are now set to be better preserved for future generations.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the “BIN SAL RIESGOS” project was EUR 4 881 614, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 3 661 210 through the “Spain-Portugal” cross border cooperation Operational Programme (POCTEP) for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date

08/07/2015