International conference: Developing regional response to tackle disasters

Joint action plan formulated to disseminate mitigating strategies.

Our Correspondent May 16, 2014
Joint action plan formulated to disseminate mitigating strategies. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


An international conference was held in the capital on Wednesday to develop joint strategies to tackle natural and man-made disasters in the region.

The conference, “Sharing Experiences and Developing Regional Hazard and Risk Picture for Joint Action Plan,” comprised of five thematic sessions during which participants gathered to develop a regional risk picture for informed and resilient development planning through disaster risk reduction mainstreaming for contingency planning. Creation of regional capacity, developing a national support mechanism and adopting climate risk management to address the impact of climate change in the region, were some of the other objectives of the conference.

The event, organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), was attended by representatives from Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.

The implementation plan identifies areas for cooperation in organising disaster response seminars for exchange of information and best practices to develop joint guidelines and regional early warning information system for droughts and floods. It also discusses the creation of a mechanism for pooling experience to deal with the impact of disasters and adoption of proven mitigating strategies.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, NDMA Chairman Maj. Gen. Muhammad Saeed Aleem said there was a need to address challenges and underscored the necessity of developing a regional, long-term, step-by-step approach to disaster management. Drawing on existing information, components in a risk picture should also identify existing resources, capacity gaps, ways to address them and focus on developing regional cooperation scenarios, he added.

Pakistan is committed to assisting Afghanistan in enhancing its capacities within the entire spectrum of disaster management, stated the NDMA chief.

The states and organisations participating in the conference acknowledged that the “Heart of Asia” region faces a wide range of common challenges stemming from natural disasters.

Representatives from Norway, Sweden, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as the World Bank, the European Union, NATO, UNDP and World Food Programme, attended the conference.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2014.


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