NDMA taking steps to tackle natural, man-made hazards

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is taking steps for enhancing resilience and tackling common challenges due to different natural as well as man-made hazards in the light of confidence building measure (CBM) joint action plan for disaster management.The action plan was decided in the Regional Technical Group (RTG) meeting held in Astana, Kazakhstan, in September last year, said National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Major General Saeed Aleem on Wednesday. Addressing a press conference, he said that they have organised a three-day international conference, “International Conference on Sharing Experiences and Developing Regional Hazard and Risk Picture”, which concluded on Wednesday. The chairman said that the objective of the CBM DG is to foster partnerships and enhance collaboration among Asian countries for enhancing resilience, and to tackle common challenges due to different natural as well as man-made hazards.The purpose of the conference, he said, was to share experiences and lessons learnt in the field of DRM for possible adoption, explore a mechanism to continuously study and assess the impact of climate change phenomenon. It also suggested adaptation measures, deliberate on how to develop a regional disaster risk picture to formulate joint action plan and response mechanisms for likely scenarios and devising “Host Nation Support Mechanisms” for better utilisation of assistance in response to disasters, he informed. The chairman said that the states and organisations participating in the conference acknowledged that Asia faces a wide range of common threats and challenges stemming from natural disasters. These challenges can be addressed through enhanced regional cooperation.Accordingly, they reiterated the need for common efforts in order to address these challenges, and underscored the necessity of developing a regional, long-term, step-by-step approach to disaster management. This should include developing and strengthening common resources, and procedures for cooperation across national borders, and they agreed that it is necessary to strive for a balance between measures to prevent and measures to manage the effect of natural disasters, he informed. The participants also showed their consent and agreed that a natural first-step in a long-term process of cooperation should be to develop a regional risk picture. Drawing on existing information and activities, components in such a common picture should include the risk from various types of natural disasters, the possible development of a regional status report, identifying existing resources and capacity gaps, how to address identified gaps, and developing regional cooperation scenarios.To that end the states and organisations participating in the seminar welcomed formulation of a working group devoted to the development of a regional risk picture on “sharing of existing information of risk assessments in member countries” in one of the participating countries. The conference was attended by representatives of participating the countries of ‘Heart of Asia’ including the two co-led Technical Focal Points from Pakistan and Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, China, India and Turkey. Besides this, representatives of supporting countries viz. Royal Kingdom of Norway, Sweden, Japan, United States, and the United Kingdom, as well as the supporting organisations viz. World Bank, European Union, NATO, UNOCHA, UNDP, WFP, ADPC, and SDMC attended the conference. 

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