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UNESCO extending support to develop flood warning system

STAFF REPORT ISB: In order to set up a common understanding and direction for river modelling data requirements, a two-day international conference on Meaning and Characterizing River Morphology for Hindcasting and Forecasting River Responses to Major Floods has recently been held in Islamabad.

The event was jointly organized by UNESCO, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), PCRWR, UNESCO’s category-II centre ICHARM, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and a number of Pakistani and Japanese organisations. The workshop was part of UNESCO’s Strategic Strengthening of Flood Early Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan project, which was launched in March this year.

In his remarks on the occasion, Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata commended the efforts of UNESCO, PCRWR and JICA for their efforts. He said that Pakistan unlike Japan is a natural disaster prone country. 

“Though capacity of Pakistan Meteorology Department (PMD) is enhanced, but the PMD needs support to enhance flood forecasting capacity in the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej rivers,” said UNESCO Asian and Pacific Science Bureau Director Dr Shahbaz Khan in his remarks.

These rivers have trans-boundary catchments, which can use satellite-based rainfall estimates developed under phase-I of the flood project to improve forecasting ability.

PCRWR Chairman Dr Ashraf assured UNESCO and the Japanese government of his full cooperation and support to all partners for strengthening this important initiative. Representatives from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Federal Flood Commission (FFD) and international experts from Australia, France, Indonesia also attended the workshop.

Representative of JICA Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki said that phase-II of the project will contribute to develop and extend the coverage of the IFAS, and will play a key coordinator for other disaster management projects in Pakistan.


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