Home / Current Affairs / UNESCO encourages community participation and training for better watershed management

UNESCO encourages community participation and training for better watershed management

Islamabad: UNESCO with the financial assistance of the Government of
Japan, is collaborating with Soil and Water Conservation Research Institute
(SAWCRI) to further improve and strengthen the flood management capacity
of Pakistan while focusing on community based flood and drought

management. In this context, UNESCO and SAWCRI jointly organized a two-
day international workshop in Islamabad which aimed to share the common

integrated flood and drought management issues and to introduce eco-
watershed management practices for collective community action. Another

important objective of the workshop was to introduce and design flood and
drought resilient school plans with relevant organizations, professionals and
farmers using nature based solutions to combat these challenges. The
workshop was part of UNESCO’s “Strategic Strengthening of Flood Early
Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan” Project-phase-II which was
launched in March 2015 in cooperation with the Government of Japan. The
first phase of the project was launched in July 2011 and was completed in
2014 in response to the 2010 devastating flood.
At the opening session of the workshop, H.E. Mr. Takashi Kuai, Ambassador
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Pakistan commended
UNESCO’s role in strengthening flood early warning capacity of Pakistan,
and also appreciated technical advancement made by all the partner
agencies. In his remarks, he said water related disasters cover about 80% of
the total disasters and Japan is one of the countries which frequently suffer
from such disasters – and then Japan share the experience learned on how
to mitigate with these disasters with other countries – including Pakistan.
Integrated Flood Analysis System (IFAS) achieved a landmark by improving
accuracy of flood forecasting in Pakistan, resulting in significant reduction of

P.O.BOX 1107, Fax: 227.1856, E-mail: unic.islamabad@unic.org, Web: www.unic.org.pk

flood related damages. He reiterated Japan’s commitment to support
Pakistan in disaster management in future.
Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Director, UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and
the Pacific in his welcome remarks thanked the Japanese ambassador and
government of Japan for extending generous financial and technical support
for the Project. He mentioned that UNESCO’s International Hydrological
Program (IHP) is one of the largest intergovernmental program in the world,
which has more than 160 countries being part of IHP. Before this project
started, there were lots of technical gaps in the flood early warning system in
upper Indus catchment as we did not had full understanding of our
catchment, we did not had required hydro-meteorological data, and as well as
there were not many trained professionals for GIS/RS based flood modeling.
Now, for the first time in a country as big as Pakistan, we understand our soil
characteristics, we have our flood modelling experts trained from Japan. Now
Pakistani experts are also able to train Afghan officials in flood early warning
and management. He applauded efforts of SAWCRI, for training
professionals from all provinces in community based flood management. He
also briefed that this will be a very interactive workshop, and at the end of
workshop, we will come up with ideas which will be later on used by SAWCRI
to design watershed management guidelines.
Dr. Abid Mehmood, Director General (Research), Punjab Agriculture
Department, expressed gratitude to UNESCO, and in particular to Dr.
Shahbaz Khan for building capacity of SAWCRI in the fields of watershed
management and eco-hydrology. He said that watershed management
technique being used by SAWCRI to save the water from origin, hence
reducing the runoff, will have manifold benefits, not only in DRR but also to
get good yield from harvests.
Mr. Yasuhiro TOJO, Chief Representative of JICA said that climate change is
recognized as one of the most serious challenge being faced by humans.
According to Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan is one of the ten countries
most affected by extreme weather events during 1995-2014. He mentioned
that the current flood management project contributed by strengthening the
flood risk management capacity of Pakistan Meteorological Department and
other relevant agencies. He also mentioned JICA’s extended cooperation
with Pakistan through installation of weather radar system, and through
project for capacity development of disaster management.

P.O.BOX 1107, Fax: 227.1856, E-mail: unic.islamabad@unic.org, Web: www.unic.org.pk
Speaking at this occasion, Mr. Ahmad Kamal, Chairman Federal Flood
Commission, recalled the mission of experts from UNESCO in the aftermath
of 2010 flood, and signing of the project between UNESCO and Government
of Pakistan afterwards – he stated that now we are harvesting fruits of this 7
years long project, and commended efforts of UNESCO to strengthen the
flood management system of Pakistan.
Dr. Yousaf, Chairman PARC much-admired the efforts of SAWCRI and
UNESCO, and showed faith in Pakistani professionals to do wonders in the
watershed management and agriculture disciplines. He hoped that the project
will contribute to foster floods and droughts management capacities of the
country.
Dr. Muhammad Tariq, Director SAWCRI delivered the vote of thanks and
applauded leadership of UNESCO and JICA. He stated that the SAWCRI will
be working on green school program with technical support of UNESCO and
he further said that this green school initiative will become a model for all the
relevant stakeholders in Pakistan.
The two day international conference is being attended by representatives
from national and international partner organizations such as Miyagi
University of Education, Japan, National Disaster Management Authority
(NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), Federal
Flood Commission (FFD), Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD),
Indonesian Agency for Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics
(BMKG), universities, provincial irrigation departments and international
experts from Australia, Japan, and Indonesia. Another very important training
workshop on “Flood Management through Flood Early Warning and
Forecasting System” will be organized by UNESCO in collaboration with
Centre for Disaster and Preparedness Management (CDPM), University of
Peshawar, from 2 to 4 of May in Islamabad, where government officials from
Gilgit Baltistan, Sindh and Baluchistan will be trained in latest Disaster Risk
Reduction techniques. Collective Community Action (CCA) can play a vital
role to mitigate damage potential and increase coping capacity of both
drought and flood extremes by providing support to decision makers and to
end users such as local authorities, non-governmental organizations and
disaster prevention officers.
Media Contact:-
Junaid Naseem, Knowledge Platform Specialist, UNESCO, Islamabad,
j.naseem@unesco.org; +92 (0) 3445329798

P.O.BOX 1107, Fax: 227.1856, E-mail: unic.islamabad@unic.org, Web: www.unic.org.pk

—————

UNICEF
Press Release
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta
H. Fore on death of 11 children in Kandahar,
Afghanistan
NEW YORK/KABUL, 30 April 2018 – “I condemn, in the strongest possible
terms, the attack which reportedly killed 11 children this morning while they
were studying at a religious school in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar
province.
“The attack occurred when a car packed with explosives was driven into a
military convoy as it passed by. The explosion on the road was so powerful
that it seriously damaged the building on the side of the road where the
children were studying.
“The 11 children who were killed were 6 to 11 years old.
“Children should not have to face death when they are trying to learn. Parents
should not have to choose between their children’s education and their
safety.
“I urge all parties to the conflict to protect children from ongoing violence
across the country and to make sure that schools are, and remain, safe
spaces.”

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