International Workshop on “CPEC Natural Hazards Risk Assessment and Mitigation & Silk Roads Disaster Risk Reduction”

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Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Karakorum International University Gilgit  Joint Event in Islamabad on 17-18 July 

An International Workshop on “CPEC Natural Hazards Risk Assessment and Mitigation & Silk Roads Disaster Risk Reduction” was held in Islamabad on 17-18 July. The Workshop was jointly organized by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Institute of Mountain Hazards & Environment of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Karakorum International University. The major objective of this workshop was to formulate a mechanism and provide disaster risk reduction strategy for the infrastructure projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The risks reduction strategy will be developed in joint collaboration with Chinese and Pakistani Disaster Risk Management and Infrastructure Specialists. The strategy will include a survey of the mountainous areas for identification of current and future natural hazards and it will also propose the recommendations for mitigating the potential risks and hazards that are likely to affect the infrastructure projects under the CPEC initiative. The Workshop attracted a a large number of Disaster Risk Management Professionals, Geologist, Climate Change Scientists, Government officials and Academician etc. The Workshop included keynote speeches and round table sessions on various thematic areas on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.

The Forum was opened by the Jie Zhang, the Vice President of Chinese Academy of Sciences and whereas, Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary for Ministry of Science and Technology was the Chief Guest of the event. Prof. Jie Zhang in his Keynote speech highlighted the importance of disaster risk management strategy for the infrastructure projects. It is strategically important in context of CPEC infrastructure projects, notably Islmabad-Khunjerab road section sits in the one of the most difficult mountain terrains, which is highly prone to natural disasters such as, landslide, debris flow and glacial melting, he said. Therefore, it requires comprehensive scientific investigations with collaboration of Pakistani and Chinese experts to develop the mitigation strategy.

Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken in his keynote address, commended the efforts undertaken by the partnering organizations in bringing together international experts and scientists from various regions of the world to work together on development of the disaster risk management strategy. He highlighted the role of Government of Pakistan (GoP) in materialization of CPEC initiatives. GoP is determined to make it a success story and a model for the developing world. Mr. Maken appreciated the Chinese organizers for their cooperation extended to Pakistan.  Disaster Risk Strategy for CPEC is of a highly strategic nature, as any natural calamity can undermine the development and investment of billions of dollars.

Prof. Dr. M. Asif Khan Vice Chancellor Karakorum International University and Mr. Lian Zhao, Charge d’affaire, Embassy of China in Pakistan also spoke in the inaugural session.

Prof. Dr. Zabta Khan Shinwari, Secretary General of Pakistan Academy of Sciences appreciated the cooperation of Chinese partners and gave vote of thanks to all the contributors and experts for their efforts in developing the Disaster Management Risk Strategy for CPECP projects.  

On behalf of the ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF), Prof. Manzoor H. Soomro President ECOSF along with Mr. Khalil Raza, Scientific Officer ECOSF participated in the event and interacted with the experts.

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