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UNESCO is promoting international cooperation on management of transboundary floods

Lahore 19-20 April 2016: A two-day international workshop titled 'Standardizing Flood Forecasting and Warning Approaches in Transboundary Catchments' was jointly organized by UNESCO and PMD aimed at standardizing procedures
for Transboundary Rivers in the context of flood forecasting. This international workshop is part of phase-II of UNESCO's "Strategic Strengthening of Flood Early Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan" Project, which was launched in March 2015. The phase-I of the project was launched in July 2011 and completed in 2014 in a bit to respond to the 2010 devastated flood in cooperation with the Government of Japan. Mr. Abid Sher Ali, Minister of State for Water and Power was chief guest of the event while Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Director/Representative of Islamabad Office, Dr. Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Regional Science Director of Asia and the Pacific, Dr. Ghulam Rasool, Director General PMD, Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman PCRWR, Mr. Hiromu Inoue, Representative of JICA, and Mr. Teppei Nakagawa, First Secretary (Economic and Development Section), Embassy of Japan were also present at the workshop.

The honorable Minister of State for Water and Power commended the immense efforts of UNESCO, PMD, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for their efforts to initiate this project, in his remarks. Speaking at the event, Ms. Vibeke Jensen stressed that facilitation of cooperation on the transboundary water issues in South Asia is increasingly important in the context of the global climate change. She mentioned that UNESCO is supporting international cooperation on flood management with the neighboring countries on flood management and is striving to promote technical collaborations through Pakistan expertise, which was developed under the Project Phase I and UNESCO's International Hydrological Program (IHP) at the global and region levels. Dr. Shahbaz Khan extended his gratitude to the Government of Japan for their support and highlighted the success of Strategic Strengthening of Flood Warning System and Management Capacity of Pakistan Project. He informed that through the Project support, UNESCO in collaboration with its partners especially, PMD, FFD, ICHARM, and JAXA will complete the integrated IFAS/RRI system and other water studies covering the whole Indus River Basin, and the combine models can be utilized for flood forecasting and early warning system in Pakistan.

The two day international conference was attended by representatives from national and international partner organizations such as International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency - JAXA, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs), Federal Flood Commission (FFD), Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), universities, provincial irrigation departments and international experts from Australia, France, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. Experts inputs from the two day workshop will further help in enhancing the river modelling and flood forecasting models for Indus and the Eastern Rivers.