» UNESCO organizing workshop in Pakistan on flood and drought management
20.01.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO organizing workshop in Pakistan on flood and drought management

© UN Photo/Evan Schneider - A UN helicopter flies over monsoon flood waters in Punjab Province, near the city of Multan, Pakistan.

Last July’s catastrophic floods in Pakistan underlined the country’s need to better understand, predict and manage such extreme events. To help strengthen Pakistan’s capacities, UNESCO is organizing a workshop at the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) in Islamabad from 24 to 26 January.

The workshop focuses on specialized education and training to deal with hydrological extremes – floods and droughts – and related geo-hazards. It will bring together hydrological experts from UNESCO’s international network* as well as representatives of key educational institutions in Pakistan. Dr Gretchen Kalonji, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO’s science sector, will give the opening address and take part in the workshop sessions.


            Participants will identify best practices in water education and examine how these can be used to update and strengthen the education system in Pakistan and South Asia.


            Topics to be explored will include training policy-makers and managers in flood and drought management; assessing the capacity of existing water education institutes and training of flood forecasting specialists; training water department technicians and managers and updating curricula; and providing education in schools and communities in managing geo-hazards.


            The workshop is part of a comprehensive strategy UNESCO has formulated in partnership with Pakistan to help the country develop and manage its responses to flood and drought, and to measure potential impacts of land-use, population, climate change and other factors on water resources. The plan covers four key areas: flood hazard forecasting and management; mapping and assessment of geo-hazards such as glacier melts and landslides; mapping, development and protection of ground water resources for safe use in emergency situations; and education including technical training and awareness-raising for communities and decision makers.


            UNESCO assists Member States with water issues through its International Hydrological Programme, devoted to water research, water resources management, education and capacity building.




*Including the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM, Japan); Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RC-UWM, Iran); and UNESCO Water Education Institute (IHE, Netherlands)



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