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UNESCO urges for Integrated Water Resources Management to mitigate floods and droughts in Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD, February 26, 2011 (Balochistan Times): Obsolete and outdated approaches towards water management are still in practice in Pakistan. Sub sectors of water, such as flood management, ground water resources management and catchment management are working in silos without incorporating modern technologies and community participation. These remarks were stated by Dr Shahbaz Khan, Chief Water and Sustainable Development Section - UNESCO, during the International Conference on Floods 2010: A Dialogue to Transform Devastation to Opportunity, held here in the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), says a statement issued by UNESCO. The conference was organized on Feb 23,24, by the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific, Culture and Communication Organization (UNESCO), International Organization of Migration (IOM) and China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) to share experiences in terms of good practices and lessons learned from the catastrophic floods of 2010. Leading resource persons from academic institutions, relief organizations, and national and international water management institutions presented technical papers exploring different aspects such as GIS technologies for flood and disaster management, mapping challenges in Disaster Management and land use control measures. In the first technical session Dr Shahbaz Khan presented his paper on Enhancing Social Resilience through participatory integrated flood and drought management in Pakistan. The paper covers global practices on institutional coordination leading Integrated Water Resource Management by using modern technologies and community empowerment and such experiences can help Pakistan in managing its recurring floods and droughts. Dr Khan emphasized that the tremendous potential of Indus aquifers storage in low lying desert areas during floods and water recovery during floods needs to be realized to turn flood disasters into water security during very dry years. This international conference is part of a comprehensive strategy UNESCO has formulated in partnership with Pakistan to help the country and manage its responses to flood and drought, and to rationally account 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.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 26, 2011
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