by Amber Masud
The Regional GLOF Risk Reduction Project, funded by DIPECHO and UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), aims to address the risks posed by GLOFs in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region comprising India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan through strengthening non-structural and community-based approaches. The activities updates for the month of July 2008 is given below:
A Core Working Group (CWG), comprising representatives from key administrative departments/agencies and eminent scientists/experts from different stakeholder institutions has been constituted to provide inputs for the activities under the Project. The experts identified for the Group are drawn from Pakistan Meteorology Department, WWF Pakistan, Global Climate Change Impact Study Centre, Pakistan Wetlands Programme and Earthquake Relief and Recovery Authority. The TOR for the CWG has also been finalized.
Experts from the National Agriculture Research Council (NARC) have been identified for supporting the process of baseline study. The Desk Review and the field work for the same has completed earlier.
A field visit [14-22 July] was conducted to the project area for information and data collection. The data collection and interactions were held in three villages (Ghulkin, Passu and Hussaini) adjacent to Passu and Ghulkin glaciers and which have a history of GLOFs and flash floods. The methodology adopted for data collection was interviews, formal group discussions and a Questionnaire-based sample survey. Detailed discussions were held with the local community members specially village elders and women.
Separate meetings were also held with officials from the local government administration departments and key agencies associated with risk mitigation and preparedness.
Members of religious groups were also interviewed as religious leaders and centers are very influential in the village communities and they can be utilized quite effectively for raising awareness among the locals.
Visits to Passu and Ghulkin glaciers were also conducted for technical details and to gauge vulnerability of communities and to assess the threat posed to the neighboring village communities by GLOF events.
The draft report is being finalized in consultation with the experts from NARC and the findings of the study will be shared with members of the Core Working Group (CWG). Meetings were held with members of CWG earlier this month to discuss the field work details.
A district-level project consultation is also planned for sharing the findings and for sharing the information with relevant stakeholders and community representatives to validate the same.
The project activities were also presented during an orientation session at the request of an INGO working on environment and conservation in the Northern Areas and extending their programme to climate change and adaptation. The meeting was attended by key member organizations working in environment and DRR. Project activities were explained and discussed in detail. This activity was fairly productive for gathering information.
The updates being shared with various stakeholders through Pamir Times have elicited good response and quite a few practitioners from different parts of the world have contacted the project team about information on the activities.
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