Islamabad: A joint meeting of the Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA), Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), held in Islamabad on February 27, 2018. Issues of Climate Change and Natural Disasters and their impacts on the mountain communities of Gilgit Baltistan was discussed and a Letter of Intent was signed to support GBDMA in the development of a Disaster Management Plan for Gilgit Baltistan. Earlier the support was requested by GBDMA.
Mr. Yahya Akhunzada, Director General of GBDMA, Dr. David Molden, Director General (DG), ICIMOD, Mr. Nawab Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer of AKAH and Mr. Akhtar Iqbal, CEO of Aga Khan Foundation, Mr. Zubair Khan, Program Officer, GBDMA attended the meeting.
Mr. Yahya Akhunzada appreciated AKAH for its continued support to Gilgit Baltistan Government and particularly for GBDMA. He said “the development of the Disaster Management Plan is a key support for GBDMA which will help the agency better prepared to save precious lives and properties of the communities of Gilgit Baltistan.” He also thanked ICIMOD for their technical and financial support offered for the development of the DRM plan.
Mr. Nawab Ali Khan, Said “AKAH has developed successful models and approaches of Community based Disaster Risk Reduction and is keen to work with the Government organizations such as NDMA, PDMAs, Pakistan Meteorological Department and other relevant authorities to take these models to scale for the larger benefit of the communities in Pakistan.” He further said “the GB Disaster Risk Management Plan will provide a road map to GBDMA in achieving its key goals.”
In his remarks Dr. David Molden, Director General (DG), ICIMOD, shared that “This inter agency cooperation will help ICIMOD achieve its mandate to assist mountain people understand the impacts of climate change.” Dr. Molden assured his strong support to the government and community institutions in Pakistan whenever needed.
The need for a centralized information system within GBDMA was also discussed where information and knowledge generated by many organizations working in GB on DRR issues can be housed and made available for decision makers, researchers and the general public.