Disaster management: Iranian expert calls for closer collaboration among regional states

Islamabad, June 21, IRNA -- Iranian Director of Asia and Pacific Center for Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) says regional countries need to work together and pay more focus to have better disaster management.

Mostafa Mohaghegh expressed these views during his presentation on ‘Disaster Information Management in Asia and the Pacific’ at the 6th meeting of regional technical group of Disaster Management Confidence Building Measures (DM-CBM) of Heart of Asia, Istanbul Process in Islamabad.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Pakistan hosted the international conference with expert group discussions.

Mostafa Mohaghegh said that transforming information from collection of data and inputs into actionable knowledge can actually leave an impact on other disaster management efforts.

He said that Asia-Pacific Disaster Report which is published after every two years has already identified a number of key important steps like understanding risks and having data and information policies and generating actionable information.

“We have tones of information data around us or scattered which can be used in an effective manner when the time comes. There is a need for skills, for policies, processes, structures, training etc, so that uncustomized information could reach out to the people at risk,” he said.

He added: We have to capitalize on innovative technology.

“We need more and more information and regional cooperation with regards to transboundary disasters and hazards which require more collaboration among countries and nations of the world,” said the expert.

Mostafa Mohaghegh said a new regional center for disaster management is established by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

He noted that throughout recent years Asia and Pacific Center for Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) has been conducting workshops, seminars and discussions for better disaster management in the region.

“The regional countries need to work together and focus more on specialized manner to achieve tangible goals. We need to invest more in information management,” he viewed.

The expert said the center has a governing council comprising of nine members and government of Pakistan is very active member of the council.

“The center is being operationalized from Tehran,” he added.

The expert said the APDIM is providing opportunities for collaboration among countries in the region.

“I would like to invite Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to be very active member of this regional information platform,” Mostafa Mohaghegh said.

He said there have been a number of events at the APDIM and the latest one is a regional conference on disaster information management in Tehran in January this year.

“APDIM is investing to create a data for disaster management which can be accessed easily by government and non-governmental sectors when necessary,” said the expert.

The session was chaired by Major General (retd) Asghar Nawaz former Chairman NDMA. During the session experts presented different presentations on disaster management. At the end, souvenirs were also presented to the participants of the conference.

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