Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Early flood warning system for Himalayan states

Rina Saeed Khan in Dawn.com (Pakistan): The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) tried to bring together the various Himalayan countries (India, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh) on one platform at the recently concluded COP 15, although it has not been easy given their history of conflicts instead of cooperation. Pakistan is a member country and its villages in Chitral and the Northern Areas face increasing threats from climate change in the years to come.

They are particularly vulnerable to glacier outburst flooding and river/stream flooding as snow and ice melt faster than before. ICIMOD’s attempts to draw attention to this remote region have resulted in some positive actions and on Tuesday ICIMOD and the government of Finland announced that they had signed an agreement (dated 15th December) on a collaborative project to establish a regional flood information system in the Hindukush-Himalayan region.

Finland is providing a maximum of 2 million euros over three years (2009-2012) for the project which will be implemented by ICIMOD in close collaboration with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the six regional partner countries. The long-term goal is to minimise the loss of lives and livelihoods by providing timely warning of floods and thus reduce flood vulnerability in the region, which includes the Indus river basin….

The Indus River in flood, shot by Deeptrivia, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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