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Delegation of IMHE, Chinese Academy of Sciences called upon the President ECOSF

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A delegation of Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE), Chinese Academy of Sciences located in Chengdu, P.R. China called upon the President ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF), Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro in his office on August 13th, 2018. The delegation comprised of Prof. Dr. Lijun SU Deputy Director of Key Lab and Prof. Dr. Yonggang GE, Vice Director of Science & Technology Division of IMHE. Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro warmly welcomed and briefed the delegation about the functions and programs of the ECOSF. It is pertinent to mention here that this Institute has been recognized as the International Centre of Excellence (ICoE) on Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Reduction (IRDR) by the International Science Council (ISC). The discussion during the meeting concentrated on developing adequate Disaster Risk Reduction programmes along the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative of P.R. China.

Prof. SU appreciated and thanked Dr. Soomro and the Foundation for welcoming the delegation. He deliberated on various programs undertaken by the IMHE on DRR particularly in the mountainous regions along the B&R. Prof. SU shared with the hosts that IMHE is in the process of developing an Atlas with a database of potential hazards and disasters in the countries along the B&R.

It is important to mention here that IMHE in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan and other relevant stakeholders including the University of Peshawar, Quaid e Azam University Islamabad and National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Pakistan, is establishing a Pak-China Earth Sciences Research Center. The objective of developing such a center is to formulate a mechanism and provide effective disaster risk reduction strategy for the infrastructure projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The center will work towards for identification of current and future natural hazards and it will also propose the strategies for mitigating the potential risks and hazards that are likely to affect the infrastructure projects under the CPEC initiative.

During the meeting, Prof. SU on behalf of the Team Leader Prof. Peng CUI invited Prof. Soomro to participate in the upcoming International Conference on DRR along the B&R that is scheduled to take place in early May 2019. Prof. SU also invited Prof. Soomro to serve as a technical member in the international scientific committee of the conference. Prof. Soomro graciously accepted the invitation. Prof. Soomro shared with the visiting experts the natural disasters happening in the ECO member countries and emphasized on bringing relevant experts from ECO countries together with China and International DRR experts to learn from each other’s' experiences. He offered to identify experts on DRR from the ECO region for the planned international conference to be held in China next year; to which Prof. SU highly appreciated the warm gesture.

Both sides agreed In principle to cooperate and work together to address the key challenges posed by the climate change and natural disasters, contributing towards the disaster risk reduction programmes for the ECO region and along the B&R. The possibility signing MoU between the two organizations for institutionalizing the cooperation was also discussed. The meeting ended with vote of thanks on both sides.

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