Islamabad, 2 February 2023 (TDI): A workshop on “Impact-based Forecasting (IBF) and Anticipatory Action Planning” was held by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Tuesday in Islamabad.

The workshop was jointly organized by PMD, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems for Asia and Africa (RIMES).

The workshop brought together researchers, climate information providers, users, development practitioners, as well as decision-makers to discuss the current use of climate services along with the scope of IBF & anticipatory action planning in the nation.

Idrees Mahsud, a Member of Disaster Risk Reduction at the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) attended the workshop as the chief guest.

While addressing the participants, he emphasized the need to strengthen forecasting capabilities and dissemination mechanisms for effective communication about the risks and potential effects of climate-related disasters.

Also read: International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan

The disastrous event of 2022 highlighted how crucial it was to improve the country’s emergency operations system for ensuring not only an effective response but also resilience, disaster mitigation, and preparedness before disasters strike.

Mehar Sahibzad Khan, Director General of PMD, highlighted the significance of IBF standardization and anticipatory action approaches, both of which PMD is actively pursuing.

With the assistance of the provincial agriculture departments, the IBF approach is currently being used in a few districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It will subsequently be improved and expanded to additional districts.

Likewise, effective sectoral partner agency collaboration and coordination are essential for the development of functional impact-based forecasting systems and proactive action planning.

Florence Rolle, the representative of FAO in Pakistan, on her part, underscored the value of creating strategic alliances to deliver prompt assistance to those affected by natural disasters.

She went on to urge the government to take the lead in implementing safeguards for communities, such as IBF and anticipatory action planning.

Participating experts also spoke on the steps in implementing IBF and warning services, the value of forming partnerships, best practices for effective communication in disseminating IBF, and risk reduction.

The experts included Dr. K. J. Ramesh; Senior Advisor, RIMES, Dr. Zaheer Ahmad Babar; Director of National Weather Forecasting Center, PMD, and others.

During the workshop, the speakers stressed the value of raising awareness of IBF and fostering understanding of it in order to protect lives and livelihoods from the negative effects of disasters.

Officers from NDMA, the Ministry of National Food Security & Research, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination, SUPARCO, the Pakistan Geological Survey, PCRWR, and NDRMF were among the attendees.

Besides that, representatives of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), NARC, the Agriculture Extension (KP, Punjab), the PDMA (KP, Sindh), and the Pakistan Red Crescent also took part in the event.

Furthermore, delegates from a number of international organizations, including the ECHO, CEVSI, the World Food Program, the UNDP, CARE-ADPC, ICIMOD, the German Red Cross, and SUNGI attended the workshop.

Building a resilient and informed society in the face of climate-related disasters began with this workshop, which served as the first step in strengthening synergies between PMD, FAO, and RIMES, as well as their pertinent stakeholders.