Islamabad: Pakistan and China will establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to explore possibilities of cooperation between the two countries on managing forest fires hazards under the framework of Pakistan-China cooperation on disaster management.
A high level delegation online meeting was held, with the view to explore possibilities of cooperation between the two countries on managing forest fires hazards.
The Chinese side was briefed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on the overall challenges of forest fires in Pakistan while specifically informed on the recent fires in Pine Nut forest of Koh-e- Suleman Range Balochistan.
The Chinese side was also informed of the capacity gaps and potential areas for technical assistance and cooperation particularly in the use of modern technologies for early warning, mitigation and response to forest fires
Pakistan’s delegation was led by Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz, Chairman NDMA and Liu Weimin, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation & Rescue, Ministry of Emergency Management headed the Chinese delegation.
Liu Weimin, while appreciating the efforts of government of Pakistan in successfully controlling forest fire in Balochistan offered their support in establishing joint monitoring systems, early warning mechanisms through use of satellite technology and resource sharing for response.
On the proposal of Chairman NDMA both sides agreed to establish a Joint Working Group comprising of experts/officials from both sides for exploring areas of cooperation and working out details of such collaboration, as a way forward.
During the meeting, Chairman NDMA was assisted by Members of NDMA, Joint Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Director General (DG) Punjab emergency service 1122, DG Civil Defense and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Forests Ministry of Climate Change.
From Chinese side Emergency Command Commissioner, Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Deputy Head of Fire Rescue Department, Deputy Director General of National Forest Fire Prevention and Early Warning Information Centre, Expert National Forest and Grassland Fire Prevention and Extinguishing Command and Director of Satellite Emergency Monitoring of Forest Fires participated in the discussion.