Final Report on Seminar on Disaster Management.

Organized by IPIR: A Sister Organization of World Times Institute

Overview of the organization ———————————————————————– 1
Objectives ———————————————————————————————– 2
Findings ————————————————————————————————- 3
Participants Profile ———————————————————————————— 4
Selection Criteria ————————————————————————————— 5
Setting the Context ———————————————————————————– 6
Segment 1: Effects Of Climate Change On The World & Specifically on Pakistan ——- 7
Segment 2: Overview of Our Disaster Management Capacity & Capability ————– 8
Segment 3: Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Situations ——————————– 9
Concluding remarks ——————————————————————————— 10
Q&A Session ——————————————————————————————– 11
Glimpses of the Seminar —————————————————————————- 12

Overview of the organization

IPIR is a non-profit, non-political, and independent research organization established to
promote evidence-based decision making, innovative thinking, cross-disciplinary
research culture, integrity, and human resource development. It does not support any
political party or institution in policy evaluations. The foremost purpose of this
organization is to establish a research culture and inclusive policy-making model for a
better society where the coming generations can flourish. IPIR aims to promote
professionalism, transparency, and objective research. IPIR is a sister organization of
World Times Institute that also publishes Jahangir World Times (JWT) monthly
magazine – Pakistan’s premier monthly magazine on current affairs that is tailor-made
for the aspirants for CSS, PMS and other Competitive exams. Institute of Policy Input and Research (IPIR) organized its first ever seminar titled “Disaster
Management: Are We Ready for the Consequences of Climate Change?” at World Times
Institute Main Hall on 24th September 2022 at 1:45 PM.


  1. To highlight the overall situation nationally and internationally in terms of climate change
    and global warming.
  2. To highlight the current arrangements at the grass root, provincial and national level in terms
    of disaster management, disaster preparedness & response.
  3. To highlight how can Pakistan improve its current disaster management paradigm and in
    regards to the recent climate catastrophe that how much can we blame our management.
  4. To stress the impact and role of community especially the development sector in disaster
    resilience, preparedness and management, furthermore, highlight gaps at the grass root, provincial and national level along with identifying areas where community can work with
    the government to play its role in managing disaster
  5. To discuss the importance of Local Government System being is the grass root tier of the
    government and its significant role in catastrophes & disasters.
  6. To learn and discuss about the short, medium- and long-term solutions for management of
    disasters in the country, in the light of world’s best practices.


  1. The government is utilizing its optimum potential and over the years has developed the
    expertise for disaster management. There are success stories like COVID-19 and Locust control
    in regard to disaster management. However, there is a need to brush up on marketing skills as
    according to New Public Management, the government has to market its activities which will
    help to build trust and confidence and strengthens the overall social fabric of a society that in
    turn bolsters institutions.
  2. The role of technologies is crucial in averting and managing future disasters alongside climate
    change. Negative emission technologies such as Direct Air Capture, Carbon Capture, Usage and
    Storage (CCUS), and others are crucial to controlling emissions.
  3. There is a need for coherent disaster management policies i.e. the government institutions, private sector, development sector including NGOs, researchers/academia technology &
    innovation experts, and economists need to be on the same page. Any policy action(s) devoid of
    all the stakeholders being on the same page results in mismanagement of any given disaster.

    There is an urgent need to train our community and promote volunteerism as it is the biggest
    asset whenever there is a disaster. It includes awareness campaigns and preparedness exercises
    along with specific purpose-built assessments. There is a need for community cohesion that helps
    form what are called emergent groups that rise to the occasion in face of disaster. Active role of
    community apart from the government’s policies so that we can ensure that relief is being given
    to the ones who are in dire need of it. Through proper camp training, students and other
    individuals can be engaged in reaching areas which otherwise are remote and inaccessible due to
    devastation of floods and rain.

Participants Profile

The speakers included:

  • Mr. Faisal Fareed (Director General, Provincial Disaster Management Authority)
  • Mr. Shahid Iqbal (Secretary General, Al Khidmat Foundation)
  • Dr. Athar Mansoor (Senior Research Fellow; Expert in Developmental Innovation)

    100 participants joined the seminar from every walk of life and disciplines. Apart from speakers and participants, the following special guests from academia, politics, bureaucracy, law and other fields of life, attended the event.  Ambassador Irfan ur Rehman Raja (Senior Faculty Member of WTI, Lahore)
  • Mr. Adeel Niaz (Project Director World Times Institute)
  • Miss. Tahmina Habib (Deputy Secretary Ministry of Economic Affairs)
  • Mr. Osman Khan (Advocate High Court)
  • Dr. Mahmood Alam Durrani (Principal of Akhtar Saeed Medical College)
  • Mr. Saqib Aleem (Advisor, Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan)
  • Shahid Zaheer (Retired Chief Commissioner, Inland Revenue Service)
  • Atir Rizvi (Head of Law Department, GCU)
  • Dr. Shahzad Asif Khan (Director, FIA Headquarters, Islamabad)
  • Col (Retd) Abid (Senior Defense Analyst and Columnist)

Selection Criteria for Participants

A Google Form was initiated to apply for participating in the seminar. Apart from the general
information e.g. university, qualification, grades, they had to submit an answer highlighting the
reason(s) for attending this seminar. The selection was done based on the quality and clarity of
their answers.

Setting the Context

The seminar began with the note on significance of the ‘Climate Change’. The purpose of the
seminar was to instill an educated debate and to look for tangible and pragmatic solutions to one
of the most pressing issues of Pakistan i.e., Climate Change in addition to that endeavor to bring
bureaucracy, researcher and third sector (development sector) on one platform to understand the
situation in Pakistan. Pakistan is only responsible for 0.49 percent of global emissions yet is the
8th most vulnerable country to climate change. Pakistan is also the 2nd most vulnerable one to
rising food prices (per a Bloomberg scorecard). A few months ago, Pakistan also faced one of the
worst heatwaves in the world, at one point, the top 5 of the ten hottest places on earth were in
Pakistan. If we go back, Lahore (one of the major cities in Pakistan) topped the list of the most
polluted cities in the world for multiple weeks while the fire in Baluchistan burned almost 40
percent of trees Koh e Sulaiman range.

Recent floods have wreaked havoc on Pakistan’s economy, which was already in shambles. The
country recently averted a Balance of Payment crisis after successfully receiving $1.17 billion in
bailout, avoiding a default. Pakistan stands at 18 out of 119 countries on Inform Risk Index by
the UNDRR. Apart from 33 million people being displaced and more than 1400 perishing, the
country expects to experience a whopping $30 billion loss, almost 9 percent of its GDP.

  • Hence, the seminar aimed at highlighting the various aspects and domains of Climate Change.

The seminar was divided into three segments for systematic analysis and better understanding of
the topic.

Segment 1: Effects of Climate Change On The World & Specifically on

The first segment began with the following key questions from Mr. Athar Mansoor:
1) Can you please throw some light on the overall situation and where are we headed in terms of
climate change?
2) How do you see climate change in our region and Pakistan?
3) What will be the effect of these developments on Pakistan?
In response to the questions, he started off by building the context and posited that globally, 1999-2011 were witnessed as the warmest period due to shifting climate patterns. From 1994
onwards, every year globally, 400 tons of glaciers are melting which is resulting in 6.7 inch rise
in sea levels. Due to increase in greenhouse gases and acidification of gases, there is a drastic
change in climatic patterns. As almost 1 billion people depend on marine life for food, hence the
impact of climate change appears to be a global threat. Highlighting the South-North divide and relating it to Pakistan, Dr. Mansoor said that our carbon
footprint is less than 1 percent. Owing to its geography Pakistan is one of the countries that are
severely being affected by the Climate Change. The Monsoon rain & Glacial melting is posing a
serious threat to the wellbeing of the state and its people. The current rainfall accounts to 390mm
and has increased 190% in the last 30 years. He warned that the situation has now gone
overboard. In addition to this, other challenges remain: increasing death toll, mass displacement, fatal injuries, agricultural infertility, economic recession, food insecurity and healthcare
mismanagement. If nothing is done timely, Dr. Mansoor emphasized, then the chances are the
situation will get worse.

SEGMENT 2: Overview of Our Disaster Management Capacity & Capability

The second segment addressed the following three questions that was posed to Mr. Faisal Fareed, DG PDMA:

  1. Pakistan has been facing these disasters from 2010 and the loss is unprecedented. BBC
    reported that it will take more than 6 months for the water (of the recent floods) to retreat. Do you think that the existing disaster management in Pakistan can tackle the upcoming
  2. What arrangements do we have at the grass root level for the disaster management, disaster preparedness & response?
  3. The way ahead and suggestions to improve our disaster management capacity?

    Mr. Fareed as a response to the aforesaid questions initiated a very interesting and informed
    discussion where he mentioned that due to the recent increase in the Global Warming, there has
    been a significant increase in evaporation rate hence we are having heavy rainfall that ultimately
    results in floods. He emphasized that the geography of Pakistan must be kept in mind while
    analyzing the patterns of climate. River Indus Tributaries serve to be an essential asset of the country. It was significantly disturbed after receiving heavy showers on 13th July in Baroch & Adwala (Mianwali District). While on 12th August heavy rainfall was witnessed in Koh E Suleiman Range and the magnitude of the natural calamity was as such that whether it had happened in the developed world, they would have faced almost the same amount of destruction.

    Moving forward, he stressed, we need to do vulnerability assessment of different regions in order
    to arrange for health facilities. Recovery operations must be carried on in order to provide relief
    to the people as well as to the livestock. He mentioned how, in case of the attack of locusts, government institutions were able to trace out their origin and the trajectory of travel and prevented thousands of acres of crops and livestock from their attack – debunking the perception that government institutions are not doing their work. He acknowledged, however, that there is a lack of marketing effort on behalf of the government and that it needs to improve.

SEGMENT 3: Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Situations

In the final segment the following questions were asked from Mr. Shahid Iqbal, Secretary
General Al Khidmat Foundation

1) What is the role of society and community in disaster management?
2) What are the gaps at the grass root level and where government can play its role?
3) What is the significance of community building and how we can train our community to face
such calamities in future?

The ensuing conversation stressed that it is very important to understand the concept of Disaster
Risk Reduction (DRR). Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster
risks through systematic efforts to analyze and reduce the causal factors of disasters. Reducing
exposure to hazards, lessening the vulnerability of people and property, wise management of
land and the environment, and improving preparedness and early warning for adverse events are
all examples of disaster risk reduction. On the other hand, we should learn about the National
Disaster Management Act, 2010 that manages the whole Disaster Management Cycle (DMC)
which includes Preparedness, Mitigation, Risk Reduction, Relief and Rehabilitation. A National
Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) is prepared and is followed towards provision of better
services to the affected ones. Any foreign country is not going to do anything for us. We have to
work on population management ourselves. Disaster preparedness, mitigation and risk reduction
cannot be ensured without community participation. Due to floods many areas like Koh E Suleiman and many areas of Baluchistan were not accessible for many days after floods, in such situations trained community members paly instrumental role. Moreover, assimilation exercises should be conducted in disaster prone areas for awareness and training of community. He acknowledged that there has been a few assimilation of flood exercises conducted by NDMA but it has to be done at a larger scale. However, it is of significant importance that certain guidelines are missing for the flood affecters in the flood hit areas. In this era of geological advancement, the climate change won’t stop itself. We need a robust structure in order to ensure a constructive way forward.

Concluding Remark

It is an established fact that whenever there is a disaster, it is not the government or any
institution that plays the biggest part but the community itself. IPIR made an effort to bring
Government representative, academia and humanitarian actor to sit together and analyze the
situation for a better tomorrow.

Moving towards the conclusion every panelist gave their final remarks about the
solutions and way forward.

Dr. Athar Mansoor spoke about on how can we incorporate better use of technology in our policies to strengthen our disaster management. He also mentioned short , medium- and long-term solutions which included setting course for renewables while utilizing negative emission technologies and last but not the least to seek climate reparations from developed and industrialized countries. He was hopeful that Pakistan, albeit slowly, is still adapting clean technology. He added that it is only when we achieve 8-10% annual GDP growth for more than a decade or so only then we can become a middle-income country in 25 years. Finally, he emphasized that we need to adopt technology for development.

Similarly, Mr. Faisal Fareed shared his views about the future direction of Pakistan in terms of Disaster Management in the coming 5-10 years and also mentioned his version of solutions. It is really important to create resilience in development pattern and strategy. Disaster Risk Reduction needs to be mainstreamed. Our Urban Planning needs to be Disaster Risk Efficient. We need to build additional reservoirs after studying the disaster vulnerability of an area. In this cause, we must include local communities too.

Mr. Shahid Iqbal continued to emphasize the need to build societal capacity and capability in terms of disaster management. That we need to not only include it in our curriculums but also have regular drills especially for people living in disaster prone areas. He mentioned that the plans of District Disaster Management Authority are only on paper while it needs to be developed as a specialized field. Moreover, he reiterated that the government has to establish its writ against encroachment of land and illegal construction of infrastructure on river beds.

Q&A Session:

Finally, the floor was opened for Q&A session. Following are some of the questions asked by
participants and their answers.

  • The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) is not publicly exhibiting their work. Is that a gap between them and the community

Mr. Faisal Fareed responded that PDMA is working day and night for the wellbeing of the
citizens however the conflict between three tiers of the state create hurdle in the smooth working
of the institution. Three tiers i.e. Local government, Provincial government and Federal
government. District Emergency Management Centers like in Rajanpur & DG Khan can be of
significant importance. Instead of focusing on Rescue and Evacuation we need to work on relief
and resilience more.

  • Elaborate the impact of Provincial and Federal rift on the disaster management?

Network governance is the need of the hour. We need to have the private and public sector
working together for the betterment of the state. On urgent basis we need to formulate and
implement policies in order to help community deal with the natural and man-made disasters

  • Should Pakistan try to reduce its emissions?

There is a direct correlation, up to a certain point, between number of carbon emissions and
economic growth. As such we cannot just simply curb our carbon emissions at the cost of
economic progress. There are millions in Pakistan without access to electricity and adequate
living standards. We need to produce more jobs, manufacture more goods and climb the ladder
of development. This doesn’t mean that we do not invest or take steps to control the
environmental impact of our actions. We can use energy efficient technologies, even the latest
coal plants being installed emit less than the previous ones. But stopping certain industries only
because of carbon emissions when we contribute only 0.49 percent to the total, makes zero sense

The seminar was successfully concluded after the Shield Giving Ceremony at 3:55pm


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