ISLAMABAD, Nov 18 (APP): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF), Bilal Anwar, announced on Saturday that the Fund will host over two dozen activities at the global climate summit COP-28 in Dubai. Additionally, a special web portal will be launched to live telecast the events and share updates for media reporting and information dissemination to the public.
Anwar chaired his first media face-off with environmental journalists to brief them on the Fund’s transition from a disaster risk reduction financing facility to a proactive multi-stakeholder institution. He discussed the Fund’s recent preparations for participation in COP-28, scheduled to take place in Dubai, UAE, from November 30 to December 11, 2023.
Highlighting the significance of the COP forum as an international platform, Anwar emphasized that negotiations held at COP have global legal implications for climate preservation. The Fund has issued a special newsletter and developed a dedicated website to centralize information related to the country’s delegation activities, ensuring a continuous flow of information, public engagement, and inclusivity.
NDRMF is collaborating with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination to organize over 20 activities covering topics such as climate finance, governance, rapid urbanization’s impact on the environment in Pakistan’s major urban centers, and food security.
Anwar revealed that the Fund is developing a two-way information-sharing strategy related to COP events and the country’s delegation engagements. He emphasized the need for media reporting to align with local context and guide stakeholders during the analytical part of the COP negotiations.
Samia, Manager Finance at NDRMF, informed journalists that the Fund has always promoted a proactive approach to disaster management and risk reduction. The Fund’s objective is to provide funds for disaster resilience initiatives, with approximately $38 million disbursed for this purpose.
Project interventions related to disaster resilience have received around $250 million in funding.
Muhammad Fawad Hayat, Head of Climate Change, Climate Finance, and Carbon Markets, explained that the Fund initially focused on flood protection and retrofitting disaster-vulnerable buildings. However, it has repurposed its objectives to include promoting carbon markets, saffron and olives’ harvesting, and strengthening the fiscal space of the country. Hayat noted that the Fund’s enhanced audit systems have increased donors’ confidence.
Anwar addressed media queries, stating that the Fund, in its six-year journey, has achieved a professional level and is now focusing on disaster and climate risk modeling due to the prevailing knowledge gap in the country. He revealed that the Fund, in collaboration with the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), has established the first-ever data center for sharing quality information on climate and disaster risk modeling and assessment.
Anwar added that the data center, hosted by the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), will become operational in January 2024. It will be accessible to academia, policymakers, civil society, and research groups, serving as a new platform to stimulate quality research and development.