China, Pakistan strengthen cooperation on disaster risk reduction–China Economic Net

By Yuan Xiaona

Cui Peng on a field visit along the Karakoram highway in Pakistan. [Photo provided to China Economic Net]

CHENGDU, June 3 (China Economic Net) C China and Pakistan should strengthen cooperation in natural disaster prevention and mitigation to build a China-Pakistan community with a shared future, said Cui Peng, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in an exclusive interview. interview in May.

According to Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability, a UN report published in February, human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruptions in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce risk. .

Building a beautiful homeland is a common dream for mankind. In the face of climate change, disaster prevention and mitigation and other global issues, no country can manage alone or stay away. Only through joint efforts can we approach them scientifically, said Cui, who is also the director general of the China-Pakistan Joint Earth Science Research Center (CPJRC).

According to Cui, the annual frequency of extreme weather and major natural disasters caused by global climate change is about 320 times on average over the past four decades. A similar situation prevails in Pakistan.

An unusual heat wave hit Pakistan from March to May 2022, it is most likely due to human-induced climate change, according to a rapid analysis. Maximum temperatures reached 51°C in March.

In addition to heat waves, less precipitation and an increase in temperature, there are forest fires.

Since the beginning of May, the province of Balochistan has been engulfed by ever-increasing forest fires. Both China and Iran helped Pakistan put out the fire.

Establishment of a China-Pak cooperation mechanism

Cui Peng attends the China-Pakistan High-Level Webinar on Earth Science Cooperation on March 18, 2021. [Photo provided to China Economic Net]

As an expert in disaster risk reduction, Cui shared his opinion with China Economic Net on China-Pakistan cooperation in this regard.

Cui called for establishing a China-Pakistan cooperation mechanism on disaster information sharing and cooperation in disaster prevention and mitigation, to facilitate bilateral collaboration.

Regarding international investment practices, the two nations should expedite the establishment of a disaster risk assessment and prevention mechanism for major projects within the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor ( CPEC), in order to guard against and defuse major disaster risks related to investments and engineering.

Cui advised advancing the compilation of the CPEC disaster prevention and mitigation action plan for closer people-to-people ties and building a China-Pakistan community with a shared future.

In terms of disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation, Cui has advanced the application of next-generation space-sky-ground stereoscopic surveillance technology using satellites, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and real-time ground monitors for disaster identification and monitoring.

Cui said it is necessary to strengthen cooperation in disaster monitoring and continue building a monitoring network applicable to multiple disasters, including earthquakes, sleet and snowstorms, geohazards, floods and tsunamis, to improve monitoring and early warning capacity.

China and Pakistan could carry out regular disaster risk assessment in key areas along the CPEC to ensure people’s livelihoods and the construction of major projects.

Cui encouraged various government departments and organizations to launch a talent training program on disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as youth exchanges and cooperation plans under CPEC.

Cui hoped to train professionals on disaster prevention and mitigation for Pakistan through a special international student program, vocational training on disaster prevention and mitigation, international cooperation program and exchange program of talent.

Efforts and Contributions to CPEC and People

Cui Peng taking a trip along the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan. [Photo provided to China Economic Net]

As a scientific researcher, it is my responsibility and obligation to make efforts to mitigate and/or reduce damage to the safety and property of the nation and peoples, Cui said.

Cui has been doing scientific research for nearly 40 years at the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (IMHE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He is dedicated to mountain risks (specializing in debris flows and landslides), disaster risk reduction, water and soil conservation and river geomorphology.

Cui insists that scientific researchers on geological disasters should make field trips to obtain the first-hand data as a direct scientific basis for creating better methods and technologies on disaster prevention and mitigation.

After investigating many catastrophic events, I was shocked at their damage to the safety of life and property, and to the environment, which strengthened my resolve to engage in lava flow research. debris and landslides and in disaster prevention and mitigation, Cui said.

Cui has visited many geological disaster sites at home and abroad over the past 30 years.

His dedication and love for disaster risk reduction also contributes greatly to the construction of CPEC and benefits Pakistani brothers and sisters.

Professor Asif Khan of the University of Peshawar and Cui led a team to investigate geohazards along the Karakoram Highway (KKH) in 2006.

Since then, IMHE and Pakistan’s National Scientific Research Institutes have conducted steady cooperation on disaster prevention and mitigation for KKH Renovation and Expansion Project.

On January 4, 2010, a huge landslide occurred in the village of Attabad in Hunza, northern Pakistan, which created a barrier lake.

A part of KKH, about 24 kilometers away, was submerged by the barrier lake Attabad, which almost cut off the trade and trade route between China and Pakistan.

To help KKH’s contractor to do an emergency response program, IMHE set up a team with Cui as the leader to do a field visit and scientific analysis on the barrier lake.

Cui Peng (2nd R), leads a team of experts and conducts a field trip along the Karakoram highway renovation and expansion project on March 31, 2010. [Photo provided to China Economic Net]

The analysis report of Cui and his teams was highly appreciated by the entrepreneur of KKH. Their complementary mountain risk assessment and prevention program has been adopted by the KKH subcontractor.

The project was successfully constructed and opened for traffic three years ahead of the original plan, which also boosted the increase in bilateral trade volume.

It is our duty to mitigate and reduce disasters for people. The work can strengthen ties between people and conform to ideas of a community with a shared future for mankind, Cui said.

With such a vocation, Cui takes the whole world into view.

Under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Cui wants to create an international scientific platform to help the countries and regions involved respond effectively to the natural disaster and protect people’s livelihoods.

Among them, Pakistan has caught Cuis’ attention as it is prone to all kinds of natural disasters.

Amid the construction of CPEC, Cui, together with IMHE, launched the construction of an international platform on disaster risk reduction, to attract global scientists to solve problems and protect people.

Pakistan Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) jointly launched China-Pakistan Joint Earth Science Research Center (CPJRC) in 2019.

The CPJRC focuses on the two nations’ scientific research and education cooperation on natural disasters, ecological environment, resource exploration and regional sustainable development for the construction of the CPEC.

Cui Peng (2nd R), a disaster prevention and mitigation expert, leads a team to conduct a field trip along the Karakoram highway. [Photo provided to China Economic Net]

CPJRC has completed a comprehensive survey of natural disasters of CPEC since its establishment.

In collaboration with the Pakistani parties, the CPJRC has collected data which is used for research on socio-economic development, resources and the environment.

In terms of marine geology, Chinese and Pakistani scientists jointly established Makran Trench 3D model for seismogenic structure model and seismic slip model.

These research results could provide scientific evidence to prevent the risk of earthquake and tsunami for the southern coastal regions of Pakistan and the port of Gwadar.

CPJRC assessed the risk of landslides and debris flows in the mountainous region of northern Pakistan.

This can support site selection for major projects in the future.

CPJRC has compiled and published the Silk Road Disaster Risk Atlas and Silk Road Disaster Risk Snapshot, two natural disaster risk assessment reports, which can be used countries and regions along the BRI.

In addition, CPJRC has established the CPEC information system and data sharing platform for resources, environmental ecology and disasters, which could be used directly for the construction of CPEC.