Addressing Climate Vulnerability: First National Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Actions in Pakistan

Islamabad : The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), in collaboration with key partners including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), German Red Cross/Pakistan Red Crescent Society, World Food Programme (WFP), Welthungerhilfe (WHH), Concern Worldwide (CWW), and UN OCHA, organized the First National Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Actions (AA) in Islamabad.

Over a 100 participants from the humanitarian sector, international financial institutions, hydrometeorologists, climate scientists, national governments, academia, community leaders, and decision-makers participated in the dialogue.

The participants discussed about how their experience in developing anticipatory action initiatives can support the building, strengthening, and scaling up of AA and forecast-based financing to reduce the impact of forecastable disasters; how to learn from each other to improve the design of existing projects; and advance the use of weather and climate data.

The aim of the dialogue is to promote a shared understanding of anticipatory action among stakeholders, facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences, understand the roles of international financial institutions in advancing the practice of AA including funding on disaster risk and pre-arranged financing, develop practical recommendations for the effective implementation of AA in Pakistan and identify opportunities for collaboration to develop and implement AA jointly.

Anticipatory action is a unique approach which involves taking timely and informed actions based on credible forecasts or collective risk analysis to mitigate the impacts of potential hazards. It encompasses various terms such as Forecast-based Financing (FbF), Early Warning Early Action (EWEA), Forecast-based Action (FbA), and Anticipatory Humanitarian Action (AHA). Harmonizing these terms will ensure a unified approach to anticipatory action in humanitarian efforts.

Break-out sessions on specific themes were conducted for identifying pathways and the ways forward for developing a country roadmap on AA and identify existing gaps, challenges, roadblocks, and milestones for a collective way forward.

The initial session concentrated on multi-hazard forecasting, triggers, and early warning systems. It delved into forecasting potential hazards in Pakistan, identifying multi-hazard triggers for AA, and elucidating the distinctions between AA and disaster risk reduction.

In the subsequent session, the spotlight shifted to AA Planning and financing. This segment underscored the integration of AA into Pakistan’s DRM planning process, placing a strong emphasis on gender equality, disability inclusion, and social considerations in both Anticipatory Action planning and financing.

The final session centred on knowledge generation and fostering partnerships for AA. This portion highlighted a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge generation for AA, exploring the connections between AA and shock-responsive social protection. Additionally, it addressed the reinforcement of partnerships and the institutionalization of AA.

Towards the end, the conference participants outlined the priorities for Pakistan, in relation to the fundamental building blocks of anticipatory action, and came up with concrete recommendations to support the testing, implementation and evidence collection of AA activities as well as documentation, for dissemination to the broader community of practice.

The platform provided a unique networking and collaboration opportunity to all stakeholders to address the challenges posed by natural disasters proactively. By bringing together diverse stakeholders, this event aimed to foster a collective commitment to AA, enabling the nation to transition from reactive responses to proactive disaster preparedness and risk reduction strategies.

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