Mr. Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Aviation Division, Ministry of Aviation Government of Pakistan, inaugurated the 8th National Monsoon Forum in Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday.
Mr. Naqvi acknowledged the support provided by RIMES and other key partners to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) in strengthening the forecast and early warning services for preparedness and response in all sectors. The forum was attended by senior representatives of PMD, National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan (NDMA), provincial Disaster Management authorities (PDMAs), the Federal Flood Commission (FFC), relevant ministries, UN agencies, development sector partners and academia.
The presentations and discussions focused around assessment of previous year’s forecast and actions undertaken, forecast for the current season, planning and implementation of forecast-based anticipatory management strategies by user sectors. In conclusion, the key stakeholders also made recommendations for enhancing forecast generation and application, ensuring robust coordination among the relevant stakeholders, informed and timely decision making and identification of priority interventions based on various scenarios.
In Pakistan, the Southwest Monsoon season (July to September), contributes to nearly 50% of the country’s annual rainfall. This year, the monsoon outlook indicates an above average rainfall and negative deviation in temperature trends in the country. The drastic and widespread impacts of climate change and variability were also part of the discussions. During the recent past, monsoon season in the country has frequently been associated with recurrent disasters caused by temperature and rainfall fluctuation, i.e. floods / flash floods, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFS), heat waves, landslides and droughts which remain extremely detrimental to lives, livelihoods and assets.
The monsoon forum convenes annually under the stewardship of Pakistan Metrological Department for discussions around seasonal outlook for the monsoon season from July to September. The forum helps strengthen PMD’s linkages with key user sectors and communities and foster understanding of various scientific tools and products for weather/climate sensitive decision-making. The Monsoon Forum would be followed by an end of season Forum Meeting which is envisaged to review and evaluate the forecasts and their applications across sectors, processes as well as the key lessons learnt.