The five-day training “Workshop on Climate Change and Extreme Disasters Management along the Belt and Road” has concluded on 15 July. The Workshop was organized by WMO Regional Training Centre at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST) and supported by Global South-South Development Center Project (GSSDC Project).
Over 250 officials, policymakers, researchers and practitioners from 53 developing countries participated actively at the workshop both in-person and online.
The opening ceremony was moderated by Prof. MA Tinghuai, Executive Deputy Director, WMO Regional Training Centre. Dr. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), highlighted in a video message that the Workshop takes place at a very crucial moment when the world is experiencing one of the most visible consequences of climate change and global warming – a sharp increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. Global challenges require global leadership, collective wisdom, and concerted actions. In this context, the efforts of the global South are gaining traction through a strong momentum of South-South and triangular cooperation. She hopes that the Workshop could be an important stepping stone for deepened cooperation that will benefit the future for all
Mr. ZHANG Yi, Deputy Director-General of CICETE noted that Belt and Road countries are more or less located in regions of ecological vulnerability, and faced with a higher risk of climate change. The Workshop centers on climate change and extreme disasters management under the framework of South-South cooperation. He looks forward that all participants could pool wisdom, experiences and endeavor following the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, jointly boost the capability of the developing countries to tackle climate change, prevent and
mitigate disasters and therefore achieve sustainable development.
Dr. Xiaojun Grace WANG, Deputy Director of UNOSSC
Mr. ZHANG Yi, Deputy Director-General of CICETE
Prof. JIANG Zhihong, Vice-president of NUIST introduced the history and academic superiority of NUIST and the training achievements of the WMO Regional Training Center. She mentioned that this workshop aims to conduct multi-level exchanges and discussions among developing countries along the Belt and Road in the fields of climate change responses and disaster risk management, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, it is also expected that participants could enhance the consensus on climate change and inspire practical solutions.
Prof. HAN Qunli, Executive Director, International Programme Office, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk sponsored by the International Science Council (IRDR), reviewed the exchanges and cooperation with NUIST and introduced the research focuses of IRDR. He stated that in a world full of uncertainty, the IRDR and International Science Council is committed to strengthening solidarity and collaboration to ensure an inclusive, safe and sustainable world for all.
Prof. JIANG Zhihong, Vice-president, NUIST
Prof. HAN Qunli, Executive Director, International Programme Office, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk sponsored by the International Science Council
Dr. Ali Shaukat from the Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan, made a speech on behalf of all the participants. He shared his insights on the importance of learning and knowledge sharing on climate change and extreme disaster management. He urged all fellow participants to use this opportunity to listen, to learn, to take in all the helpful knowledge from this Workshop and use it to make a difference in their respective countries.
Speakers from Chinese Academy of Sciences, NUIST, World Meteorological Organization, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk sponsored by the International Science Council, International Center on Small Hydro Power, Center for Earth System Science of Tsinghua University, United Nations Environment Programme China, University of Burundi and Fiji Meteorological Service exchanged knowledge, technologies, and shared their insights on solutions and pathways to further deepen South-South cooperation in addressing climate change and disaster management issues, enhance mutual understanding and support mutual learning. The five-day training touched upon various topics, such as the Mountain Hazards and Resilient Mitigation, IPCC AR26: Scientific Basis of Climate Change, Towards an International Multi-hazards Early Warning System, Pathway to Sustainable Development in Post-pandemic Era: Nature- and Eco-based Disaster Risk Reduction, Policies and Actions to Mitigate, Address and Tackle Climate Change in Africa and South Pacific Region, etc.
Dr. Ali Shaukat, Climate Scientist, Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan
In-person participants at the workshop
The closing session featured knowledge and insights from Mr. WANG Yong, Deputy Director, WMO Regional Training Centre, Prof. TANG Xu, Former Director, Weather and Disaster Risk Reduction Services Department, WMO, Member of Standing Technical Committee on Disaster Risk Management, World Federation of Engineering Organizations, Member of Alliance on Water and Disaster Management under the Leadership of UN High Level Experts and Leaders Panel, Dr. M. Syed Ali, Head, PG&RESEARCH Department of Biotechnology, Mohamed Sathak College of Arts and Sciences, India.
Deputy Director WANG Yong thanks GSSDC for its financial support for this Workshop, and all participants for their active participation. He showed his gladness of seeing all Workshop reports recognized and applauded by participants and stressed the pleasure of staging such an event to raise awareness, share experiences and inspire actions under the framework of South-South cooperation. With the Workshop achieving its goals, he expected the knowledge and best practices covered could can be applied and replicated in more developing countries.
Prof. TANG congratulated the success of the Workshop. He reiterated the needs and potentials for capacity building and partnership forging among developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) after reaffirming the possibility of collaboration and joint efforts in enhancing disaster risk reduction and emergency management along Belt and Road. He recollected the ministerial virtual conference in Beijing as an outcome of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2019 and called on coordinated action from academia, meteorological operational, national policy-makers, international organizations, financing institutions, non-governmental organizations and other public and private sectors in promoting the construction of adaptive multi-hazard warning system and other resilience-boosting mechanisms.
Prof. M. Syed Ali expressed appreciation to all speakers for their intellectual exploration and elaboration on sophisticated scientific issues, their hard work and wisdom in advocacy, and brilliance in their presentation and highlighted the uniqueness and significance of each report in providing knowledge, experiences, expertise and best practice in climate change and extreme disasters management. He also proposed closer ties of developing countries within the framework of South-South cooperation and voiced expectations for more awareness-raising and capacity-building opportunities in the future.
The webinar series is an innovative response of the GSSDC Project to COVID-19, aiming to synergize partners’ capacities and capabilities for effective collaboration and enhance knowledge exchange and cooperation via on-line brainstorming. The webinars focused on the common concerns to expand ways of thinking and promote awareness-building and experience-sharing in terms of South-South cooperation and international development cooperation. A knowledge video series with English subtitles will be produced after the workshop for wide dissemination. Insights and advice will be collected in the meeting summary report. Further actions will be taken to follow up and concretize valuable initiatives out of the meeting discussion to develop more promising and need-based proposals.