NDRMF Takes Center Stage at COP-28: Unveils Ambitious Plans, Special Web Portal, and Groundbreaking Data Center for Climate and Disaster Resilience
Islamabad: Bilal Anwar, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF), declared on Saturday that the Fund is set to organize more than two dozen activities at the global climate summit COP-28 in Dubai. Additionally, a specialized web portal will be launched to live-stream the events, providing updates for media reporting and public information dissemination.
Anwar conducted his inaugural media interaction with environmental journalists to outline the Fund’s evolution 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 occur in Dubai, UAE, from November 30 to December 11, 2023.
Underlining the COP forum’s significance as an international platform, Anwar stressed that negotiations at COP carry global legal implications for climate preservation. The Fund has issued a dedicated newsletter and established a dedicated website to centralize information about 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 coordinate more than 20 activities covering topics such as climate finance, governance, the impact of rapid urbanization on the environment in major urban centers of Pakistan, and food security.
Anwar disclosed that the Fund is implementing a two-way information-sharing strategy related to COP events and the country’s delegation engagements. He highlighted the importance of media reporting aligning with the local context and guiding stakeholders during the analytical part of COP negotiations.
Samia, the Manager of Finance at NDRMF, informed journalists that the Fund has consistently advocated 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, its objectives have evolved to include promoting carbon markets, saffron and olives harvesting, and strengthening the country’s fiscal space. Hayat noted that enhanced audit systems have increased donors’ confidence.
Anwar addressed media queries, stating that the Fund, in its six-year journey, has attained a professional level and is now concentrating on disaster and climate risk modeling due to the existing 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), is set to 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.