Ministry takes lead in establishing data governance framework for climate response


climate response

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives is intensifying efforts towards a data governance framework to enhance climate response and integrate inter-agency data, fortifying preparedness for climate-induced disasters.

In this endeavor, a workshop titled “Data Governance to Modernize Hydro-Met Services & Impact Advisories in Pakistan” took place at the Ministry, conducted by Dr Asim Zia, a Professor of Public Policy and Computer Science at the University of Vermont.

The workshop saw participation from leading experts and decision-makers across various governmental agencies, including the Planning Ministry, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Aviation, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

Following detailed deliberations, experts proposed key recommendations aimed at significantly enhancing the nation’s hydro-met services. Urgent measures were suggested to improve the geographical resolution of impact advisories, systematic quantification of social, economic, and environmental impacts of hydro-met hazards, and advancements in forecast skills for drought across all timescales.

Participants emphasized the critical need to integrate modern technologies such as crowdsourcing and citizen science for improved data collection, particularly for forecasting air and water quality.

A consensus emerged on establishing an inter-agency data sharing governance system, either through a centralized entity or by empowering existing agencies within their jurisdiction mandates, focusing on scalability, cybersecurity, and privacy.

The workshop highlighted the potential of “active learning” for enhancing hazard forecast skills, emphasizing real-time data assimilation within governmental agencies like PMD, FFC, SUPARCO, GCISC, and NDMA. The need to reduce redundancies in data collection, define operational mandates clearly, invest in integrated social-hydro-meteorological models, and use social media and crowdsourcing for data gathering was underscored.

The consensus reached at the workshop signals a significant stride towards a more integrated, efficient approach to managing Hydro-Met hazards in Pakistan. With a well-defined action plan and collaborative framework, the nation can expect substantial improvements in Hydro-Met services and impact advisories.”

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