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POST VISIT REPORT UNIITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE BEIJING, CHINA 23-25 OCTOBER 2013

 

 
 
By: Col. Dr. Muhammad Naseem Baig

 

CI/DEAN MCE RISALPUR

 

 

General
1.0           Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) is coordinated by UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN-OOSA). UN-SPIDER aims at providing universal access to all types of space-based information and services relevant to disaster management by being a gateway to space information for disaster management support; serving as a bridge to connect the disaster management and space communities; and being a facilitator of capacity-building and institutional strengthening. With a global mandate and a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the UN-SPIDER Beijing office contributes to the implementation of the UN-SPIDER program by connecting the disaster management and space communities in the region. This includes raising awareness and supporting Governments, international and regional organizations through the provision of technical advisory support in the use and access of space-based information, such as satellite imagery, for disaster risk management and emergency response. UN-SPIDER Beijing Office was opened in November 2010 and it had held its first United Nations International Conference on Space-Based Technologies for Disaster Risk Management - “Best Practices for Risk Reduction and Rapid Response Mapping” on 22 - 25 November 2011 in Beijing, China which was attended by Engr Sarwar Jamal, Associate Dean, IGIS and Dr Manzoor Hussain.
2.0            UN-SPIDER Beijing Office organized its second United Nations International Conference on Space-Based Technologies for Disaster Management - "Risk Assessment in the Context of Global Climate Change" on 7 - 9 November 2012 in Beijing, China. NUST approved attending of said conference by four faculty members, Dr Muhammad Naseem Baig, Dean MCE Risalpur, Dr Manzoor Hussain, Dr Muhammad Faheem Khokhar, IESE, and Dr Javed Iqbal, IGIS. The conference was attended by Dr Muhammad Naseem Baig and Dr Manzoor Hussain and the other two faculty members could not attend.
3.0            Third conference was on Disaster Risk Identification, Assessment and Monitoring, by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and also sponsored by The Ministry of Civil Affairs. This was attended by Dean MCE Dr Muhammad Naseem Baig. Attending of conference by the academician from NUST has been highly appreciated and presentation on “NUST’s Role in Building Nation’s Resilience against Disasters” has drawn special attention of all the participants. Conference highlights and detailed de-brief is given in the subsequent paragraphs.   
Conference Organizers and Participants
4.0            Detail of Conference organizers, collaborators, sponsors and participants are as follows:-
4.1            Conference Organizers
4.1.1      UN-SPIDER Beijing Office
4.1.2      Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China
4.2           Conference Collaborators
4.2.1     Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of People’s Republic of China (MoFA)
4.2.2     China National Space Administration (CNSA)
4.2.3     Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO)
4.3          Conference Sponsor.       The conference was sponsored by Digital Globe, an organization dealing with the satellite data and imageries.
4.4           Conference Participants. The conference was attended by the 150 participants from 26 countries mainly from Asia, Africa and Pacific region. Brig Retd Dr Maqbool of APSCO also made a presentation. Five representatives from SUPARCO Karachi office also attended the conference and Mr. Zafar of SUPARCO Karachi office made a presentation too.
Conduct of Conference
5.0           The conference started on 23rd October and closed on 25 October 2013. Detail of the conference proceedings are attached as Annex-A
Presentation from NUST, MCE Risalpur Campus:-
5.1           Presentation titled “NUST’s Role in Building Nation’s Resilience against Disasters” (Copy of Presentation is attached as Annex-B) was made by Dr Muhammad Naseem Baig on 25th Oct 2014.
 
Interaction and Discussion with Participants from Different Countries
6.0          During the conference the NUST representatives interacted with various participants and had very useful discussion on disaster management related training and educational activities in Pakistan. Representatives from various countries especially from Africa have shown their interest in disaster management training and education. NUST ranking, its diversity and its infrastructure has attracted many participants. NUST initiatives in starting PG programs in Disaster Management and Disaster Mitigation & Reconstruction Engineering with variety of courses have been appreciated and acknowledged by the conference organizers and also the participants. Announcement of a TWO DAYS international Conference on Disaster Management to be held in Sept/Oct 2014 at Main Campus H-12 Islamabad was a big attraction for all participants.
 
 
Visit to Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University Beijing
7.0           Dr Muhammad Naseem Baig is a graduate of Tsinghua University Beijing, China. Taking advantage of being in Beijing, Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University was also visited. During the visit, on behalf of Comdt/Principal MCE souvenirs were presented to Two Professors of the department of Civil Engg Prof  Nie Jianguo and Prof Fan Jiansheng. In return Prof Nie Jianguo also presented university shield for Comdt/Principal MCE Risalpur.

 

 
Recommendations:-
8.0      Following is recommended:-
8.1    Attending the International conferences on Disaster Management, Mitigation and reconstruction related topics around the globe should be sponsored by NUST for faculty as well as students of these MS Programs.
8.2       Two days international conference on Disaster Management be held at Main Campus H-12 NUST under the personal supervision of Principal/Comdt MCE and MCE faculty involving the PG students of these programs and administration support of Main office NUST.
8.3      One day National Workshop on the same be held at Main Campus NUST or at Risalpur in April/May 2014.
8.4      Sponsorship of at least two students and a faculty member be sought from APSCO through DG SUPARCO for NUST PG programs in this field. Main office NUST should approach SUPARCO Main office for this purpose.
8.5      APSCO be approached for allotment of vacancies for PhD in Disaster Management in China for outstanding students of these programs.
 
Conclusion

 

9.0            Attending the conference by the NUST faculty and presenting NUST as an outstanding and emerging research-based university in the region has enhanced Pakistan’s image in general and NUST image in particular. Starting of PG programs in Disaster Management and DM&RE are good initiatives and NUST should try to focus on attracting international students from other countries and UN organizations. Organizing national and international workshop in these fields will further attract the students and experts of the field.
 
 
PICTURES GALLERY
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With Conference Organizers
 
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With PhD Advisor Prof Dr Nie Jianguo Chairman Dept of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University Beijing China