The Summer University 2019 aimed at developing theoretical and practical framework for the integration amongst scientific, economic, social, and governance elements of Integrated Watershed Management and Implementation, as well as aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in practice.
The theoretical part of the course included understanding of hazards, vulnerabilities, resilience, as well as interrelation between sustainable development and disaster risk reduction. A field trip to Muminabad district of Khatlon Oblast, which is one of the areas most exposed to various hazards, shed light on soil and land degradation processes and demonstrate how unsustainable watershed management practices can lead to environmental degradation as a whole. At the same time the participants learned from some good practices on application of integrated watershed management and Eco-DRR approaches, supported in the frame of the SDC-funded project on “Integrated Watershed Management in Muminabad district”, implemented by CARITAS Switzerland.
Mr. Yodgor Fayzov, the Governor of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), representatives of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) agencies, academic institutions including University of Central Asia and Khorog State University, as well as local government agencies attended the opening ceremony.
The Governor highlighted the importance of the integration of disaster risk reduction into sustainable development planning and management, especially in the mountainous areas like the Pamirs. “Sustainable development is only possible through enhancing the resilience of vulnerable and exposed to hazards communities, adaptation to climate change and provision of livelihood opportunities”- emphasized Mr. Yodgor Fayzov. He expressed deep gratitude to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for their long-lasting support, cooperation, efforts on DRR and the given opportunity of learning from Switzerland’s expertise on disaster risk management and prevention, made possible through this Summer University.
The Summer University was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and organized by the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) and conducted in collaboration with the University of Bern of Switzerland and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.