Pakistan, China agree to establish joint monitoring system for forest fires

forest fires

Islamabad: After the devasting fire that engulfed the Koh-e-Suleman mountains located in the Dana Sar area of the Sherani district, Pakistan and China have agreed to cooperate in the use of modern technologies for early warning, mitigation and response to forest fires.

Under the scope of Pak-China disaster management cooperation, the agreement was reached at a high-level virtual meeting of the two countries’ delegates.

The Pakistani team was led by Chairman NDMA Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz, while the Chinese delegation was led by Liu Weimin, Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation and Rescue.

The NDMA informed the Chinese side of the general challenges of forest fires in Pakistan.

The Chinese delegation offered their assistance with collaborative monitoring systems, early warning mechanisms based on satellite technology, and resource sharing in the event of an emergency.

Both sides agreed to set up a Joint Working Group made up of experienced officials from both sides to explore areas of cooperation and iron out the details of such cooperation.

Recent forest fire

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan battled with one of the biggest forest fires in history when a flash of lightning in the Sherani Forest engulfed thousands of trees dotting the mountain range, home to the world’s largest pine nuts forest connecting Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

The inferno gutted 35 per cent of the ancient pine nut and wild olive forest into ashes inflicting huge loss to the national asset and to those dependent on the business of pine nuts.”

Soon after the incident, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the NDMA and other departments concerned to take immediate action to put out the inferno.

Read: Balochistan forest inferno rages on

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