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The area of operation of PE is highly prone to hydro-meteorological and geological disasters. In addition, climate change might put infrastructure and services further at risk in the next 25 years, as an analysis of the huge Barsem mudflows of July 2015 revealed. Pamir Energy is at “the frontline” to deal with these challenges. Mitigating the adverse effects of natural hazards and environmental changes requires systematic integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) into their work plan.

Water intake for Khorog HPP. The intake is endangered by snow avalanches, rockfall and flooding. (Click to enlarge)

Natural Disaster Risk Management in the Southern Mountain Area in Jiangxi – People’s Republic of China has been added to our projects page.

Tajikistan is highly disaster-prone; climate-induced disasters like floods, droughts, mud flows, cold waves or snow avalanches constitute a major threat to people’s live, livelihood and (sustainable) development in almost every corner of the country. Whereas scientific technical knowledge about climate change and resulting natural hazards and environmental degradation exists to a certain extent, the knowledge about the understanding of people’s perception and interpretation of nature and their views and approaches to today’s environmental changes and risks is scarce. This gap was addressed with a research by fieldwork using ethnographic methods in selected villages in predominately Sunni Southern Khatlon and Ismaili Kuhistoni Badakhshon.

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The Barsem disaster

IMG_7214Barsem Village is located on a large alluvial fan and adjacent smaller fluvial terraces. Around 1500 people lived in this village located in the south-eastern corner of Tajikistan, next to the border with Afghanistan, about 20 km upstream of Khorogh, the main town in Badakhshan.

At least 14 major debris flows occurred in the Barsem Valley between 16 and 20 July 2015 during an exceptional period of hot weather combined with exceptional rainfall. About 80 houses were destroyed, traffic and energy lines interrupted and fields submerged. At least one person lost his life during the disaster.

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Paper published by Markus Zimmermann and Margreth Keiler in Mountain Research and Development.

In recent decades, a number of global frameworks have been developed for disaster risk reduction (DRR). The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015 and its successor document, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted in Japan in March 2015, provide general guidance for reducing risks from natural hazards. This is particularly important for mountainous areas, but DRR for mountain areas and sustainable mountain development received little attention in the recent policy debate. The question remains whether the Hyogo and Sendai frameworks can provide guidance for sustainable mountain development.

This article evaluates the two frameworks in light of the special challenges of DRR in mountain areas and argues that, while the frameworks offer valuable guidance, they need to be further adapted for local contexts—particularly for mountain areas, which require special attention because of changing risk patterns like the effects of climate change and high land-use pressure.

Paper published in Mountain Research and Development, Vol. 35, 2, 195-202.

NDR Consulting has been active (through SDC) in supporting the drafting process of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (PDF) before and during the Sendai Conference.

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