The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will facilitate the 6th International Conference “Debris Flow: Disasters, Risk, Forecast and Protection.”

The conference, which will take place in Tajikistan from September 21-27 this year, will enable national and international scientists and practitioners to share their best expertise and knowledge on ways of studying, assessing and preventing the natural hazards that are causing such a severe impact on the social and economic well-being of people around the globe, according to Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

The climate warming issues that started in the last century, continue today and will possibly increase in the near future, are reportedly causing an increase in the occurrence of natural hazards, which take a toll on community livelihoods and their habitats, especially in mountainous areas.  Snow cover in many mountains is decreasing, affecting runoff, seasonal filling of reservoirs, and aquatic ecosystems.  New, unstable natural lakes are forming as a result of glaciers melting in upstream areas (at the margins of glaciers), threatening communities living in the downstream areas with catastrophic flooding. AKDN notes.

Tajikistan, as a host country of this important event, is expecting about 150-200 people at the conference. The President of the Academy of Sciences, Mr. Farhod Rahimi, and the Chief Executive Officer AKAH in Tajikistan, Mr. Hadi Husani, agreed upon modalities and tasks, roles and responsibilities, in preparation of this important event for the country. 

The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), which merges the capabilities of Focus Humanitarian Assistance, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, and the Aga Khan Development Network’s Disaster Risk Management Initiative, focuses on preparing for both sudden and slow-onset disasters.  AKAH works to ensure that poor people live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters; that residents who do live in high-risk areas are able to cope with disasters in terms of preparedness and response; and that these settings provide access to social and financial services that lead to greater opportunity and a better quality of life.  Initially, priority areas of AKAH will include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and India