Dutch Embassy Officials exchange views with UT research officials on flood management
Upon the invitation made by UT Office of Vice President for Research Affairs, Mr. Hans Smolders, Agricultural Counselor and Mr. Taco Westerhuis , Senior Economic Advisor to the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands accompanied by Ms. Sara Torabi Dastgerdouei , Agriculture Policy Support Officer and Mr. Sam Pashazdeh, Economic Officer paid a visit to University of Tehran and met with Prof. Rahimian, Vice President for Research Affairs on the 3rd of September, 2019.
The other participants in the meeting were as follows:
- Prof. Malekaian, International Affairs of UT Flood Committee
- Prof. Naseri,Advisor to the Vice President for Research Affairs
- Prof. Nazif, Head of Secretariat for Flood Committee
- Abdolmajid Eskandari, Director General, Office of International Relations
In the beginning of meeting, Prof. Rahimian welcomed the delegation and explained about the national mission commissioned to University of Tehran on floods. He explained that 15 working groups have already been formed and 1 more working group also integrates the outcome of studies the mentioned 15 groups.
The groups include 250 members, and consultants and 54 universities in Iran are helping with the programs. UT is also interested in using the experiences and expertise of other countries including The Netherlands as well. He further added that there will be an international workshop in October and a number of international will attend it.
Mr. Hans Smolders also explained about the disaster risks reductions experiences in the Netherlands and the short term, midterm and long term plans to manage natural disasters such as flood. He further added that The Netherlands will be pleased to help with the plan and upon receiving the needs, it will be possible to consider in which ways help can be offered.DRR is sub-sector of the Netherlands government and it can help based on the request of the governments.
Pof. Malekian also stated that the Netherlands has a good experiences and knowledge about flood management. We know that DRR has been actively helping with floods in other countries. You can support with the contribution of Dutch professors with our plans.
Mr. Taco Westerhuis said that there are various mechanisms to participate in your program and we will provide you with the list of organizations which are involved in mitigation of natural disasters. We have had negotiations with Ministry of Energy and the issue of flood can also be included in the future talks. DRR usually dispatches experts and fund flood management projects.
He added that the upcoming UT workshop/conference could be a starting point, where the interested Dutch expert(s) can go around the table with the UT and maybe other experts to identify which topics lend themselves for bilateral cooperation. Indeed this may entail joint research. Obviously many academics know each other and their strengths, and they also know where to get funding for their projects.
After the workshop, the Dutch experts is then (according to the DRR protocol) may travel to the provinces that were hit by the floods in order to see with their own eyes and talk to authorities and experts there.
In the Netherlands funding for cooperation projects to prevent floods is available and indeed we will have further talks too with UN ESCAP and the Ministry of Energy too.
Prof. Rahimian stated, “ As we are university, we are interested in doing joint research projects with the Netherlands academicians and sign MoU on various topics such as water, flood, drought, etc “
Mr. Smolders further explained that the Netherlands support the programs to help with the security of water everywhere and it will be a good idea to have a delegation from your flood team to attend an event which will be in Amsterdam on November on water management. The upcoming workshop is also a good opportunity to make a network and establish further ties with Dutch and international experts as well.
Prof. Malekian also outlined the potential areas of work as follows:
- To share the knowledge , tools , and experiences of water related disaster risk management with multi-sectoral approaches and indentifying the areas of need for information sharing and capacity development
- Cross sectoral coordination in policy development , planning, and implementation of water related infrastructure
- Review of the multi-sectoral approaches including those related to ecosystem based, resilient agriculture , infrastructure , socio economic analysis and health related challenges for flood risk management
- Enhancing international cooperation for flood risk management through networking and partnership
- Exchange of ideas with DRR team on short, mid and long term actions plans including workshops , expert meetings , visits, etc.
- To develop an action plan for the networking with regional , global and related institutions in flood and water-related disasters through DRR Team
Abdolmajid Eskandari , Director General for Office of Int. Relations also expressed his thanks to the Netherlands embassy for supporting the cases related to faculty member and students and requested further support to facilitate their visa affairs in particular in summer period. Finally some UT souvenirs were presented to the Dutch guests as a memory of their visit to UT.