Ashgabat, November 28-29, 2018: In the conference hall of the capital hotel "Yyldyz" was organized an inception seminar of the joint project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Institute of Seismology and Atmospheric Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan "Strengthening National Capacity of Turkmenistan for Seismic Risk Assessment, Prevention and Response to Potential Earthquakes". The project is being implemented as part of a five-year co-financing agreement for the period 2016-2020, signed between the Government of Turkmenistan and UNDP, and funded by the Government of Turkmenistan.

The project aims to develop and implement a complex strategic approach for forecasting and assessing seismic hazards and risk in Turkmenistan. It will assist the Government of Turkmenistan in strengthening the capacity of authorities affiliated with the preparation and response to emergencies in general.

The project corresponds to the principles of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and will contribute to the implementation of all its priorities in Turkmenistan.

Also, the project’s goals are in line with the country's development priorities and commitments of Turkmenistan to implement 17 Sustainable Development Goals, among which 6 goals have directly or indirectly relations to prevention and response emergencies.

The seminar was attended by representatives of the Main Department of Civil Defense and Rescue Operations of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Construction and Architecture, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, the State Corporation "Turkmengeology", the National Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan, the Academy of Sciences of Ashgabat, as well as representatives of higher educational institutions of Turkmenistan.

Representatives of leading scientific centers, including a representative of the Sergeev Institute of Environmental Geoscience RAS and co-director of the Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences took part in the seminar.  The participants gave presentations on such important issues as the relevance and high socio-economic importance of reducing seismic risk. Moreover, special attention was paid to the Central Asian experience in developing seismic zoning and seismic risk maps, assessing the seismic vulnerability of buildings and site-effects.

“Examples of assessments of enormous damage from earthquakes show that it is unacceptable to ignore the seismic hazard when considering the prospects for the socio-economic development of the country. The world practice indicates that after each strong earthquake the cost of preventive measures to reduce seismic risk is lower than the cost of eliminating the consequences of this earthquake, while the effect of preventive measures might be much higher than the costs incurred” noted Japar Karaev, Project Specialist.

The inception seminar will allow stakeholders to get acquainted with goals, objectives and expected results of the project, as well as help to determine potential foreign partners for the effective implementation of the project.

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