Kazakhstan’s experience joins global cooperation to create a safer environment

Kazakhstan, July 2022

Kazakhstan’s worldwide recognition for its mudflow research and expertise in managing natural hazards took center stage as the GLOFCA team explored the city of Almaty. The city’s formidable shield against hazards, large dams, impressed the team. The region’s elaborate network of monitoring stations, spread across mountain catchments, was an integral resource for local experts.

Key Collaborations for Enhanced Preparedness

Dr. Alessandro Cicoira was extended a warm welcome by the Institute of Geography and Water Security, the Glaciological Centre Under the Auspices of UNESCO, and the State Institute Kazselezashita. This partnership is pivotal for the success of projects aimed at making Kazakhstan more resilient.

On-Site Insights Deepen Understanding

The GLOFCA team delved into the field, with Dr. Cicoira and Dr. Munch from the SLF Snow and Avalanche Research Institute in Davos visiting the Tu Juksuur glacier. Accompanied by experts from the Central Asian Regional Glaciological Center (CARGC), they observed ongoing measurements despite adverse weather conditions. While weather thwarted some plans, it fueled compelling discussions. The team was treated to an exquisite meal at 3000 meters elevation, prepared by the gracious hosting team composed of Sandugash Usenovna Ranova, Vassiliy Petrovich Kapitza, Alexandr Borosovich Yegorov, Maria Evgenyevna Tatkova, Nikolay Yevgenyevich Kassatkin, and Aidana Kamalbekova.

Taking Action to Safeguard Almaty Region

A significant field survey focused on the Issik and Talgar catchments, integral to the GLOFCA Project. Mr. Murat Kassenov, Deputy Head of Kazselezashita, personally guided the visit, shedding light on Almaty Regions’s challenges and the solutions put in place. The Institute’s robust structure effectively addresses common hazards like snow avalanches, debris flows, mud flows, and landslides.

A Roadmap for Future Cooperation

Collaboration expanded to Al-Farabi University, where Dr. Salnikov and Dr. Taukebayev actively proposed synergies. The university’s hub, which includes the development of Early Warning Systems (EWS) for mudflows, aligned with the state institution Kazselezashita.

Strengthened Alliances for Safer Tomorrows

Coordination by the UNESCO office of Almaty enabled the Kazakh partners to demonstrate their operational strategies to counter GLOF and mud flow threats. Effective communication among partners ensured the smooth organization of future activities. The visit’s close marked the preparation for an international workshop on numerical modeling of GLOFs with the Software RAMMS, leaving the partners energized and ready for the next phase of the project.

As Kazakhstan and global allies join forces to tackle natural hazards, these collaborations hold the promise of creating more resilient communities in the face of adversity.

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