October 13 is celebrated as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction by the United Nations, countries all across the globe are urged to focus on the prevention and minimisation of the risks posed by natural disasters. Disasters have a monumental impact on the economies, lives and basic infrastructure of those affected. In 2022, the International Day will focus on Target G of the Sendai Framework i.e. “Availability of multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people.” It has even greater importance with reference to Pakistan, especially after the recent barrage of floods which has wreaked havoc across the country. This op-ed series functions on two levels. The first is an institutional framework for disaster management at the national level. Meanwhile, the second part explores whether early warning systems can help reduce the social and financial cost of disaster management. I ask whether any such system has been deployed in the case of Pakistan. Pakistan started climate change initiatives in 1971 and signed 14 international commitments until 2001. Under the 18th constitutional amendment, the Ministry of Environment was handed over to the provinces, and a new federal Ministry of Disaster Management was established in 2011, which was later renamed the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) in 2012. In 2013, the MoCC was reverted to the Cabinet Secretariat, but was upgraded again as a ministry in 2015. There is no contact between NDMA and PDMAs and the vulnerable communities, leaving a gap between planners and citizens. The National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) 2012 offers a framework for tackling climate change challenges. It emphasises the significance of adaptation and mitigation strategies. Similarly, the National Climate Change Policy Implementation Framework 2014-2030 offers strategic guidance to integrate adaptation and mitigation measures across sectors. With the passing of the Climate Change Act in 2017, the Prime Minister-led Pakistan Climate Change Council was also established as an apex policymaking organisation. There are a number of limitations in our current framework for disaster management. I will speak about some of these problems. There is no contact between NDMA and PDMAs and the vulnerable communities, leaving a gap between planners and citizens. DMAs are not connected with institutions of collaborative learning through which pilot programmes and research could be done. Most frameworks are adopted from international practices, which sometimes do not coincide with Pakistani culture and norms. The lack of funding and technology compels Pakistan to adopt a “response and recovery approach regarding disaster preparedness and management.” However, in developed and middle-income nations, it is more about preparedness which requires thoughtful planning and safety precautions Dealing with money difficulties is another important aspect. In 2015, the implementation of the District Risk Mitigation (DRM) Plan was delayed by a lack of resources. Even the current budget does not support federal funding for PDMAs/DDMAs. The absence of technology and more importantly, data on catastrophe & climate risk hinder risk-mitigation planning. According to the Climate Change Profile of Pakistan 2017, “WAPDA generates water & power related data, National Energy Conservation Centre and Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) collect data on renewable sources.” Among ministries, coordination and information sharing remain weak. Our institutions are not motivated to combat climate change, resulting in a waste of resources and inefficiency. For instance, WAPDA, the Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), and the water wing of PARC are working on glaciers but mainly in isolation. Furthermore, the focus of NCCP 2012, as a stand-alone climate change strategy, leaves a huge gap vis-à-vis the country’s economic goals. Besides, provincial ownership of NCCP 2012 is either absent or weak. Most importantly, according to the Climate Change Profile of Pakistan 2017, “the frequent changes in status and policy focus of a single institution convey two messages. First, there is an evolving degree of understanding among key policy and decision-makers about the interdependencies and linkages of environmental issues, initially with disaster management, and then with the broader theme of climate change.” This argument is supported by the gradual increase in framing climate change in key policy documents such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy, Framework for Economic Growth, and the Economic Survey of Pakistan. Second, it reflects a rather reactive and bifurcated approach toward managing issues of the environment and climate change, without a concrete course of action. This creates confusion among the key policy-makers when it comes to linking and decoupling the two issues, which can be traced, again, through the key policy document. For example, from 2012-2019, the Economic Survey of Pakistan continued to acknowledge the Climate Change Policy under the environment section. In the second part of this opinion article series, I will focus on the Early Warning System, which is also incidentally the core theme for this year’s UN-designated day. (To Be Continued) The writer works at a public policy think tank and can be reached at email@example.com.