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APEC agrees on framework on combating natural disasters
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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has agreed on a framework to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, official sources said Tuesday.

The framework, initiated by Peru and supported by Australia and Indonesia, will focus on monitoring volcanoes and hydrographic watersheds where the phenomenon known as "El Nino" is generated.

Luis Palomino, chief of Peru's National Institute of Civil Defense, said the common-response strategy will only come into force if it is approved at the 16th APEC summit in the Peruvian capital of Lima in November.

He said the strategy will enable all 21 APEC member economies to exchange technologies and resources so as to reduce the impact of natural disasters and speed up the delivery of aid to affected regions.

The framework will be presented to technicians and relief-work experts for modification before it is finally handed to participants at the November summit, Palomino said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2008)

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