Speakers at a seminar held at Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) yesterday underscored the need for massive afforestation along the coastal belt to reduce damage in natural disasters like cyclone and tidal wave. Held at the conference room of the university, the seminar was presided by Prof Abdul Latif Masum while University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Prof Nazrul Islam was present as chief guest. Speakers stressed on creation of a disaster management department or institute on the campus to build technical hands. They proposed short and long-term initiatives in this regard. Dhaka University (DU) Geography and Environment Department chairman Prof AQM Mahbub presented the key-note paper. Among others, DU Disaster Research Training and Management Centre director Dr AHM Abdul Bukee, DU Geography and Environment Department teacher Prof Nazrul Islam Nazem, Food and Disaster Management joint secretary Pranab Chakrabarty, Dr Mahumudul Islam, expert of Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP), SPARRSO principal scientific officer Dr Jinnatul Islam and , PSTU Asstt Prof Golam Rabbani addressed.