Tribune Pakistan: Experts at a seminar Thursday expressed concern over the impact of climate change on Pakistan in case the government fails to take effective measures. The seminar “National Climate Change Policy” was arranged by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Provincial Environment Agency and was attended by professors from different Universities of K-P and experts from forest, agriculture, irrigation and disaster management departments.
University of Agriculture Peshawar (UAP) Water Management Chairperson Dr Muhammad Jamal Khan said, “We should preserve our underground water reservoir because they are decreasing rapidly and unless we take practical steps to monitor the situation we would be facing a severe water shortage in the future.” He informed the audience that the underground water level in Quetta has decreased from six to fifteen feet; Abbottabad and southern districts of K-P are facing a similar situation.
“The reduction of water level will also affect the power generation capacity, especially in K-P, where we can generate more than 40,000 MW of electricity using Hydel power,” Dr Jamal added. Project Director Agriculture department Dr Muhammad Rasool said residential colonies should not be built on agricultural land. The government, therefore, needs to include relevant protective measures in its agenda to spread awareness, he added.
The participants also expressed concern over deforestation in the province and demanded a stop to the illegal cutting of forests in different parts of K-P. Professor Ifkhtiar Khan from UAP urged the government to focus on building water reservoirs and conserve flood water to use for agriculture purposes and power generation. Provincial Minister for Environment and Forest Wajid Ali Khan welcomed the suggestions and assured the participants that the government will inculcate them in the National Climate Policy. He added forestation should be encouraged in other parts of the country along with K-P and Kashmir.
Talking about the national climate policy, Wajid Ali Khan said federal government has consulted the provincial governments and the final policy draft will be tabled before the Federal Cabinet for final approval. Source>>
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