Federal cabinet has approved national policy on natural disaster management.
Under the policy, effective measures will be taken and arrangements made to cope with natural calamities. Session of the cabinet was held in the PM Secretariat, Islamabad. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani chaired the meeting. The cabinet approved the national disaster management policy which is in accordance with the Charter of the UNO.
According to the policy, comprehensive strategy would be prepared to cope with the natural calamities like floods and earthquakes.
The meeting also approved agreements of archaeology between Pakistan and Turkey with the direction to strengthen mutual ties. The cabinet also approved to add name of Pakistan with Maritime Security Agency.
The Cabinet considered and gave its approval for the establishment of a Regional Flood Information System in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region (HKH-HYCOS). International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development was established to work towards sustainable mountain development in the HKH region and its mission is to develop an environmentally and economically sound mountain ecosystem.
It also contributes towards sustainable management of water resources and flood risk reduction including improvement in quality of life of population living in the HKH region.
The Cabinet reviewed the implementation status of Cabinet decisions pertaining to National Disaster Management, Overseas Pakistanis and Planning & Development Divisions. The Cabinet was informed that 75 percent , 50 percent, 88 percent decisions pertaining to NDMA, Overseas Pakistanis and Planning Divisions respectively have been implemented and the remaining are in the process of implementation.
The Prime Minister directed NDMA to devise a holistic approach in dealing with disaster management and a meeting in this regard be convened for taking all stake holders on board.
Finance Secretary made a presentation on the latest trends of prices of essential commodities in the country.
He informed the Cabinet that prices of 31 items have decreased while there is slight increase in prices of 7 non food items and no change in prices of 15 items has been observed in the country.
The Cabinet considered and referred the matter to ECC for resolution of capacity payments to IPPs during Feb-May 2011 owing to gas supply Curtailment by SNGPL.
The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval, in principle, to start negotiations and signing of Protocol of Cooperation in the field of Archives between the Governments of the Republic of Turkey and Pakistan.
The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval for recognizing Vietnam as a full market. Vietnam is one of the important members of the ASEAN and an emerging economy in the Asia and Pacific region after China. The Ministry of Commerce is interacting with Vietnam through the forum of Joint Commission on Trade (JTC), to explore avenues of economic and trade cooperation.
The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval for renaming of Maritime Security Agency (MSA) as Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA). Maritime Security Agency was established in 1987 vide Gazette Notification which was followed by an Act of Parliament in 1994, MSA is a Government organization which is performing policing role in Exclusive Economic Zone of Pakistan.
In this context, it is pertinent to highlight that the designation MSA does not readily convey/facilitate recognition as a Law Enforcement Agency. As such, it is felt appropriate that the organization be renamed as “Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PSMA)”. The name PSMA would establish identity of the Agency as a national government organization, both at national and international level.
The Cabinet considered and gave its approval, in principle, to enter into negotiations over an agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between Pakistan and Poland. Ministry of Foreign Affairs has intimated that the Polish Government is interested in early finalization of the agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters, which will help to carry forward investigation into the murder of the Polish Geologist Mr. Piotr Stanezak.
Pakistan Among Six Top Remittance-Receiving States
Pakistan has been placed among six top remittance-receiving states of the world in the year 2011 while the South Asian region is expected to receive $97 billion in the current calendar year, 2012.
An Asian development Bank (ADB) report titled, “Addressing Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific,” says that according to the World Bank’s forecasts, remittance flows to East Asia and the Pacific will reach $109 billion in 2012 (up from $85 million in 2008), while South Asia is forecast to receive $97 billion (up from $72 billion in 2008).
In 2011, six of the top eight remittance-receiving nations of the world were in Asia: India ($58 billion), PRC ($57 billion), Philippines ($23 billion), Pakistan ($12 billion), Bangladesh ($12 billion) and Vietnam ($9 billion) The ADB report says that by 2050 it is anticipated that 1.4 billion Indians will be living in areas experiencing negative climate change impacts.
Moreover, there will be more than 250 million people living in hot spots at multiple risk of climate change in both Bangladesh and Pakistan.
While most people will adapt in situ, the potential for redistribution of population through migration is substantial.
According to the report, environmental factors are already increasingly important migration drivers in many countries of Asia and the Pacific, including Bangladesh, the PRC, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Viet Nam.
Floods, cyclones, and desertification have led in recent years to significant population movements, mostly from rural to urban areas.
With its vast population, South Asia has become an important source region of migrants to other parts of Asia and the Pacific and the world.
The Indian and Pakistani Diasporas are among the largest and most extensive in the world, and Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are some of the major origins of temporary unskilled labour for the Middle East and elsewhere.
Similarly, skilled migration from these countries, especially India, to OECD member countries has accelerated in recent years.
In July 2010, Pakistan was affected by heavy monsoon rains, which led to massive flooding in the Indus River basin.
The flood led to the displacement of more than 10 million people, with about 20 percent of the country under water.
About 2,000 people perished in the disaster.
The provision of international aid relief was widely considered as insufficient, and the floods took a very heavy toll on the country and its population, with millions of farmers housed in refugee camps, and crops and cattle destroyed.
The report reveals that the climate-related disruptions of human populations and consequent migrations can be expected over the coming decades.
Climatic changes in Pakistan and Bangladesh would likely exacerbate present environmental conditions that give rise to land degradation, shortfalls in food production, rural poverty and urban unrest In association with an intensification of the monsoon, river and local flooding will be increased in many areas, the Himalaya, northern Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
Landslide risk will increase in association with flood risk in steep terrain, particularly in the Himalaya.
According to the ADB report, the widespread salinization, land degradation, water stress, and desertification are expected to affect many parts of Central and West Asia.
Increased cyclonic activity is expected to affect southern Pakistan.
The mega city of Karachi in Pakistan is at high risk from sea-level rise, prolonged cyclonic activity, and greater salt-water intrusion.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>