Pakistan Ranked Eighth Most Vulnerable Country in the World

Jul 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: Pakistan, Vulnerability

Speakers at a consultative seminar on ‘Climate Risks and its Impacts on Markets and Growth: The Case of Pakistan’ has called for an immediate induction of social protection to help the country sustain and transit towards more eco-friendly approaches as Pakistan is ranked as the eighth most vulnerable country in the world to climate change.

The seminar was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) as a first test run to share reports on climate risks and climate markets and identifying multiple vulnerabilities to climate change within Pakistan. The strategy involved the stakeholders from the beginning, for a more inclusive and transparent methodologies on climate finance.

In start, senior SDPI researchers introduced the climate change and its argumentative impacts at the global level, specifically focusing the developing world, highlighting linkages between climate change with risk, the tragedy of global commons and the urgent need for climate resilient infrastructures.

The researchers further recommended that the adaptive capacity of institutions must be improved, as climate change has adverse effects on all sectors, specifically agriculture and the cotton industry, which is the main cash crop in Pakistan. They said that the impacts of climate change derail the markets, precisely including the cotton, transport and the energy sectors. It was emphasized that a call for an immediate induction of social protection to help the country sustain and transition towards more eco-friendly approaches, was required.

Guest speaker Mia Masud specifically highlighted the need to focus on the textile industry, being the back bone of the economy which ranks as number four in the world producers, She said that the floods, droughts and rise of temperature has severely impacted the cotton production as it is heavily sensitive to climate change and has fallen below demand and effected foreign reserves. “There is a need for the agriculture sector to be tasked to cater to the cotton industry, and also to look towards other potential sectors as well to reduce dependence on cotton, focusing not just on domestic product but global market trends,” she said.

Agriculture economist, Dr Usman Mustafa, also spoke of the urgent need to draw attention to the issue of climate change, and that there was a vital need for clear-cut goals and strategies that are region specific to be able to adopt an effective methodology.

He said that the Third World countries suffer the most due to their heavy reliance on the agriculture sector, which is 100 per cent weather dependent. That is why it is necessary to explore other scope and alternative crops and adaptive measure to be more climate resilient. “Climate change alters bio diversity at the most minute levels that threatens our food security, therefore there must be coherence between long term and short term goals, and long term coping mechanisms. An important area that must be brought to light is changing of consumption habits,” he said.

Former Director General of Environment and Climate Change Javed Ali Khan stressed the need to engage more deeply in challenges affecting Pakistan, with a model tailored to country specific needs in the country. While creating connections between climate change and markets, he said that market vibrancy is based on potential. He referred to a recent study according to which climate change and the related challenges were experienced in eight districts of Sindh that suffered from climate change.

He further added communicating at a grassroots level was very important to fully understand the effects of climate change. He said that climate change affects every ecosystem differently so there can be no blue print approach, intensive and in-depth study is necessary. He added that working with UN habitat and studying projections till the end of 21sth century has predicted a positive effect in North of Pakistan with longer summers.

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