Dawn: Experts believe that Pakistan’s efforts towards preventing climate change are insufficient, which can translate into grave challenges for the economy, development and even the national security of the country.
Addressing a seminar organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on climate change and its various dimensions in a global political economy on Wednesday, the speakers said Pakistan was one of the worst victims of climate change.
However, they said, the government’s response to cope with this issue leaves a lot to be desired.
While discussing the government’s response to cope with the challenge, former environment minister Malik Amin Aslam said: “One can judge the government’s response from the fact that the prime minister’s task force on climate change, which was a ground-breaking and effective step, has been dysfunctional, along with other core committees on climate change.”
He said there was an inconsistent and patchy preparedness for natural disaster management, thus local institutions need to sync themselves with global mechanism.
One of the world’s leading risk analytics, research and strategic forecasting companies, Maple-croft, have place Pakistan in “high-extreme” category on its vulnerability index, Mr Aslam added.
The former minister urged the incumbent government to pay heed towards immerging issue, as the country cannot afford to be unprepared for climate change and its challenges.
Former ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel, who is also the chairperson of SDPI’s board of governors, provided context and relevance to the climate change issue, and its importance for Pakistan as majority of its districts are located in arid and semi-arid zones.
He said the institutional assessment was necessary to prevent a rapid decay in climate finance.
He highlighted the importance of capacity building for the national and provincial governments to address and rebuke scepticism around this issue.
Mr Kakakhel further added that the decline in climate finance is not an isolated incident, but is rather prevalent in all governments.
“Through resolutions adopted by provinces, calling for a robust mechanism to tackle climate change challenges, inter-provincial cooperation is mandatory,” he said.
He alleged that throughout the world, business tycoons, particularly oil companies, are opposing actions being taken to cope with climate change issues.
According to Joint Director of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Dr Rehana Siddiqui, the country has sufficient research papers and data to manage climate change and its issues.
However, she said, this information needs to translate into actions.
SDPI’s researchers Masooma Hassan, Sorosh Sikandar and Shakeel Ramay also spoke on the occasion and discussed the climate change issue and its impacts in detail.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five 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 the 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>>