‘Pakistan Lags Behind in Efforts to Curb Climate Change’

Jul 24th, 2014 | By | Category: Pakistan

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.

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