Lahore Smog: It’s Not a Natural Phenomenon

Jan 25th, 2015 | By

Every December, thick fog descends upon Lahore, blocking out the winter sunshine, closing off the motorway after dusk and preventing flights from landing at the international airport at night. The problem has grown worse over the last five years due to the high levels of pollution and poor air quality in the city, created by

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Pakistan Pushes Climate Change Back up Political Agenda

Jan 22nd, 2015 | By
A flood victim sits on a boat while being evacuated from her flooded house following heavy rain in Jhang

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Pakistan has reinstated its ministry for climate change, suggesting the government plans to pay more attention to the issue as countries prepare a new international deal to curb global warming. In 2013, when the same government came to power, it downgraded the ministry to a division, removing its ability to make

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Climate Change

Jan 19th, 2015 | By

SUCH is the ferocious immediacy of the threat of terrorism that a whole host of other issues, some that may in the long term prove perhaps equally debilitating for the country, have ended up being pushed into the shadows. The battle against polio springs immediately to mind. Another such area is climate change, the effects

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Planting More Trees Still Best Solution to Climate Change

Jan 18th, 2015 | By

Dr. Qamar-Uz-Zaman Chaudhry, former director general of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, calls climate change a threat greater than terrorism for its ability to have a widespread effect on a country, even influencing economic policies and other plans for the future. Talking to members of the Parliamentary Task Force on Sustainable Development Goals, Chaudhry used Pakistan

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Climate Change: ‘Bad Climate Deprives Coastal Areas of Spring Season’

Jan 16th, 2015 | By

The climate in the coastal areas has changed so drastically in Sindh’s coastal areas that there has been no spring season in the last 10 years. These concerns were shared by Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) chairperson Mohammad Ali Shah as he was speaking at a policy dialogue on ‘Food Security and Climate Change’ at Regent

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Climate Change Poses Major Security Threat to Pakistan

Jan 16th, 2015 | By

With far-reaching consequences like food scarcity, climate change is a major security challenge and countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh can take lessons from the Arab Spring that was triggered by high food prices Could Pakistan become destabilised because of climate change? Could the continuous cycles of floods and droughts result in food scarcity, leading to

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Can We Fight The Floods? Yes, We Can!

Jan 15th, 2015 | By

Year 2014 was indeed an eventful one especially in the realm of Climate Change and Natural Disasters. South Asia on a whole and Pakistan in particular once again had to face climate change debacle in the form of heavy floods across the region which not only resulted in loss of lives but also catastrophic damages

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Pakistan’s Coastal Villagers Retreat as Seas Gobble Land

Jan 11th, 2015 | By

Reuters: For fisherman Sammar Dablo it was as if “the seawater stole our homes” when land erosion forced his village to relocate further inland on Pakistan’s south coast. The people of the fan-shaped Indus Delta, where the Indus River meets the Arabian Sea, are among the poorest of the poor, mostly illiterate and living in

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Sun Shines on Union Between Solar Power and Electric Grid in Pakistan

Jan 7th, 2015 | By

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Amid a worsening energy crisis, Pakistan has approved the use of grid-connected solar energy, rooftop solar installations and mortgage financing for home solar panels to boost uptake of clean energy in the country. The government has also reversed course and eliminated a 32.5 percent tax imposed on imported solar equipment in

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Five Day Training Camp on ‘Global Warming & Environmental Hazard’ Concludes

Dec 21st, 2014 | By

A five-day training programme on “Global Warming and Environmental Hazards” at Capital Development Authority (CDA) Training Academy was successfully completed. Participants from CDA Environment and students of environmental sciences from Iqra University, COMSATS University and Preston University joined the training courses, said a press release. The main focus of the training was that the world’s

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Climate Change in Pakistan

Dec 19th, 2014 | By

A recent consultation held by International Alert on Climate Change, Security and Conflict in Islamabad, Pakistan acknowledged that poor resource management and changes in climate are crucial components of current and potential tensions in both the country and wider region. The discussion, which is part of an ongoing project commissioned by the G7, aimed to

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‘Regional Cooperation Critical for Development’

Dec 11th, 2014 | By

“Regional governments should not only focus on economic growth but also address the core issues of inequality, poverty, social justice and promote peace,” President Mamnoon Hussain said. He was addressing the opening session of the three-day conference on “Pathways to Sustainable Development,” organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). “South Asia has achieved impressive

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Earthly Matters: Lighting Up the Delta

Nov 30th, 2014 | By

The fisher folk of the Indus Delta are amongst the poorest of the poor in Pakistan. Many have to eke out a living on mud flats of the fan-shaped delta, where the river meets the Arabian Sea. They are completely dependent upon fishing for their survival, but now because of global climate change and the

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Karachi Needs to Welcome its ‘Visitors’

Nov 24th, 2014 | By

In Karachi, a critical cause for urban expansion and haphazard growth patterns has been our incapacity to accommodate, in terms of provision of services and integration, the large number of migrants that have found their way into Karachi, mainly from other parts of Pakistan. In many other highly populated cities worldwide, successful optimisation has taken

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Pakistan Tax on Solar Imports Threatens Clean Energy Push

Nov 18th, 2014 | By

Dawn: At a time when many countries are offering financial incentives to promote the use of clean energy, Pakistan has imposed a 32.5 per cent tax on the import of solar panels, a move experts say is likely to hit demand for solar energy. Officials say the tax was imposed to encourage local manufacturing of

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Pakistan Has to Deal With Climate Change Challenges

Nov 17th, 2014 | By

Pakistan may lose foreign investment in different sectors if it fails to deal with the challenges of climate change because multinational companies will then prefer to invest in India, Bangladesh and other developing countries that are investing heavily in their natural environment. Tahir Mir, an environmentalist, said Pakistan launched its National Climate Change Policy to

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Climate Change Centre to Help Farmers Adapt to New Challenges

Nov 13th, 2014 | By

Dawn: The University of Agriculture Peshawar has recently established the Climate Change Centre to conduct studies and research on climate change and cope with the challenges posed by changing weather patterns. “Climate change is defining human development challenges of our time because the earth’s climate is changing and its manifestation is changes in weather systems,

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Pakistan Faces Major Risks From Climate Change: PARC

Nov 11th, 2014 | By

The agriculture sector of Pakistan has still the potential to push the economy upwards, said Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) founding chairman Dr Amir Muhammed who is also Rector of FAST. He was speaking as chief gust on the occasion of inaugural session of a seminar on “Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Pakistan:

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Pakistan Lags Behind S Korea, Vietnam in Carbon Reduction

Nov 9th, 2014 | By

Due to the lacklustre performance of a cell at the Climate Change Division, Pakistan lags far behind China and India in approving projects for carbon credits in the international market. Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international attempts to cap greenhouse gas emissions and to allow market mechanisms to drive

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Flooding Could Worsen Pakistan’s Water Shortage, Experts Warn

Nov 4th, 2014 | By
Flood victims sit by a damaged road as they look over floodwaters in Muzzafargarh

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In an ironic twist to Pakistan’s struggles with extreme weather, experts warn that the increasingly frequent and intense flooding in the country could lead to catastrophic water shortages. The problem, climate and water experts say, is a worsening lack of groundwater. Groundwater resources, used to supply Pakistan’s growing population with water

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MDGs: Climate Change Hampering Pakistan from Achieving Targets

Nov 3rd, 2014 | By

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) remains a challenge for Pakistan with the effects of climate change in the form of increasing floods, droughts and erratic storms. MDGs are a set of goals adopted by the UN in 2000 which aim to focus on improving lives of the poorest people in the world as well

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It’s Time to Get Serious About Climate Change

Nov 2nd, 2014 | By

Pakistan is among the top countries that will be adversely affected by climate change, as stated by the German Watch Institute. This year, floods impacted our eastern rivers, and devastated the entire country, especially Punjab which is already undergoing deforestation. As the number of trees decreases due to deforestation, rainfall will reduce. Speaking to The

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Nilofar Intensifies Into ‘Very Severe’ Cyclone

Oct 29th, 2014 | By

Cyclone Nilofar in the Arabian Sea has intensified into a ‘very severe’ tropical cyclone, said the Pakistan Meteorological Department. Section 144, which prohibits bathing in the sea, has been imposed in the coastal areas including Karachi and Badin. Speaking to the media, Chief Meteorologist Tauseef Alam said the cyclone is currently 1,100 kilometers away from

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Karachi Has a Lot on Its Plate, But it is Still Food Insecure

Oct 27th, 2014 | By

The World Food Summit defines food security as: “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. At present, in total, around three billion people are malnourished out of a total global population of 7.2 billion people, which implies that around 40 per cent

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Pakistan at War With Climate Change

Oct 19th, 2014 | By

Having faced with problems of war on terror and chronic loadshedding, the incumbent government has to encounter the climate change question mark now. The policy framework, called the National Climate Change Policy, might be seen as reasonable but international cooperation necessary for adjusting to climate change is non-existent. The machinations of the present industrial scenario

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Response to Climate Change Impacts

Oct 13th, 2014 | By

Dawn: Sensitising participants of the UN Climate Summit in New York last month about how Pakistan is suffering multiple natural disasters, adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said his country requires $5bn annually to undertake adaptation measures to fight climate change impacts. At present, Pakistan receives about $3m for a climate adaptation fund

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Global Warming: No Let-up in Floods Till 2022, Says Ex-minister

Oct 10th, 2014 | By

The Express Tribune: “The 2014 floods are classical example of bad government response which converted a natural disaster into a man-made one,” said Halim Adil Sheikh, chairman Pakistan Relief Foundation (PRF). Talking to The Express Tribune, Sheikh, who had also served as minister for relief for Sindh, underlined the need for a national climate change policy

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Pakistan Hails US-Afghan Agreement

Oct 3rd, 2014 | By

Dawn: “As regards BSA, Afghanistan is a sovereign country. It is their right to conclude agreements with any country,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at the weekly media briefing. She further said that Pakistan government wished “Afghanistan the best and we will continue to facilitate all efforts, to the extent possible, for creating stability,

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Neglected Disaster Plan Deepens Pakistan’s Climate Vulnerability

Oct 1st, 2014 | By
Flood victims sit by a damaged road as they look over floodwaters in Muzzafargarh

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Pakistan has yet to implement a national plan to deal with natural disasters, experts say, leaving the country struggling to cope with its fourth major floods in five years. Hammered out at a meeting of the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) in 2012, the ambitious 10-year blueprint for tackling disasters has

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Development Sins and Climate Change

Sep 29th, 2014 | By

While the death toll has risen to 358, millions homeless, standing crops destroyed covering millions of acres of land, the floods continue to cause more losses. Though bad, the situation is not worse than that of the 2010 super flood when 20 million people were affected. When asked about flood warnings and preparedness measures, we

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Climate Change: Experts Call for Proactive Approach to Manage Disasters

Sep 26th, 2014 | By

The Express Tribune: They were speaking at a conference on “Climate Change and Disaster Management” organised by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms on Thursday. The speakers stressed the need for a comprehensive disaster management policy. Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal admitted to the government’s inability to face such catastrophes alone

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National Agricultural Economy Facing Climate Change Risks: Experts

Sep 25th, 2014 | By

Senior Environmental experts said on Wednesday that national agricultural economy was being affected by five major risks related to climate change. Talking to APP senior researcher, Kashif Salik working with Sustainable Policy Development Institute (SDPI) said that being a predominantly agricultural economy, climate change is estimated to decrease crop yields in Pakistan not only as

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Dragging Feet: Pakistan Misses Deadline for $3.8m Grant

Sep 21st, 2014 | By

The Express Tribune: Pakistan missed the deadline to sign a formal agreement with the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) fund worth $3.8 million because of the bureaucracy’s lethargy. FCPF is a World Bank facility set up to support developing countries in carbon emission reduction by preserving their forests. The closing date to sign the

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Pakistan’s Economy Battered by Floods and Political Unrest

Sep 18th, 2014 | By

Talks to end a month-long sit-in by anti-government protesters in Pakistan remain deadlocked after authorities arrested dozens of demonstrators. The South Asian country has been facing political turmoil over the past weeks ever since opposition politicians Imran Khan and Tahir-ul Qadri led mass demonstrations against the democratically elected government of PM Nawaz Sharif, whom they

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Negligence, the Biggest Disaster in Pakistan

Sep 17th, 2014 | By

The Express Tribune: As if the ongoing political crisis was not enough, we are in the middle of a natural disaster, once again. As before, the state appears to be woefully unprepared. More than 23 districts in Punjab, 10 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and five in Gilgit-Baltistan have been affected by the September rains killing more

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How Many Disasters Does Pakistan Need to Focus on Climate Change?

Sep 16th, 2014 | By

Dawn: The media is all eyes and ears for the fiery speeches, debates and discussions in the power play, and the awareness definitely plays an important role in stabilising the situation. But what about the section of the populace greatly affected and displaced by the current war in north west Pakistan and the floods? At

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When Rain Breaks Loose

Sep 15th, 2014 | By

Morning of September 6, 2014 was nightmarish for Hasham Tariq, a resident of village Karamabad, situated near Wazirabad on the bank of Nullah Palkhu. Three days of continuous rain brought down the roof of his old house. Suspecting danger, he, along with his wife and two children, had moved to a relative’s house the night

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Floods: a Fateful, Familiar Story

Sep 11th, 2014 | By

Pakistan has suffered through around two dozen floods since its inception. The frequency of floods has increased lately as the country has constantly faced natural calamity in the form of riverine floods or flash floods every year for last five years. Climate change is no myth and Pakistan is amongst the top-ranked countries in the world affected

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A Monsoon Catastrophe

Sep 10th, 2014 | By

Pakistan is highly vulnerable to devastating climate change, but the matter is at the lowest priority for the government. For the last three years, the country has topped the list of the worldwide Climate Risk Index measured by German Watch, an organisation that works on world equity problems. In the past few years, Pakistan has been

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No Lessons Learnt in Flood-hit Pakistan

Sep 8th, 2014 | By

Dawn: Recent monsoon rains and the destruction they have left in their wake in major cities of Punjab provide a grim picture of the inability of urban settlements to cope with intense downpours in a warming world. The television footage showed torrents of water gushing into homes, of people wading in at least four feet of

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Deadly Monsoon: Pakistan’s Climate Change Policy Remains Stagnant

Sep 7th, 2014 | By
A couple wades through a flooded road after heavy rains in Lahore

Dawn: As deaths mount and cities continue to flood, experts are once again sounding the alarm bells over the impacts of climate change in Pakistan. More than 110 have been killed in Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the heavy torrential rain since Thursday. A number of cities have received over 130mm

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Development Disturbing Islamabad’s Ecology, Say Experts

Sep 5th, 2014 | By

APP: Environmentalists claim Pakistan is already among the top ten countries where unusual weather patterns are making major environment impacts, and the situation might further deteriorate in the coming years if attention was not paid to issues related to climate change. An environmentalist at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Kashif Salik, said the capital’s environment

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Climate Change and Underground Water: A Need to Link Science With People

Aug 27th, 2014 | By

Huffingtonpost: Water is life, however the way it is being used by humans and the scientific facts which informs how it is being diminished is no doubt a mystery for common people in Pakistan to be aware of. This is evident from the example of Rawalpindi city of Pakistan! Let’s see how this mystery prevails.

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IPCC Warns of Widespread Impact of Climate Change in South Asia

Aug 15th, 2014 | By

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a latest report has warned that climate change will have widespread impacts on South Asian society and its interaction with the natural environment. The report indicates that waiting or doing nothing is no longer an option and makes a compelling case for immediate global action on climate change,

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Pakistan’s Glaciers: Data-sharing Needed to Mitigate Disasters

Aug 13th, 2014 | By

“Our elders used to say this glacier was very high, so high there was no one living here. This was a giant glacial lake,” Sajjad Ali said. Standing on a cliffside, he pointed down at the Hopar Glacier, more than a 1,000 metres below, its surface covered by massive boulders it had swept out of

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Findings of Most Comprehensive Climate Change Report to be Launched Today

Aug 11th, 2014 | By

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will present the findings of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) to government, civil society, the scientific community, media and other stakeholders at an outreach event to be held today (Monday) at Islamabad. The event titled ‘IPCC ‘s AR5 – What it means for a stronger and more inclusive Pakistan’,

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Pakistan’s Coal-based Economy Could Suffer After Climate Deal

Aug 6th, 2014 | By

Qamar uz Zaman Chaudhry, a special envoy of the World Meteorological Organisation and lead author of Pakistan’s National Climate Change Policy, called on the government to  halt plans for a wave of new coal power plants across the country. “As soon as the new carbon-emission regime is agreed upon, the world will put carbon tax on

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Time for Pakistan to Wake up to Climate Change

Aug 5th, 2014 | By

The Express Tribune: We are witnessing that global warming is leading to more volatile weather patterns in the world, which is causing many different kinds of humanitarian crises. The fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body that advises governments on climate change, indicates that if the world continues to burn fossil

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Pakistan Ill Prepared for Climate Crises

Aug 3rd, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Scientists and opposition politicians in Pakistan have strongly criticised the government for what they say is its neglectful attitude towards coping with the challenges posed by climate change. “The government’s insufficient response to shifting weather patterns continues to cost the national economy dearly and is depriving people of their livelihoods, particularly in the

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When Not a Drop is Left

Jul 27th, 2014 | By

Climate change is the biggest threat the planet faces today, with the resources of the entire world getting affected. Water, the world’s largest natural resource, faces multiple threats as increasing temperatures lead to the melting of glaciers at a faster pace, causing mass-scale floods, devastating our plains and displacing millions of people. Climate change cannot

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‘Pakistan Lags Behind in Efforts to Curb Climate Change’

Jul 24th, 2014 | By

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

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Temperature of Pakistan

Jul 23rd, 2014 | By

Climate change is badly affecting the poor rural population and the environment. According to media reports, the world is getting warmer as green house gases reach historic highs and arctic seas ice melts, making 2013 one of the hottest years on record. Global temperatures during 2013 were among the warmest on record world-wide according to

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Pakistan Ranked Eighth Most Vulnerable Country in the World

Jul 22nd, 2014 | By

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.

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Pakistan’s Urban Air Pollution Off the Charts: World Bank

Jul 14th, 2014 | By

Dawn: Released by the World Bank, the report calls upon the government to make urban air quality improvement a priority in the country’s policy agenda, noting that the issue has received little attention despite strong evidence indicating an urgent need to tackle pollution in major cities. Current industrialisation, urbanisation and motorisation trends suggest that the air

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Workshop on Climate Resilient Communities in Sindh Coastal areas Held

Jul 7th, 2014 | By

Leading development professionals, policy makers and community representatives gathered in Thatta district of Sindh to attend the inception workshop on “Climate Resilient Communities in Coastal Lying Areas of Sindh project” organised by Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS,P), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network. The interventions planned as part of the

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Pakistan and Climate Change

Jul 2nd, 2014 | By

Tribune: While our prime minister is intent on switching over to coal, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels in the world, by converting the country’s oil plants to coal power, in the US and China (both considered the top polluters in the world when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions) something interesting is happening. Last month, both the

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Climate Change and Vector-borne Diseases in Pakistan

Jun 30th, 2014 | By

The earth’s climate has always been changing. The impacts of climate change include biodiversity losses, rise in sea levels, shifts in weather patterns, changes in freshwater supply and an increase in extreme weather events such as floods and droughts as well as glacial melting and various health impacts. Major concerns are the threats to food,

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‘There’s Food Shortage in Sindh But no Policy to Fix It’

Jun 27th, 2014 | By

Tribune: More than 71% of Sindh’s population does not have enough food to eat even though nearly 14 million acres are being cultivated for crops. This food storage has caused Oxfam, Pakistan Fisher Folk (PFF) and others to put their heads together and do something. On Thursday, they launched a campaign, ‘Harvesting Food Security and Justice

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Keti Bunder

Jun 26th, 2014 | By

Climate change is affecting Pakistan. According to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2014 developed by the German Watch Institute, Pakistan is ranked number three after Haiti and the Philippines as one of those countries that are most affected by climate change. This goes to show that the ecologically vulnerable areas of Pakistan are badly

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It’s Buses Versus Trees in Islamabad as ‘Green’ Priorities Collide

Jun 24th, 2014 | By

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) —  For over two decades, Hussain Ali’s house sat in the shade of a strip of greenbelt, one of many that were planted along Islamabad’s avenues to help reduce pollution levels and bring some natural beauty to the sprawling city. Now, however, the street in front of Ali’s house is bare. The

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