Pakistan is one of vulnerable countries to climate change, says new survey
KARACHI: Pakistan is assessed to be one of the vulnerable countries to climate change. Climate change is a geographic problem and reducing the risks caused by climate change is an immense challenge. Pakistan is consistently ranked by multiple climate change vulnerability indices as being one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to drought, floods, heat waves, and glacial lake outburst floods in the past few decades, according newly released economic survey 2017-18.
According to the survey, Pakistan is assessed to be one of the vulnerable countries to climate change. This vulnerability is mainly due to its geographic location, demographic and diverse climatic conditions. Building resilience and adaptation to climate change is becoming indispensible for Pakistan. Fortunately, environmentally sound technologies are gaining a high priority in sustainable development policy dialogue and implementing frameworks. Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) is one of the important steps towards identifying and assessing climate change adaptation challenges for Pakistan in order to align its adaptation needs and opportunities with goals and objectives of its sustainable development. Furthermore, to mitigate the impact of climate change, the government has taken different initiatives, one of them is Green Pakistan. Under this programme 100 million trees would be planted around the country in five years.
the government is cognizant of this issue and is taking strategic adaptation measures at the policy management and operational level to minimize the global warming effects. Further efforts to overcome the challenges of climate change are made through enacting legislation, setting standards and developing and implementing policies for a secure and lively environment. The existing and proposed measures being taken by the government would help to address the climate change issues effectively.
The Green Pakistan Programme is the initiative of the government to revive Forestry and Wildlife resources across the country. The main objective of the programme is to facilitate transition towards environmentally resilient Pakistan by mainstreaming notions of adaptation and mitigation through ecologically targeted initiatives covering biodiversity conservation and enabling policy environment.
Green Pakistan Programme is being executed by the government through Ministry of Climate Change and Provincial Forest and Wildlife Departments including Gilgit Baltistan, Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) with a total cost of Rs 3.652 billion over a period of five years (2016-17
to 2020-21). The programme is implemented in 100 districts of the country. The Green Pakistan Programme has three major components i.e. revival of forestry resource of Pakistan, revival of wildlife resources in Pakistan and Strengthening of the Zoological Survey of Pakistan.
The government has already delegated the subject of environment to the provinces, but climate change which holds a wider scope is with federal government. Different projects under Prime Minister Green Pakistan Programme are being implemented. There are also projects like development of reverse linkages with MARMARA Research Centre Turkey, which will enhance our capacities to predict disasters like floods and earthquakes and Turkey will provide enhanced support and capacity building in seismic research and development.
In Pakistan, supply of drinkable water and sanitation services (WSS) requires special attention as presently a large number of households do not have access to enough potable or shallow water and there is lack of proper sanitation system. Poor sanitation leads to sickness as well as negative impact of ecosystem. Therefore, a strategy to improve sanitation and to expand access to clean drinkable water, particularly, in rural areas is being implemented with the help of provincial governments.
Due to water scarcity in the country, waste water treatment is imperative for the continuous and affluent supply of water for agriculture in future. Despite having the potential and capacity of our industry for designing and fabricating waste water/sewage treatment plants locally, only a meagre portion of industrial wastewater is being treated and reused. To treat and recycle industrial effluents, a Wastewater Treatment Programme will be initiated in the country in collaboration with the provincial governments.
For increased Forestry cover and enhancement of natural resources, a strategy to develop forest cover along with conservation and restoration of the natural resources of the country will be implemented through applied approach of ownership. A strategy will also be designed to prepare locals to manage forest areas and wild lands around their residences.