Published On: Mon, Oct 26th, 2015

Experts Urge Greater Attention to Climate Change Impacts, Call for Adaptation


PRESS RELEASE
KARACHI, SINDH

Experts on Monday identified energy, water and agriculture as three major sectors most likely to be affected by the impacts of climate change in Pakistan, urging the need to activate the government’s climate change policy to combat the drastic impacts posed by climate change.

They were speaking at the 14th meeting of the National Coordination Body of the Mangroves for the Future Programme (MFF), organized by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Karachi. MFF is a partnership based regional initiative to promote investment in coastal ecosystem conservation for sustainable development. The National Coordination Body representing government, civil society and private sector organisations constituted in 2009 and headed by the Ministry of Climate Change overseas the implementation of MFF Programme in Pakistan through aNational Strategy and Action Plan. MFF Programme supports investment in conservation of coastal ecosystems and coastal livelihoods through its grant programme and capacity building in integrated coastal management.

Chaired by Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan, Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change the meeting drew attention to the seriousness of the climate change issues calling for the urgent need to make use of the climate change policy of the government. He said that climate change had been occurring for thousands of years but at present it is more human-induced than natural. He said that climate change is a serious issue, citing abrupt weather patterns, extreme events, such as the Karachi heatwave and recent snowfall in Naranas some of the indications of changes in the climatic systems. He stressed upon the energy sector to come forward to combat against climate change, as most fossil fuels would likely dry up over the next couple of decades. He viewed that drastic impacts would also be faced by the water and the agriculture sector – something, he added, Pakistan had started witnessing.

The National Coordination Body recommended for establishment of marine protected areas in Pakistan and identified Churna Island and MianiHor as the two potential sites.Syed Mahmood Nasir, the Inspector General of Forests, Ministry of Climate Change urged that establishment of Marine Protected Areas is mandatory to fulfil our international commitments. Adding to this, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan observed that “there were over 250 or so protected areas in Pakistan, which may appear protected on paper but are not so on the ground”. He added that “their management remains a big question and calls for proper attention so that such areas are legally and administratively well-protected even on the ground.” Mr. Cheema also spoke about the possibility of transboundary initiatives between Pakistan and Iran, with special emphasis on wetlands.

Syed Ghulam Qadir Shah, National Coordinator of MFF Programme made a detail presentation highlighting the progress made under the MFF programme in Pakistan. He signified the need for the involvement of the private sector in addressing coastal issues and influencing their policies towards sustainable businesses operation. He mentioned that MFF could provide matching funds up to US$25000 to support any initiative sponsored by a private sector organisation to address coastal management and livelihood issues.

The others who attended and spoke on the occasion included Secretaries of Forest Department and Fisheries Department Balochistan, Conservator of Mangroves Sindh, Director General, Sindh Fisheries Department, representatives of Ministry of Defence, Pakistan Navy, Coastal Development Authorities of Sindh & Balochistan, Gwadar Port Authority, NIO, P&D Balochistan, Port Qasim Authority, UNDP, FAO, various civil society organisations and private sector including CEO of Engro Powergen Ltd.

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