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Dawn

Published Date: Jul 20, 2013

Call for planning to cope with effects of climate change

Experts at a seminar on Friday called for an effective adaptation and
planning so that the local communities can cope with adverse effects of
climate change.

They were speaking at a consultative workshop on ‘Climate Resilient
Economic Development in Semi-Arid Regions’ at the Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

They said semi-arid regions in Pakistan are witnessing drastic
environmental changes with increased rainfall and climate induced
disasters. The experts maintained that not only the local communities
but even the flora and fauna responded to changing climate patterns and
the time had come for Pakistan to conduct region wise research work in
this regard.

They said business as usual was no more an option for Pakistan.

The consultation marked the start of a project by SDPI and Oversees
Development Institute (ODI)-UK to scale up climate-compatible economic
development in semi-arid regions of Central Asia, East Africa and West
Africa.

Speaking on the occasion, Shamsul Mulk, former Chairman Wapda said
that Pakistan could not afford more damages worth $10 -15 billion as
witnessed in 2010-11 floods.

"We need to expedite work on institutional capacity building of
related institutions to cope with emerging challenges of climate
change," Mr Mulk said.

He said that floods in Pakistan were regular phenomenon and caused
damages worth billions of rupees every year and the only way to address
this problem was preparedness and structural planning.

Talking about improving capacity of public institutions, he said that
in 60s, Wapda had no capacity to steer large projects, but with firm
commitment it was able to bridge capacity gap within short time and
completed the biggest ever water development structures of those times
under Indus Water Treaty including Tarbella, Mangla and other canals.

Dr Azmat Hayat Khan, Director, Pakistan Meteorological Department presented recent climatic models and revealed that rainfall patterns in Pakistan were changing.