Published Date: Oct 8, 2013
Climate change: food security problems may intensify in coming years: experts
Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by climate change and is
experiencing its worst effects due to the increasing scarcity of water
which resulted in decline of agricultural growth and if precautionary
measures were not taken in time economic growth would drastically suffer
and food security problems may intensify in coming years, experts at a
This was the crux of a seminar titled "Climate Change
Repercussions for Pakistan: Perspectives from the Fifth IPCC Assessment
Report" arranged by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI),
here on Monday. While giving introductory remarks, Dr Qamar Chaudhry,
Deputy Director of CDKN’s Asia Programme, said that Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the most authoritative,
intergovernmental scientific body on climate change under the auspices
of the United Nations (UN). It reviews and assesses the most recent
scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced, and form a
clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate
change and its potential impacts. So far, the IPCC has produced four
assessment reports. Thousands of scientists and experts worldwide
voluntarily contribute to the preparation of these IPCC reports. He
highlighted some key ways in which scientific understanding has evolved
since the IPCC’s last Assessment Report in 2007.
"Evidence of the effects of human influence on the climate
system has continued to accumulate and strengthen since the Fourth
Assessment Report (AR4). The consistency of observed and modeled changes
across the climate system, including regional temperatures, the water
cycle, global energy budget, cry sphere and oceans (including aspects of
ocean acidification), point to global climate change that results
primarily from anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gas
concentrations," he added.
Dr Mohsin Iqbal, Head, Agriculture, Global Change Impact Studies
Centre (GCISC) explained the current scenario of climate change. He
said that warming of climate system is unequivocal. It is 95% certain
that human activities were the dominant cause of warming. There was an
increase from 90% certainty in the last report in 2007 and 66% certainty
in 2001-Report. Each of the last 3 decades has been successively warmer
than any preceding decade since 1850. While sharing the future
implications, he said that global sea level will continue to rise.
The rate of rise is likely to exceed as being observed during
1971-2010, due to increased ocean warming and increased loss of ice
sheet and mass of glaciers. "Changes in global water cycle will not be
uniform. Sea level may continue to increase because of increased glacier
melt and extreme rainfall events unless the excess water is stored.
This will inundate low lying areas and cause intrusion of sea water into
the Indus Deltaic region threatening its agriculture and availability
of safe drinking water," he added.
Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairman Board of Governors, SDPI said that
Pakistan is facing a weak, fragmented and ill-resourced institutional
infrastructure in terms of protection to the cause of its climate.
Pakistan needs a well-equipped office at federal level and sub-offices
on provincial level. Moreover, involvement of key ministries ie water
and power management, disaster management authority and health ministry
are required to undertake integrated efforts to protect environment.
"Experts with requisite, scientific and administrative knowledge
should operate those offices. These experts will be able to make
proposals to generate global climate change fund. By following this
model, Pakistan will be able to prepare itself for future challenges,"