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The News

Published Date: Jul 22, 2014

Climate change: Pakistan ranked eight most vulnerable country in the world

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.

seminar was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute
(SDPI) as a first test run to share reports on climate risks and climate
markets and identifying multiple vulnerabilities to climate change
within Pakistan. The strategy involved the stakeholders from the
beginning, for a more inclusive and transparent methodologies on climate

In start, senior SDPI researchers introduced the
climate change and its argumentative impacts at the global level,
specifically focusing the developing world, highlighting linkages
between climate change with risk, the tragedy of global commons and the
urgent need for climate resilient infrastructures.

researchers further recommended that the adaptive capacity of
institutions must be improved, as climate change has adverse effects on
all sectors, specifically agriculture and the cotton industry, which is
the main cash crop in Pakistan. They said that the impacts of climate
change derail the markets, precisely including the cotton, transport and
the energy sectors. It was emphasized that a call for an immediate
induction of social protection to help the country sustain and
transition towards more eco-friendly approaches, was required.

speaker Mia Masud specifically highlighted the need to focus on the
textile industry, being the back bone of the economy which ranks as
number four in the world producers, She said that the floods, droughts
and rise of temperature has severely impacted the cotton production as
it is heavily sensitive to climate change and has fallen below demand
and effected foreign reserves.

"There is a need for the
agriculture sector to be tasked to cater to the cotton industry, and
also to look towards other potential sectors as well to reduce
dependence on cotton, focusing not just on domestic product but global
market trends," she said.

Agriculture economist, Dr Usman
Mustafa, also spoke of the urgent need to draw attention to the issue
of climate change, and that there was a vital need for clear-cut goals
and strategies that are region specific to be able to adopt an effective

He said that the Third World countries
suffer the most due to their heavy reliance on the agriculture sector,
which is 100 per cent weather dependent. That is why it is necessary to
explore other scope and alternative crops and adaptive measure to be
more climate resilient. "Climate change alters bio diversity at the most
minute levels that threatens our food security, therefore there must be
coherence between long term and short term goals, and long term coping
mechanisms. An important area that must be brought to light is changing
of consumption habits," he said.

Former Director General
of Environment and Climate Change Javed Ali Khan stressed the need to
engage more deeply in challenges affecting Pakistan, with a model
tailored to country specific needs in the country. While creating
connections between climate change and markets, he said that market
vibrancy is based on potential.