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Kashif Abbasi

Dawn

Published Date: Jul 25, 2014

Experts discuss ways to reduce losses during natural calamities

ISLAMABAD: Experts believe that by focusing on human and natural
capital, financial losses and the rate of death during natural
calamities can be reduced.

Speaking at a seminar, they said
climate change was affecting both human and natural capital and there
was a need to improve the quality of institutional structures.

The seminar, “Making use of natural and human capital” was organised by SDPI on Thursday.

The
speakers were of the view that protecting, sustaining and nourishing
human capital was necessary and its conflicts with climate change must
be accounted for as a one-degree rise of temperature resulted in a loss
of nine points in the GDP per capita.

Inspector General Forests
Syed Mahmood Nasir, former ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel, agriculture
expert Mohsin Iqbal, SDPI’s senior researchers Mome Saleem, Sadia
Ishfaq, Shakeel Ramay and Salman spoke on the occasion.

They said
natural capital comprised resources, including ecosystem services, such
as flood control and erosion control. The natural capital is directly
connected to employment, livelihood and income, especially in poor
semi-arid lands.

Imbalances in ecosystems threaten to destroy forestry and livestock distribution said Shafqat Kakakhel.

He
said climate would intercept all sectors of society, in areas of
production, income and development and will only further marginalise the
already marginalised communities. Therefore, the government should take
precautionary measure to cope with the challenge.

Mohsin Iqbal
said human health was directly impacted by climate change, indirectly
affecting quality of food, ecology, industry etc.

He said health and poverty were interlinked with one another.

Nasir
Mehmood said floods could be managed to contribute as a boom and not as
a disaster as they played a role in cleaning water and revitalising
aquatic life. Cooperation and sharing of information between research
institutions and the government ministries is the need of the hour.
There is a need for quantifiable data with regards to the ecosystem
monitoring.

He said both India and Pakistan inherited the same
legal system under the Government of India Act 1935, according to which
forestry was a provincial subject and at the central level the inspector
general forest office was established for overall monitoring.

India,
however, enacted the forest Act, under which no provincial government
can change a forest land to any other use without the consent of the
federal government.

“By making legislation, India has
successfully increased its forest cover to 24 per cent but here we allow
provinces to do whatever they want to do with the forest land,” he
said.

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1121462/experts-discuss-ways-to-reduce-losses-during-natural-calamities