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Envo Info

Published Date: Dec 13, 2013

India-Pakistan Dialogue on Climate Change and Energy

The experts were of the view that India and Pakistan needs to develop
research agenda & adapt a unique approach of national disaster
management for extreme climate events and to establish robust emergency
food reserves along-with a financing capacity that can deliver rapid
humanitarian responses to vulnerable populations threatened by climate
change.

They were speaking on second day of plenary session titled "India-Pakistan Dialogue on Climate Change and Energy", organised by the
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Heinrich Boll
Stiftung (HBS) here on Friday. This dialogue between India &
Pakistan forge ways to cooperate and collaborate in critical area
directly impacted by climate change.

In the session Food Security: India Perspective, Ram Kishan Regional
Emergency Manager South Asia, said that unfortunately, climate change
increased migration and in the result, displacement of agricultural
producers has implications for national food security. In this regard,
an international mechanism is needed to address loss and damage and slow
onset impacts on agriculture. Pervaiz Amir, Senior Economist, ASIANICS
discussed the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity and
energy security in Pakistan. He said that both countries are lacking
institutional structures with poor ministerial links. However, civil
society organizations, government institutions and policy makers should
act decisively on the climate crisis. Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri while
talking about the integrated gender in food security said that Pakistan
has cultural taboos where women are more inclined towards mal-nutrition.
This Inter-generational inequity is causing damage to human
development.  While sharing the findings of 5th Assessment Report of
IPCC, Sanjay Vashist, Advisor Climate & Resource Program of Heinrich
Boll Foundation India, pointed out that climate change threat can be
converted in to opportunity through effective bilateral talks,
coordination between two countries. “We must need to move ahead leaving
behind minor differences to benefit of billions of people in South Asia.
Ambassador C. Dasgupta chaired the panel.

During session on Climate Induced Loss and Damage in India-Pakistan:
Harjeet Singh ActionAid India International coordinator for disaster
risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation said that placing
loss and damage under adaptation “might limit the scope of the mechanism
to climate risk management”, such as early warning systems in disaster
risk reduction, which is really going to help when your country faces
destruction. He shared the example of Philippines which has prepared to
deal with 20 cyclones a year. Dr. Qamar ur Zaman Chaudhary, Senior
Advisor, LEAD Pakistan shared that Pakistan is among the few developing
countries which has prepared a comprehensive national policy on a
subject which is on top of the global priority agenda. Further he
suggested policy measures i.e. water conservation; reduction in
irrigation losses, rain water harvesting and recycling of waste water,
energy efficient farm mechanization and bio-technology for agriculture.
Sanjay Vashist, Advisor Climate & Resource Program of Heinrich Boll
Foundation India carried out the discussion by mentioning the impacts of
climate change such as glacier melting, decreasing crop yields,
variability in monsoon and sea-level rise etc. are estimated to have a
strong regional presence. “In the long run, sea-level rise will be one
of the most serious consequences of global warming. With successful,
strong mitigation measures, the experts expect a likely rise of 40-60 cm
in this century and 60-100 cm by the year 2300” he shared. Pervaiz Amir
chaired the session.

Later, both delegates worked together on drafts of recommendations.
While working on recommendations, Dr. Tariq Banuri, Former Executive
Director of SDPI suggested the implementation of actions at national
level to involve policy development, capacity building and execution.
Amb. Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairman Board of Governors SDPI said that water
is severely affected by climate change which will ultimately lead
towards flood or droughts, causing food scarcity and other negative
ecological impacts. However, Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri announced a proper
media launch of declaration/recommendations in the coming week.

In her concluding remarks, Britta Peterson, Country Director,
Heinrich Boll Stiftung thanked the participants. Further she anticipated
to have concrete actions in the coming year and improve collaboration
between the two countries.