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The News

Published Date: Feb 16, 2012


The climate change mitigation plan should focus on producing energy with greater efficiency and at affordable prices rather than concentrating on reduction in GHG emissions quantitatively, said Dr. Tariq Banuri, director of the Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations.
He was speaking at the Pakistan-India Track-II Dialogue on (Climate) Change for Peace organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India, in collaboration with Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), which concluded here on Wednesday.
Dr. Banuri said that there was a need to build regional knowledge sharing and establishing networks on climate change with common indicators and projects.
Chandra Bushan, deputy director of the CSE, India, suggested efficient water use and climate resistant practices in agriculture sector with joint assessment of vulnerabilities and adaptation due to climate change in arid zones of both countries, particularly in Rajasthan and Sindh.
Tahir Dhindsa, editor of the Sustainable Development Bulletin, said that Track-II on Climate Change is need of the hour. He said that no injustice should be done to anybody, as it would not be sustainable. He said that experts from India and Pakistan should take this message back from this international moot.
Going into epistemology of water, he said that the word ‘Hindustan’ is derived from ‘hindwana,’ which in Sanskrit means land of water. He lamented that the same region is now a centre of water conflicts. He said that due to availability of money, dams are being built in Afghanistan, as it is part of Indus Basin though it has not much land to irrigate.
Mome Saleem, research associate at the SDPI, said that climate change would have serious implications for women due to their greater responsibilities and less access to resources besides their limited mobility, sexual division of labour, lack of education and access to information. She regretted the absence of gender dimension in climate financing and asserted to ensure women’s role in decision-making process at national as well as global level, gender mainstreaming in National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) and capacity building through media and community-based interventions.
Sanjay Vashist, project adviser (climate change) at the HBS, India, apprehended that there could be further migration due to scarcity of resources. He said that there is conflict in Maharashtra, which opposes migration as it compromises job opportunities for their own citizens. He said that the situation in Pakistan and Bangladesh might not be different.
He said that China has reduced water use in agriculture from 80 to 60 per cent, which provoked a female participant to quip that it could be a reason for Chinese fruits being tasteless.
Arshad Abbasi, adviser to the SDPI, called for declaring glaciers as protected areas arguing that climate change negotiations between India and Pakistan could only be successful after demilitarisation of Siachen Glacier. He said that progress in South Asia had been held hostage by lack of cooperation between India and Pakistan. He said that using coal as a major source of energy generation in India is polluting environment that needs to be immediately restricted.
Shakeel Ramay of the SDPI said that progress of renewable energy sector in Pakistan is really discouraging and emphasised on prioritising areas within renewable energy sector for investment on the basis of cost benefit analysis and their contribution to the economic growth.
Harjeet Singh said that areas of cooperation between Pakistan and India on climate change adaptation included implementation of Saarc decisions on disaster management, food bank and shared positions at international forums besides joint research and regional planning.
Dr. Inayatullah, regional programme coordinator of the ICIMOD, Dr. Asad Sarwar Qureshi of the International Water Management Institute, Ali Tauqir Sheikh of the LEAD, Khawar Mumtaz and Dr. Saba Gul Khattak also spoke on the occasion.