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Published Date: Dec 16, 2013

Mushahid for joint strategy to fight climate change

Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee, Senator Mushahid
Hussain Sayed Monday called for joint strategy by Asian nations to cope with
the challenges of climate change. “Those living on the coastline of South Asia
were at risk because of global warming and rising temperature. So it was
necessary that there should be a regional South Asian approach to this problem
as well,” he said addressing a conference on climate change organized by the
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). In his speech to the
conference being attended by parliamentarians from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal,
Maldives, Afghanistan and representatives of India, Senator Mushahid Hussain
said that climate change was an issue not only confined to Pakistan but an
issue of South Asia as a whole as well as the entire Asia.

In this connection, he referred to his recent role as
Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA),
which was the biggest parliamentary conference in the history of Pakistan with
30 countries participating.
"The Islamabad Declaration has also focused on the issue of climate change and
environmental degradation through a collective responsibility of Asian
Parliaments," he added.
Mushahid also underlined the importance of a full fledged Ministry of Climate
Change in the country and said, "there is an immediate need to revive the
Ministry of Climate Change given the importance of this issue, which has
security implications as well."
He said the Senate Defence Committee has already defined climate change as
a  security issue since it has implications on our relations with India
giving the emerging water dispute as well as the dislocation of a huge number
of population periodically by floods and torrential rains in Pakistan.
He said during the last floods in Sindh province, over 20 million people were
affected and there had been alarming deforestation in Pakistan.
The Senator also referred to a recent conference organized by the Communist
Party of China on ‘Green Development and Building a Beautiful Asia’ and said
China’s President Xi Jinping had also announced that ‘ecological red lines must
not be crossed’.
At the same conference, held in the Chinese City of Xian, a Global Alliance of
Political Parties on Climate Change was announced to promote awareness and
focus on this all-important issue, he added.
Mushahid announced that in cooperation with the SDPI, the APA would hold a
workshop on climate change for Asian Parliamentarians in 2014 as he also asked
the SDPI to prepare a special Asia vision policy document on climate change.

The Senate of Pakistan as host of the APA would circulate
this policy among all member parliaments so a collective Asian strategy on
climate change can be formulated and implemented.