Published Date: Feb 14, 2012
PAKISTAN, INDIA URGED TO COOPERATE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Speakers at a seminar have stressed the need for cooperation among India, Pakistan and otherS6uth Asian countries on climate change, Saying Pakistan and India must explore vistas of mutual benefit on climate change as both have integrated ecological system.
Different speakers from South Asian Association. for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) giving their opinion at a seminar titled f. ‘Pakistan-India Track II Dialogue on Climate Change for peace’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Center for Science and Environment (CSE), India with the support of Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) here on Monday, said that only regional cooperation help address the existing threats of climate change.
There was consensus that bilateral cooperation between ( Pakistan and India can turn the climate change threat into opportunity for ensuring peace and prosperity in both the countries along with South Asian region.
They stressed for continuous dialogue to devise a regional strategy for dealing with the existing threat of climate change and to provide a participatory assessment of environment, natural resources and their implications for South Asia, The event prompts to develop an. actionable agenda for climate change in Pakistan and India particularly on ( water, energy, gender, climate change adaptation and livelihood aiming at normalisation of relations between both the neighbours by engaging experts and, civil society from both sides in Track-2-consuJtations on climate.
Chairing the opening session Dr Ishfaq Ahmad, Advisor co Planning Commission of Pakistan Climate Change and Development emphasised that India and Pakistan are facing common adversaries in the shape of climate change that needs collective response to deal with it. He said, we must at least narrow down the gap particularly on water, if not on all issues, and institutionalize and devise appropriate strategies for climate change adaptation.
Britta Peterson, Country Director, HBS Pakistan urged the delegates to take the advantage of the platform and come up with new and practical ideas. “Gravity of situation needs concrete efforts to carve out a realistic roadmap for Indo-Pak collaboration to combat climate change by providing comprehensive, policy-relevant, science-based assessment of environment in South Asia to policy makers,” she added.
Shafqat Kakakhel, Senior Advisor SDPI, and Former Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said water availability in the region is highly susceptible due to climate change, which affect glacial melt and monsoon system that feeds the lie rivers in sub–continent He was of the view that Saarc can be instrumental and must serve as principle is vehicle for sub-regional cooperation on issues related to environment, climate change socio-economic development in the region.
However there is a negligible progress on translating the Saarc commitments made at Dhaka and Thimphu Summits into practical actions, mainly due to lack of political will weak environmental – in the cooperation in the region and absence of a serious attitude of countries ‘towards Saarc,” he maintained. Axel Hameit Sievers, Country Director, HBS India, said dialogue on climate change between two countries is essential to systematically improve relations, and particularly discuss issues where both countries have a common position.