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Dawn Islamabad

Published Date: Jul 24, 2014

Pakistan lagging in efforts to curb climate change

Experts believe that Pakistan’s efforts towards preventing climate
change are insufficient, which can translate into grave challenges for
the economy, development and even the national security of the country.

a seminar organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
on climate change and its various dimensions in a global political
economy on Wednesday, the speakers said Pakistan was one of the worst
victims of climate change.

However, they said, the government’s response to cope with this issue leaves a lot to be desired.

discussing the government’s response to cope with the challenge, former
environment minister Malik Amin Aslam said: “One can judge the
government’s response from the fact that the prime minister’s task force
on climate change, which was a ground-breaking and effective step, has
been dysfunctional, along with other core committees on climate change.”

Speakers say government lacks preparedness to tackle environmental challenges

He said there was an inconsistent and patchy preparedness for natural
disaster management, thus local institutions need to sync themselves
with global mechanism.

One of the world’s leading risk analytics,
research and strategic forecasting companies, Maple-croft, have place
Pakistan in “high-extreme” category on its vulnerability index, Mr Aslam

The former minister urged the incumbent government to pay
heed towards immerging issue, as the country cannot afford to be
unprepared for climate change and its challenges.

ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel, who is also the chairperson of SDPI’s board
of governors, provided context and relevance to the climate change
issue, and its importance for Pakistan as majority of its districts are
located in arid and semi-arid zones.

He said the institutional assessment was necessary to prevent a rapid decay in climate finance.

highlighted the importance of capacity building for the national and
provincial governments to address and rebuke scepticism around this

Mr Kakakhel further added that the decline in climate
finance is not an isolated incident, but is rather prevalent in all

“Through resolutions adopted by provinces, calling
for a robust mechanism to tackle climate change challenges,
inter-provincial cooperation is mandatory,” he said.

He alleged
that throughout the world, business tycoons, particularly oil companies,
are opposing actions being taken to cope with climate change issues.

to Joint Director of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Dr
Rehana Siddiqui, the country has sufficient research papers and data to
manage climate change and its issues.

However, she said, this information needs to translate into actions.

researchers Masooma Hassan, Sorosh Sikandar and Shakeel Ramay also
spoke on the occasion and discussed the climate change issue and its
impacts in detail.