Published Date: Oct 8, 2013
S Asian region worst victim of climate change
Shafqat Kakahel, former chairperson
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), has said that South Asian
region despite contributing very least to Climate Change (CC) is the worst
victim of it after sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr Kakakhel was answering question
at a seminar on ‘Climate Change Repercussions for Pakistan: Perspectives from
the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report’, organised by SDPI here on Monday.
Brahmaputra River is only 24 per
cent dependent upon glacial melt whereas Indus gets 50 to 70% water from glaciers.
He said that changes in glacial meltdown and monsoon patterns result in too
early or too late rainfall resulting in droughts or floods.
He said that a National Climate
Change Policy was approved in March 2012 and another this year but still it lacks
a well-equipped office at federal level with sub-offices in provinces on CC, a
central fund and an adaptation plan.
Earlier, in his address of welcome,
Mr Kakakhel said that policy recommendations are effective only if implemented.
Unfortunately, in terms of climate change, Pakistan is facing a weak,
fragmented, ill resource and unequipped institutional infrastructure. He said
that involvement of key Ministries, ie, Water and Power, Disaster Management
and Health. He said that experts with requisite, scientific and administrative
knowledge able to make proposals to present to global climate change fund
should run those offices.
Dr Mohsin Iqbal, Head, Agriculture
Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), Climate Change Division, said that
warming of climate system is unequivocal. It is 95% certain that human
activities were the dominant cause of warming. There was an increase from 90%
certainty in the last Report in 2007 and 66% certainty in 2001-Report. Each of
the last 3 decades had been successively warmer than any preceding decade since
1850. While sharing the future implications, he said that global sea level will
continue to rise.
The rate of rise will very likely
exceed that was observed during 1971-2010 due to increased ocean warming and
growing loss of ice sheet and mass of glaciers.
He said that changes in global water
cycle will not be uniform. Sea level may continue to increase because of
increased glacier melt and extreme rainfall events unless the excess water is
stored. He said it will inundate low lying areas and cause intrusion of sea
water into the Indus Deltaic region threatening its agriculture and
availability of safe drinking water.
Dr Qamaruzzaman Chaudhry, Deputy
Director of CDKN’s Asia Programme, said that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change is the most authoritative, scientific body on climate change under the
United Nations. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical
and socio-economic information produced and forms a clear scientific view on the
current state of knowledge in CC and its potential impacts. He said that so
far, the IPCC has produced four assessment reports. He said that “evidence of
the effects of human influence on the climate system has continued to
accumulate and strengthen since the Fourth Assessment Report. The consistency
of observed and modelled changes across the climate system, including regional
temperatures, the water cycle, global energy budget, cryosphere and oceans
(including aspects of ocean acidification), point to global Climate Change that
results primarily from anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gas
concentrations, he added.
In the Question hour, a participant
said that persons with commitment and passion should be appointed in
environment and human rights bodies as bureaucrats are more interested in
foreign visits. Another participant said that author of a study recommending
change should be implementer also.