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Published Date: Jun 14, 2011

SDPI PRESS RELEASE (14 JUNE 2011)

Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Ev-K2-CNR (Government of Italy) has initiated a project in Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) to assess the impacts of climate change on ecosystem and socio-economic conditions of the region.

This was briefed during an inception workshop organized by SDPI to introduce the project associated with Karokoram Trust Project, aimed at ecosystem assessment of the region , exploring the options available to inhabitants to adapt to climate change and also to develop pilot projects in the near future.

While initiating the workshop, Javeriya Hasan, Research Associate, SDPI, said that  Pakistan’s northern region had seen a higher temperature increase as compared to other parts of the country. She said that it was important to study the impacts of climate change on the region as it could negatively influence CKNP’s rich biodiversity, local agricultural practices and most importantly, it could adversely affect Pakistan through its effect on the Indus River system.

Aisha Khan, CEO of MGOP, highlighted socio-economic issues being faced by local  inhabitants of Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) region. She informed that the issue of food security was very critical to the region. She further said that engagement of women in the region’s development is key to long term success. She stressed upon the need for flood protection in view of increased likelihood of floods due to climate change; irrigation channels for timely availability of water in CKNP and road linkages.

Other issues raised during the workshop included the necessity of introducing a comprehensive building code, preservation of indigenous practices for building construction and income generation. There was a concern that the region faces rapid deforestation due to a number of reasons. During the workshop, some of the experts shared evidence from their research on the effects of climate change on the region’s inhabitants. One interesting point mentioned was that in certain area, seasons seemed to have reduced by 12 days.  A range of other issues including renewable energy were also discussed during the workshop.