Published Date: Jan 21, 2013
SDPI Press Release (January 21,2013)
(21 January 2013) Experts at a SDPI seminar were unanimous in the opinion that
climate change has become a national security threat and urged government
to respond to climate change challenges by devising concrete policy
were of the view that climate change is a threat multiplier which increases
existing threats such as water, food and energy insecurities. They said,
climate change has unleashed disasters, obstructed economic development,
reduced capacity of governments and exacerbated internal and external
were discussing at a special seminar on “Climate Change as National Security
Threat” organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on
the session, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman Senate Standing Committee
on Defence and Secretary General, PML-Q said that water has now emerged as
another major source of scuffle between India and Pakistan beside the Kahsmir
Issue. Calling for a regional approach to deal with the impacts of climate
change, he commented that no country can address ecological challenges alone.
said South Asia is the most prone to climate change in the world. South
Asian leadership highlighted this threat in an exceptional way, when Maldives
cabinet held their cabinet meeting under the sea and the Nepal cabinet meeting
held on top of Mount Everest. He said the fate and livelihoods of
billions of South Asians is at stake at the hand of climate change and the
governments in the region have to act now to protect their citizens.
reaffirmed his resolve to take the issue at highest level and assured that
Senate Standing Committee on Defence would include climate change as a threat
in National Security Strategy. Referring to water disputes between the
provinces and Kalabagh dam issue, he said that these issues and especially the
water scarcity has threaten the federalism and integrity of the country.
also urged media to play its role in creating broader awareness on the subject.
“Media beside broadcasting political debates and marches, must also focus on
other important issues such as threats of climate change and how we as a nation
can cope with it,” he added.
at the occasion Shafqat Kakakhel Ambassador, Former United Nations Assistant
Secretary General said that Climate Change is not a scientific fiction but a
proven global phenomenon. Talking of policy challenges on the subject, he said
that 18th amendment was good move but it was carried out in most
indecent haste without prosper consultation with stakeholders. He urged on
having an apex environmental body at federal level and demanded increased role
of parliamentary bodies to deal with ecological and environmental challenges in
said the major source of water in Indian rivers is monsoon rains but in
Pakistan, more than 60 percent of water comes from glacial melt. He further
added that Pakistani water sources are either located or pass through India and
Pakistan which necessitates a regional approach to water issues.
Shakeel Ahmad Ramay Senior Research Associate, Climate Change Study Center,
SDPI gave a detailed presentation on ecological challenges and socio-political
impacts of climate change. He cited recent references where various countries
around the world have included climate change as a threat perception to their
said that the biggest manifestation of climate change in Pakistan was 2010
floods which led to billions of dollars in damages. He said that the country
faces agricultural and water challenges and degradation of natural resources as
a result of climate change will lead to decreased in agricultural production.
referred to SDPI Food Security report 2009 and said that country’s 48.7 percent
population was food insecure before 2010 floods and now it has gone up to
around 58.7 percent. He deplored that the country’s population has to face all
these challenges in a situation where there are no visible state response to
added that military interventions also contribute and exacerbating into
climate change. He cited Siachen glacier which is rapidly melting due to
presence of military by both sides .