Published Date: Dec 16, 2013
SDPI Press Release (December 16, 2013)
“Water shortage along the Brahamputra can put millions at risk, which
calls for immediate policy actions to jointly address ecological issues
in South Asia. This was expressed by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed while
addressing a meeting of parliamentarians and policy-makers from across
South Asia here today
at the three-day conference, titled “South Asian Parliamentarians and
Policymakers at work: Putting Climate Adaptation, Food Security,
Population Dynamics back in the Agenda.”
Development Policy Institute (SDPI), The Climate Action Network of South
Asia (CANSA), and OXFAM along with other partner organisations,
gathered together more than 60 policymakers and experts in Islamabad,
Pakistan, to develop strategies that enhance collaboration and
coordination around climate change policies. Parliamentarians from
Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Srilanka &
China participated at the event.
“Around 500 million people in
South Asia live on the coastal belt and their livelihoods will be
destroyed if the sea levels rise,” said Chair Senator Mushahid Hussain.
According to him, there is an immediate need for revival of ministry of
climate change along-with a new ministry of disaster management. Also a
regional approach is needed to deal with the impact of climate change in
Further in inaugural session, Sanjay Vashist,
Advisor Climate & Resource Program of Heinrich Boll Foundation
India, said that Pakistan and western India are the warmest places of
South Asia. He identified that climate induced reduction in protein
content of grains and reduced food availability which would consequently
lead to a 35% increase in stunted growth of children by 2050. Ramon
San Pascual, Executive Director, AFPPD discussed the importance of
reproductive health in climate change mitigation and resiliency. Anna
Wrochna, Co-ordinator, Oxfam’s South Asia GROW Campaign, said that
parliamentarians should be aware of the new challenges of climate change
impacts on the most affected sectors and population. This will provide
appropriate responses to be framed and implemented. Amb. Shafqat
Kakakhel, Former Deputy Executive Director, United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP), notified that there is no national adaptation plan.
Pakistan needs a well-equipped federal office or an institutional
mechanism to coordinate climate change efforts in three key sectors:
disaster management, health, water and power. Dr. Tariq Banuri, Former
Executive Director SDPI, shared that when the Agenda 21 for Pakistan was
being materialized there was a specific emphasize on poverty and
environment, however, there is always a resistance regarding the issue
of equity (equal responsibility of climate change). Dr. Abid Qaiyum
Suleri, Executive Director SDPI stressed for finding out a joint
solution to transform this hazard into an opportunity.
the group discussions all of the countries prepared document on
mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology and capacity building on
their experience in each country group. While discussing the group
presentations, Zeenat Niazi recommended that climate change policies
need to be restructured. Moreover, in this context we need staffs that
are highly trained and have technical and administrative knowledge.
“Budget allocation and a proper forum for parliamentarian also need
attention” she said. While discussing the opportunities for green
material she said that recycled and alternate building materials saves
12 to 40 % of the total energy used during materials production.
Moreover, adoption of energy efficient brick production measures can
contribute to savings of 100 million tonnes of CO2e/year by 2020. Ziaul
Hoque Mukta from OXFAM urged global leaders to listen to take notice of
climate catastrophe and urge government to support in technological
advancement, awareness raising and communication gaps between the
policies and practices.
In the session, Climate Adaptations:
Pilots and Lesson Learnt for Scaled up intervention, Zheng Qi, OXFAM
China shared that China has developed mitigation and adaptation into the
12th Five Year Plan 2011-2015. China has released its National
Adaptation Strategy, which goals are focusing economic development and
enhance the adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable areas and people.
Tahir Rasheed, LEAD Pakistan said that capacity building and awareness
raising are essential elements of community-based adaptation. He further
discussed micro projects of LEAD in Thatta & Muzafarabad on
awareness raising about climate change adaptation.
Panel Community of Practice: Low Carbon Development, Ashoka
Abhayagunawardhne, Government Official from Srilanka shared that energy
has become one of the fundamental needs of the people. “The fast
depletion of global energy resources is also a serious problem. As a
result we see a number of unresolved problems related to the fulfilling
of the world’s energy requirements”, he shared. Manjeet Dhakal, Program
Director, Clean Energy Nepal said that low carbon development plan is
another way of addressing long term sustainable development. It
increases climate resilience and enhance adaptation. L.K.S.U
Dharmakeerthi, Director (Natural Resources Management) Srilanka stressed
to have adaptation policy with international support.