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Published Date: Dec 13, 2013

SDPI Press Release (December 13, 2013)

The experts were of the view that India and Pakistan needs to develop
research agenda & adapt a unique approach of national disaster
management for extreme climate events and to establish robust emergency
food reserves along-with a financing capacity that can deliver rapid
humanitarian responses to vulnerable populations threatened by climate
change.

They were speaking on second day of plenary session
titled “India-Pakistan Dialogue on Climate Change and Energy”, organised
by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Heinrich
Boll Stiftung (HBS) here on Friday.
This dialogue between India & Pakistan forge ways to cooperate and
collaborate in critical area directly impacted by climate change.

In
the session Food Security: India Perspective, Ram Kishan Regional
Emergency Manager South Asia, said that unfortunately, climate change
increased migration and in the result, displacement of agricultural
producers has implications for national food security. In this regard,
an international mechanism is needed to address loss and damage and slow
onset impacts on agriculture. Pervaiz Amir, Senior Economist, ASIANICS
discussed the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity and
energy security in Pakistan. He said that both countries are lacking
institutional structures with poor ministerial links. However, civil
society organizations, government institutions and policy makers should
act decisively on the climate crisis. Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri while
talking about the integrated gender in food security said that Pakistan
has cultural taboos where women are more inclined towards mal-nutrition.
This Inter-generational inequity is causing damage to human
development.  While sharing the findings of 5th Assessment Report of
IPCC, Sanjay Vashist, Advisor Climate & Resource Program of Heinrich
Boll Foundation India, pointed out that climate change threat can be
converted in to opportunity through effective bilateral talks,
coordination between two countries. “We must need to move ahead leaving
behind minor differences to benefit of billions of people in South Asia.
Ambassador C. Dasgupta chaired the panel.

During session on
Climate Induced Loss and Damage in India-Pakistan: Harjeet Singh
ActionAid India International coordinator for disaster risk reduction
(DRR) and climate change adaptation said that placing loss and damage
under adaptation “might limit the scope of the mechanism to climate risk
management”, such as early warning systems in disaster risk reduction,
which is really going to help when your country faces destruction. He
shared the example of Philippines which has prepared to deal with 20
cyclones a year. Dr. Qamar ur Zaman Chaudhary, Senior Advisor, LEAD
Pakistan shared that Pakistan is among the few developing countries
which has prepared a comprehensive national policy on a subject which is
on top of the global priority agenda. Further he suggested policy
measures i.e. water conservation; reduction in irrigation losses, rain
water harvesting and recycling of waste water, energy efficient farm
mechanization and bio-technology for agriculture. Sanjay Vashist,
Advisor Climate & Resource Program of Heinrich Boll Foundation India
carried out the discussion by mentioning the impacts of climate change
such as glacier melting, decreasing crop yields, variability in monsoon
and sea-level rise etc. are estimated to have a strong regional
presence. “In the long run, sea-level rise will be one of the most
serious consequences of global warming. With successful, strong
mitigation measures, the experts expect a likely rise of 40-60 cm in
this century and 60-100 cm by the year 2300” he shared. Pervaiz Amir
chaired the session.

Later, both delegates worked together on
drafts of recommendations. While working on recommendations, Dr. Tariq
Banuri, Former Executive Director of SDPI suggested the implementation
of actions at national level to involve policy development, capacity
building and execution. Amb. Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairman Board of
Governors SDPI said that water is severely affected by climate change
which will ultimately lead towards flood or droughts, causing food
scarcity and other negative ecological impacts. However, Dr. Abid Qaiyum
Suleri announced a proper media launch of declaration/recommendations
in the coming week.

In her concluding remarks, Britta Peterson,
Country Director, Heinrich Boll Stiftung thanked the participants.
Further she anticipated to have concrete actions in the coming year and
improve collaboration between the two countries.