Published Date: Jan 21, 2016
Secretary seeks solution to combat climate change
Islamabad – Secretary Ministry of Climate Change, Arif Ahmed Khan has underscored the need for scientists and researchers in Pakistan to steer policy research focus towards solutions direly needed for combating climate change-induced expanding aridity and desertification in the country.
While addressing a high-level gathering of internationally acclaimed climate change scientists, policy researchers and development experts, the secretary said: “Pakistan is in a pressing need of research-based workable solutions to fight expanding desertification and aridity, which are devouring rich fertile land. If not tackled, these climate change-induced natural events can badly hurt the country’s agro-based economy and lead to food insecurity.”
The delegation was led by the Executive Director Dr Abid Suleri of the Islamabad-based Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Khan said that the desert dwellings and natural habitats are highly fragile and are likely to be more vulnerable as impacts of climate change grow from bad to worse and afflict the country’s efforts meant for achieving sustainable development goals. These fragile arid and semi-arid ecosystems are in urgent need of integrated conservation approaches for adaptation to climate change.
“Identifying research-based solutions and promoting them at all levels for reducing wastage of water, energy at domestic, industrial and agriculture levels, and avoiding food wastage as a part of transforming the lifestyle can help boost country’s adaptation to climate change,” the secretary said.
Talking about pathways to resilience and low-carbon development efforts in Pakistan, Khan said that several policy suggestions to achieve these very goals have been made in the national climate change policy. In this regard, the ministry is working with governments of provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATAs) to actualise these policy suggestions to achieve the sustainable development goals in the country.
Earlier, SDPI’s Executive Director Dr Suleri told the meeting participants that pathways to resilience in Semi-arid Economies (PRISE) consortium is a five-year, multi-country research project that generates new knowledge about how economic development in semi-arid regions can be made more equitable and resilient to climate change.
The consortium aims to strengthen the commitment of decision-makers in local and national governments, businesses and trade bodies to rapid, inclusive and resilient development in these regions. It does so by deepening their understanding of the threats and opportunities that semi-arid economies face in relation to climate change. The decision-makers and the research team decide jointly on the research questions and study areas to ensure that the research responds to demand. This approach means that PRISE has the flexibility to support policy makers and investors with quick-response research whenever the need arises, as well as the capacity to lead longer-term collaborative studies, Dr Suleri elaborated.