Climate Change: A Real Threat to Pakistan

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Climate change is a serious threat for World and Pakistan has been ranked 7th vulnerable country to climate change in a recent global climate risk index 2018 report by Germanwatch on the sidelines of COP23 in Bonn Germany on 1st November this year.

The Think Tank calculated the events from 1996 to 2015 which occurred due to climate change in Pakistan. Pakistan lost 10,462 precious lives in 20 years with an average of 523.1 per year. Pakistan’s economy suffered losses of US$ 3.8 billion which is equivalent to 0.605 percent of GDP in the time period of 20 years.
Apart from this, some other detrimental effects of climate change in Pakistan include extreme temperatures, heavy rains, monsoonal storms, smog, glacial lake outburst floods, landslides and avalanches in the mountains areas.

Extreme temperatures are melting glaciers of Himalayas and disturbing our rain cycle. The monsoonal system is becoming uncertain and Pakistan is facing heavy floods in Summer and relatively less rain in Winters due to this climate change.The winter season is shrinking and the summer season is becoming extreme and long.

Pakistan is an agriculture economy and this area is affecting severely due to this climate change. Uncertainty in rains and warming temperature affected the crops and farmers are not achieving their targets. This decrease in crop yeilds effect the livelihoods and food production. Combining the decreased yields with the current rapid population growth and urbanization in the country , the risk of hunger and food security will remain high.

Pakistan established National Climate Change policy in 2012 but it was not implemented properly. Goverment of Pakisan ractified the Paris Climate Change Agreement and approved the Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs) and Pakistan Senate passed the climate change Act 2016.

Climate Change Act of Pakistan is a positive step to tackle the issue but its implementaion is still a question.There is a mass cutting of trees and green belts in Capital and major provincial cities due to developmental projects. The establishment of coal plants for electricity in Punjab and Sindh is also a serious concern because this will increase air polution and asmong issue in coming years.

The need of hour is that Government should take strong steps toward implementation of climate change policy. They should improve technological responses by setting in place early warning systems to minimize the impact of dissaster. We should move towards other sources of energy. By reducing the vulnerability to livelihood to climate change through instra-structural changes.Goverment should empover communties and local stakeholders so that they can participate actively in vulnerability assessment and implementation of adapation.

Under a 2010 amendment in constitution , the environment, agriculture, and food comes under the provincial government so all provinces should share this responsibility as well for a clean and green envoirment. The Government of KPK is playing a positive role by initiating 1 billion tree project and this project gained Internationl appreciation as well. It is the time that government and people of Pakistan should take climate change seriously as it is one of the alarming threat in the coming years ahead.

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