Pakistan ranked 20th most climate vulnerable country
* Measures being taken to control impact of climate change
By Ijaz Kakakhel
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been ranked among the top 20 highly vulnerable countries impacted by climate change, sources told Daily Times
According to the Maple Craft Climate Change Vulnerabilities Index, Pakistan has been placed among the ‘high risk’ category of countries impacted by climate change. Another organisation by the name of German Watch has identified Pakistan among the top 10 highly vulnerable countries of the world.
In order to deal with such ‘high risk’ of climate change, the government has taken a number of measures to improve the situation. Main purpose of these measures is to control the magnitude of the challenges of climate change in the country, the sources maintained.
Global Change Impact Study Centre (GCISC) was established in 2002 as a dedicated centre for climate change research and providing assistance to national planners and policymakers for strategic planning in the wake of climate change. The prime minister’s Committee on Climate Change was established in 2005 as an overarching body for guidance on climate change issues. Planning Commission has established a special task force on climate change, and it was told to prepare a detailed report on the impacts of climate change in the country. The task force on climate change produced its report in February 2010 wherein it was highlighted that the climate change is impacting our water, food and energy securities.
Based on the findings of the task force report, Ministry of National Disaster Management developed the National Climate Change Policy and Action Plan. The policy was presented to the cabinet in its meeting held on March 14, 2012 and was approved in principle subject to incorporation of some recommendations made by the cabinet members.
Pakistan is participating every year in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations and proactively contributing to the whole debate relating to mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Plus.
Pakistan secured funding to the tune of $4.1 million from the Adaptation Fund for a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) Project in Northern Areas, which is currently under implementation, the sources maintained.
Pakistan has benefited from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol of UNFCCC. The 13 CDM projects have been registered till date out of 44 projects that were accorded host country approval to earn carbon credits. This is resulting in emission reductions of 3.26 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year placing Pakistan as fifth in Asia and tenth at the global level in taking advantage of the CDM.
Advisory Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development is providing policy and strategic advice on various climate change related initiatives in Pakistan, the sources added.
National Disaster Manage-ment Authority (NDMA) under the administrative control of the Ministry of National Disaster Management is also working to minimise the impacts of climate change through adaptive and preparedness measures. With a view to plan on a longer term to tackle the disasters (including climate change induced disasters in particular) work on a 10-year National Disaster Management Plan and National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy is in progress. As a short-term measure, NDMA has taken steps to improve the weather forecasting capability of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) through induction of Flash Flood Guidance System, Automatic Weather Stations and Integrated Flood Alert System.
After the 18th Amendment, responsibilities at the national and provincial levels have been defined. At the national level, the sources claimed that the national policies, plans, strategies and programmes with regard to disaster management, environmental pollution, ecology, forestry, wildlife, biodiversity, climate change and desertification. In addition, coordination, monitoring and implementation of environmental agreements with other countries, international agencies and forums.
While at provincial level, measures have been taken to improve environmental conditions of air, water and land. In addition, incorporation of environmental concerns in development schemes and energy conservation, the sources maintained.