‘Dealing with climate change is top priority of govt’

Thursday, July 18, 2013

climate change
climate change

ISLAMABAD: While speaking at the inaugural session of a day-long Stakeholders’ Consultation Workshop at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad said that climate change is one of the government’s top priorities.

The PARC in collaboration with its international partners has been working on climate change aspects since long to convenience the people in Pakistan. He urged the scientists to design this program in such manner to change mindset of all people and community to improve agriculture and livestock sectors in the country.

He further said the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is one of the most dynamic, diverse, and complex mountain and associated flood plains system in the world containing the largest repository of inland cryosphere outside the polar regions. However, the region is also recognised as one of the planet’s hot spots of climate change where the impact of climate change on water availability and peoples’ livelihoods are uncertain but like to be severe. Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Higher temperatures eventually reduce yields of desirable crops. He said there is a need for identifying the cycle of climate change, variations in glaciers’ water budget, variations in water supply and demand and impact on agro-livestock.

PARC in collaboration with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Nepal and other national and international organisations (TERI-India, BCAS-Bangladesh, Altera-WUR-The Netherlands, etc) has organised Stakeholders’ Consultation Workshop on ‘Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE) Research on Glacier and Snowpack Dependent River Basins for Improving Livelihoods’ at NARC. Several agri experts and scientists, policymakers, high federal and provincial government officials and foreign delegates participated in the workshop.

Distinguished international Pakistani scientist, former PARC chairman and ICIMOD board member Dr Amir Muhammed said that he was associated with this idea and program for the last three to four years to launch in Pakistan. He said we have to think quickly the ways and means to save water for agriculture in Pakistan. He also addressed various aspects of this programme.

ICIMOD Chief Scientist Nepal Dr Philippus Wester presented HI-AWARE overview. He also highlighted the role of ICIMOD in the region and Consortium of HI-AWARE, which include PARC-Pakistan, ICIMOD-Nepal, TERI-India, BCAS-Bangladesh and Altera-WUR, The Netherlands. He also briefed ICIMOD other regional programmes and new initiatives for the region.

PARC NRD Member Dr Nadeem Amjad in his welcome address said that the HKH region, containing the largest repositories, of inland cryosphere outside polar region, is the source of fresh water, for about 200 million mountain people, and over 1.3 billion people living in downstream floodplains including the Indus plain.

He said the scientific evidence of global climate change has increasingly accumulated over the last few years, highlighting the sharp different in vulnerability across regions, and sub-groups of affected populations. The resource-poorest communities in developing world have been identified as the most vulnerable ones to the climate change impact.

Representative of Climate Change Division, government of Pakistan Mujtaba has felicitated the PARC and ICIMOD for organising this very important stakeholders’ consultation workshop in Pakistan. He highlighted the National Climate Change Policies of the government of Pakistan and initiative in this respect by govenrment.

NARC DG Dr Muhammad Azeem in his vote of thanks appreciated all the partners to organise this important program at NARC. He said glacial melt contributes 50 percent of the total flow into the Indus basin, which is a lifeline for Pakistan’s farmers. He said PARC/NARC with its national and international partners is fully capable to do the job in the right direction for achieving desired goals.

The objective of this workshop is to ensure stakeholders’ involvement right from the planning stage and deliberate on the ways and means of effective collaboration for developing robust evidence to develop people-centered policies and strategies for enhancing the adaptive capacities and climate resilience of the resource poor and most vulnerable segments of society of HKH region. Courtesy Daily Times

Published in ZaraiMedia.com

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