The federal advisor on climate affairs, Dr Qamar uz Zaman Chaudhry, has said that the National Climate Change Policy, recently approved by the federal cabinet, has been formulated with the aim of incorporating the factor of climate change in various socially vulnerable aspects of the economy for ensuring climate resilient development in the country.
Talking to The News on Saturday, Dr Chaudhry who is also Vice-President of World Meteorological Organization, Asia Region, highlighted the significance of National Climate Change Policy by saying that Pakistan was among 10 most climate change-vulnerable countries in the world. “The last two years’ devastating floods in the country proved this aspect clearly. The approval of this policy is well-timed and a significant development for the country,” said Dr Chaudhry.
“The main objectives of the policy are to pursue sustained economic growth by appropriately addressing the challenges of climate change and integrate this policy with other inter-related national policies. Also the policy is further aimed at ensuring water, food and energy security in the country,” he said.
He said that major focus of the policy was the adaptation to climate change by different sectors of the Pakistani economy, which included water resources, agriculture, livestock, human health, biodiversity, disaster preparedness etc. Under the policy, mitigation of greenhouse gases from energy, transport, town planning, and industries sectors, would be undertaken.
In this connection, the federal cabinet also approved another memorandum of understanding with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Nepal for hydrological data monitoring and sharing the same among regional countries for ensuring improved flood monitoring.
Dr Chaudhry, who is also former director-general of Pakistan Meteorological Department, said that the important part of the policy documents formulation, related to National Climate Change Policy, wais the extensive consultation process that underwent among all the relevant stakeholders of the country which included government officials concerned, relevant experts, academia, NGOs, Civil society etc, at federal as well as at provincial level. All four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were also consulted in the process.
The policy measures recommended in National Climate Change Policy related to various sectors include:
Water sector: Ensuring water conservation; reduction in irrigation system loses; and use of efficient irrigation techniques.
Local rain harvesting measures: Rational ground water exploitation; enhancing water storages; addressing sea water intrusion into Indus Deltaic Region; preparation of inventory of all water resources.
Agriculture: Promoting energy efficient farm mechanization; developing crops varieties resistant to heat stress, and drought resistant.
Biodiversity: Encouraging local communities in conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Disaster Preparedness: Strengthening early warning system; community participation in disaster risk reduction;. risk zoning.
Energy Sector: Promoting renewable energy and technologies; energy conservation; preference of import of LNG, LPG over oil.