Shafqat Kakahel, former chairperson Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), has said that South Asian region despite contributing very least to Climate Change (CC) is the worst victim of it after sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr Kakakhel was answering question at a seminar on ‘Climate Change Repercussions for Pakistan: Perspectives from the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report’, organised by SDPI here on Monday.
Brahmaputra River is only 24 per cent dependent upon glacial melt whereas Indus gets 50 to 70% water from glaciers. He said that changes in glacial meltdown and monsoon patterns result in too early or too late rainfall resulting in droughts or floods.
He said that a National Climate Change Policy was approved in March 2012 and another this year but still it lacks a well-equipped office at federal level with sub-offices in provinces on CC, a central fund and an adaptation plan.
Earlier, in his address of welcome, Mr Kakakhel said that policy recommendations are effective only if implemented. Unfortunately, in terms of climate change, Pakistan is facing a weak, fragmented, ill resource and unequipped institutional infrastructure. He said that involvement of key Ministries, ie, Water and Power, Disaster Management and Health. He said that experts with requisite, scientific and administrative knowledge able to make proposals to present to global climate change fund should run those offices.
Dr Mohsin Iqbal, Head, Agriculture Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), Climate Change Division, said that warming of climate system is unequivocal. It is 95% certain that human activities were the dominant cause of warming. There was an increase from 90% certainty in the last Report in 2007 and 66% certainty in 2001-Report. Each of the last 3 decades had been successively warmer than any preceding decade since 1850. While sharing the future implications, he said that global sea level will continue to rise.
The rate of rise will very likely exceed that was observed during 1971-2010 due to increased ocean warming and growing loss of ice sheet and mass of glaciers.
He said that changes in global water cycle will not be uniform. Sea level may continue to increase because of increased glacier melt and extreme rainfall events unless the excess water is stored. He said it will inundate low lying areas and cause intrusion of sea water into the Indus Deltaic region threatening its agriculture and availability of safe drinking water.
Dr Qamaruzzaman Chaudhry, Deputy Director of CDKN’s Asia Programme, said that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the most authoritative, scientific body on climate change under the United Nations. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced and forms a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in CC and its potential impacts. He said that so far, the IPCC has produced four assessment reports. He said that “evidence of the effects of human influence on the climate system has continued to accumulate and strengthen since the Fourth Assessment Report. The consistency of observed and modelled changes across the climate system, including regional temperatures, the water cycle, global energy budget, cryosphere and oceans (including aspects of ocean acidification), point to global Climate Change that results primarily from anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, he added.
In the Question hour, a participant said that persons with commitment and passion should be appointed in environment and human rights bodies as bureaucrats are more interested in foreign visits. Another participant said that author of a study recommending change should be implementer also.