‘Water management a big challenge’

March 24,2019

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Islamabad : Water management is a big challenge both in quality and quantity and therefore, we are striving to take necessary measures for it, said adviser to the prime minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam on Friday.

"It is part of the Clean Green Pakistan project to rejuvenate water table and liquid waste management. Around 90 per cent of liquid waste in the world is treated, recycled and reused but ironically, we dump our 90 per cent of liquid waste into the sea," he told an International Union for Conservation of Nature seminar on the International Day for Forests and World Water Day here.

The adviser said after every three years, Pakistan flushed 30-40 million acres feet of water into the Arabian Sea, which could used to charge underground water. "The Federal Flood Commission is working on Recharge Pakistan with the ministry of climate change to develop wetlands and big ponds in the various areas to store the flood water. "Under Ramsar Convention, there are at least 60 sites identified in the country where wetlands will be formed," he said.

The adviser said he was happy that various spells of rains lashed Balochistan, a drought hit province, while the water flowed into the sea to help alleviate the drought situation in the province.

He said forests and water conservation were the biggest environmental challenges for Pakistan to address the existential threat posed to the country due to climate change.

The adviser said Pakistan’s forest cover was rapidly deteriorating prior to the Billion Tree Tsunami (BTT) project's launch but later, the project's execution in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the forest cover had increased to 26 percent in the province.

“Other provinces should follow in KP's footsteps to control the depleting vegetation in the country,” he said.

He said the federal government was partnering with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations on forest and water preservation programmes. “Land grabbers in Punjab are the biggest impediment to forestation in the province. Most forest land in Punjab is encroached upon by land grabbers, whereas 2500 acres in Balloki, 600 acres in Attock and 40 acres land in Jhelum have been retrieved where forestation has been carried out," he said.

The adviser said the government's strong political will would help address climate change impacts on the country.

Country director of the IUCN Mahmood Akhtar Cheema said that Pakistan was a less vegetative covered country and it was a challenge for us to reverse the forest degradation prevailing in the country.


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