‘Local adaptation plans vital to tackle climate change’

September 28, 2022

Islamabad : Recent floods in the country are a manifestation of climate change which call for ‘Local Adaptation Plan of Action’ for every district to analyse the impacts of climate...

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Islamabad : Recent floods in the country are a manifestation of climate change which call for ‘Local Adaptation Plan of Action’ (LAPA) for every district to analyse the impacts of climate change on the socio-economic condition of local communities, infrastructure, governance of managing risks and to develop mitigation strategies.

This was the crux of the panel discussion followed by International Rescue Committee’s Local Adaptation Plan of Action report launch of which was jointly organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Muhammad Farooq, senior joint secretary Ministry of Climate Change, said that we are developing National Adaptation Plan (NAPA) and these LAPAs will go a long way in helping us identify weak areas and informing our adaptation. As a matter of fact, we need these LAPAs for all districts. He informed that the Ministry of Climate Change will present Pakistan’s case for loss and damage and advocate for its inclusion in climate financing agenda at the COP27.

Speaking on the occasion, Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, consultant, World Bank, said that current floods exposed infrastructural deficiencies and low construction standards which must be made climate smart. He said that the government’s investments must focus to harness capabilities of local communities to adaptation as their involvement is pivotal for the success of any adaptation plan. He called for strengthening Pakistan’s case for financing through research and evidence and negotiate for climate justice vigorously. He stressed that LAPA lays foundation of national climate justice and strengthens our case of climate justice at international level.

International Rescue Committee’s Country Director, Shabnam Baloch said that climate change is not a simple issue and now we are discussing it at a scale which is a step ahead in the right direction. She said that we need to create awareness about climatic issues and adapt climate-smart practices at the macro as well as micro levels adding that climate change is a strategic priority for IRC, and we are willing to work with the government and stakeholders in this regard.

Dr Abid Suleri, executive director, SDPI, called for developing a concrete mechanism to build a strong case for compensation of losses through climate and other financing flows as a commitment to upholding climate justice. He stressed the need to develop a strong set of policies at macro-level but most importantly at local level for climate change resilience and adaptation.

Ahmed Kamal, chairperson, National Flood Commission, said that there is need for a transformation of governance structures at national, provincial and district levels to translate policies into actions. He said that local communities must be made aware of the impacts of climate change, government responses and strengthening their capability to cope with climatic disasters. He informed that in the past few years, provinces requested for Rs125 billion for flood management but only Rs5.5 billion were provided which highlight the financing gap.

Dr Imran Khalid, director governance and policy, WWF, Dr Shafqat Munir from SDPI, Dr Shakeel Hayat, also from IRC, climate experts Dr Hameed Jamali, Dr Muhammad Rafiq also addressed the gathering.

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