Islamabad : While climate crisis is the reality of our times, peaceful coexistence is the only way forward for enhanced regional cooperation, said Jalil Abbas Jilani, Caretaker Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Jilani was addressing the concluding ceremony of 3-day Regional Dialogue 2024 on “Climate crisis: shaping South Asia’s resilience” organised here by Institute of Regional Studies (IRS).
The Foreign Minister said that peaceful existence could be achieved if bold and courageous decisions were made by statespersons. He also emphasised exploration of potential avenues of cooperation on climate change.
Ahmed Kamal, Chairperson, Federal Flood Commission, observed that South Asia continues to remain under the influence of a high degree of vulnerability and exposure to climate hazards, in particular, to floods, cyclones and droughts. The high degree of both vulnerability and exposure could be attributed to the region’s high population growth rate and narrow levels of adaptive capacity, he opined adding that Integrated Drought Management should include promotion of drought tolerant crops, extended research on weather patterns, impact of climate change, regular drought monitoring at regional level, emphasis on ground water recharge and the implementation of an adaptation plan.
Abdul Basit, Head of South Asia Desk at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism (ICPVTR), Singapore, was of the opinion that climate change was a development issue and that “securutising” it could prove to be disastrous. He said that there was a dire need for security policymakers and practitioners to acknowledge the fact that there was an unmistakable connection between the two necessitating the need to map the impact of climate change on terrorism and vice versa.
Dr Mazhar Hayat, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, stressed the need to set sectoral-based baselines, promote mitigation and then adaptation.