Wednesday September 28, 2022

EIA vital for urban resilience: experts

August 17, 2022

Islamabad : Aisha Khan, Executive Director, Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change, has said that Disaster Risk Reduction must go hand in hand with urban expansion accompanied by rigorous implementation of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and proper land use policies and plans.

Ms Khan was speaking at a webinar on “Urban Resilient Infrastructure in Pakistan,” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here Tuesday.

Ms Khan urged the need of strengthening urban systems to withstand challenges of mounting energy demands, land use changes, loss of green spaces to urban expansion and development and pressure on road network, pollution, solid waste management and wastewater management etc. She said that energy efficient constructions, sensitising the public on responsible consumption of energy and other resources are critical to prevent climate change from further exaggerating.

She further said that ground water abstractions are an adding pressure and after years of deliberation, no groundwater regulatory framework or water tariff regime was accomplished. She said that the system of surface water drainage and mass transit must be enhanced to meet the urban expansion rate while rainwater catchment remains a neglected aspect of urban planning. She observed that as a transit city to tourist areas in Pakistan, the pressure on the health infrastructure in Islamabad increased manifold and no capacity enhancement was planned or executed.

Mubushar Hussain, Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction, National Disaster Risk Management Fund, said that his fund is working on disaster resilience and disaster risk management throughout Pakistan by issuing call for proposals, funding and executing disaster resilience projects in collaboration with public and private sectors.

Nabeel Siddiqui, CEO, Modulus Tech, said that climate smart housing is affordable, resource efficient, has low carbon footprint and adheres to the SDGs agenda. He said that while the previous government presented policy plans for affordable housing for low-income groups, it did not address the issue of energy consumption and subsequent emissions. He claimed that out that 40% of emissions from housing is generated due to energy consumption. He said that the technology services provided by his enterprise enabled net zero emissions in housing and are 20-40% lower in cost compared to concrete housing.