Published On: Tue, Feb 27th, 2018
Published in Category: Government

Minister highlighted efforts of government towards climate resilience

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Islamabad: The Minister of State, for Information and Broadcasting, Mariam Aurangzeb on Monday highlighted some of the major achievements of the Government of Pakistan in its efforts against climate change.

She expressed her delight at being a part of the international conference organized by PARC. She highlighted climate change as a major challenge of the world and exclaimed that Pakistan is no exception to its harmful impacts. She highlighted the efforts of the government of Pakistan towards climate resilience.

She stated during the inaugural session of the Fourth Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Science (CCAPS) Conference was held from at the Islamabad Hotel, Pakistan.

High-level dignitaries from Pakistan—parliamentarians, bureaucrats, chancellors and vice chancellors of major academic institutions, and eminent researchers and policy makers—attended the inaugural.

Notable international figures included Dr David Molden, the Director General (DG) of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Dr Bram de Vos, Managing Director of Wageningen Environmental Research.

The CCAPS Conference is being organized by the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), the apex body for agriculture research and development in Pakistan, under its Himalayan Adaptation Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE) Research project. The conference focuses on climate change adaptation and its significance for research and policy in the context of Pakistan.

Minister said that the government is giving high importance to resilient infrastructure, resilient crops, and flexible cropping patterns, disaster preparedness, and community based participatory projects.

She also highlighted two very important points related to awareness on climate change. First, it is very critical to communicate climate science to people, media and policy makers.

She further emphasized that there is need to use print and electrotonic media to create awareness on climate change in the country. She also mentioned that Radio Pakistan has already started climate change awareness and SDG related programmes. Second, she emphasized that science and policy events should involve students because their participation is so crucial for understanding climate change and its future impacts. She said, “the government of Pakistan is taking steps to mainstream climate change and related hazards in the school, college and university curricula.

Dr Yusuf Zafar, Chairman of PARC, opened the formal conference proceedings. A recitation of verses from the Holy Quran preceded his welcome remarks. Dr.Zafar welcomed the participants of the conference and praised the organizers’ efforts.

He expressed enthusiasm for the event’s success and stated that the conference would provide a unique platform for interaction and deliberation, where attendees might benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience. He said the conference would offer open debates and scientific deliberations on important and interconnected themes regarding adaptation to climate change.

Dr Mohammad Shafique, Deputy Secretary, for the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, delivered the keynote address. Dr. Shafique greeted the audience and expressed his gratitude to the organizers and delegates. He said that climate change has emerged as one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.

Dr David Molden, DG, ICIMOD, delivered the keynote address at the inauguration of the conference. He highlighted that the HKH region is home to 240 million people. Not only this population is dependent on mountain ecosystems, but downstream populations are also relying on mountain services such as water for food security and livelihoods.

The Canadian High Commissioner Mr. Perry J. Calderwood revealed that climate change is among the most prioritized areas for Canadian government to focus in developing countries. He said, the Canadian Government has provided significant contribution to global efforts for tackling the climate challenge. These include financing at bilateral and multilateral level support. He also highlighted financial support of Canadian government to HI-AWARE.

Dr Hester Biemans delivered the keynote presentation. Titled “Mountain Water Resources of the HKH Crucial for Downstream Food Production”, the presentation highlighted that Indus River has the highest reliance on melt water in the entire HKH region with many parts having more than 60% irrigation supply coming from melt water. In pre-monsoon period, the melt water contribution is most critical for agriculture sector.

The CCAPS Conference has been organized by PARC in collaboration with the support of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Pakistan and ICIMOD. More than 200 delegates representing international and national research organizations, academia, governments, media, law, parliamentarians, and civil society are attending the conference. Over 20 national organizations have contributed to the activities of this conference in one way or another.