ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Climate Change strongly recommended strict monitoring of the forest system and enforcement of the laws in coordination with the provincial governments.

The meeting was held, under the chairmanship of MNA Dr Hafeezur Rehman Dreshak in the Parliament House, for a briefing by the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) regarding the country’s climate change. The ratified conventions and role of NDMA was also on the meeting agenda.

The MoCC secretary briefed the meeting that under the rules of business 1973, they are assigned to prepare national policy, strategies and programmes with regard to disaster management including environmental protection, preservation, pollution, ecology, forestry, wildlife, biodiversity, climate change and desertification. Coordination, monitoring and implementation of environmental agreements with other countries, international agencies and forums are also their prime responsibilities, he added.

The secretary categorically warned that if precautionary measures are not taken to cope with the climate change, the country would face serious threats of water scarcity, shortage of food and energy crisis after five years. The situation would badly affect health, energy and other sectors of the country.

He said the environmental degradation's cost is Rs365 billion per annum which is 6 per cent of the GDP. While, the government of Pakistan is spending 7 per cent of its GDP in climate-related expenditures as the country had suffered significant losses during floods in 2010. The committee assured its full support for addressing the rapid climate change and environmental degradation.

Malik Ihtebar Khan, Ch Khalid Javaid Warraich, Salman Hanif, M Moeen Wattoo, Tahira Aurangzeb, Seema Mohiuddin Jameeli, Nighat Parveen Mir, Shaista Pervaiz, Imran Zafar Leghari, Musarrat Ahmad Zeb and Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan attended the meeting.