For the past decade, one of the most horrific issues in developed countries is the serious problem of climate change. Pakistan’s climate change issue and the population dynamics are closely intertwined, especially due to water productivity, and the impact it has on agricultural livelihoods that push a large number of people to seek alternatives.

Climate change has compounded pressure and certainly exacerbated some inequalities across Pakistan. Even North Punjab - the last to be affected - is now feeling the strain on agricultural productivity and incomes. However, we cannot neglect the role of population dynamics in emerging food security. Population growth is impacting cultivable land not only through fragmentation, but also through the rapacious conversion of prime agricultural land into housing and commercial real estate. As a result, food shortages due to climate change cause further problems due to unchecked population growth. I believe that Pakistan is still not making enough efforts to ensure development and curb climate change.

The internal and external threats of climate conflicts on national security are inseparable. Internal peace and stability depend on social harmony and economic opportunity. Both have come under extreme stress as a consequence of climate change shrinking the resources against the rising demand.

Pakistan’s dependence on water sources outside its boundaries adds another level of complexity to the already existing security threats faced by the country. Climate change impacts socio-economic and political developments on a global and national level. National security by definition means protecting the interests and well-being of all those living within the geographical boundaries of the country. Today, thousands of people go to bed hungry every night in Pakistan. Currently, with a population of around 200 million, thousands go to bed hungry and millions suffer from malnutrition and trends suggest that things will become worse.

The agriculture system is depleting with regards to both sustainability and hunger prevention. The situation that could easily become unmanageable is the life-threatening shortage of food due to either land or water shortages or both. Pakistan faces an impossible challenge in trying to feed their future populace. Many of these arguments have been made for a decade now but with little progress outside of the pages journals and official reports. It appears that Pakistan will have to deal with the climate crisis using local resources, capacities and technologies to build adaptive resilience.

MUHIB SATTAR,

Awaran.