ISLAMABAD: A one-day National Policy seminar on “Climate Change: Impact and Way Forward” held here at Akhtar Hameed Khan National Center for Rural Development (AHKNCRD) in Islamabad. Director General Environment Ministry of Climate Change Dr Irfan Tariq was the chief guest on the occasion.

In his opening remarks, Director General NCRD Israr Mohammad Khan said that NCRD organized a one day National seminar on the most critical issue that our country is facing today i.e. Climate Change. “As we all know that Pakistan is a country rich with natural resources and variety of ecological environments from snow-clad Himalayas to hot and cold deserts, Indus river basin, coastal plains, arid plateaus etc”, adding that however, global rise in mean temperature owing to deforestation, green-house gas (GHG) emissions, destruction of ecosystems, etc. has all resulted in threats to the existence of these resources and ecosystems.–APP

Israr Mohammad Khan said that domestic factors such as insufficient and inequitable economic growth compared to the rise in population  from 32.5 million in 1947 to 210 million in 2017, deforestation, urbanization, industrialization, glacier depletion at a high rate of ice-melting, pressures on ecosystems, etc have contributed to disastrous changes in climate and its negative impacts including water scarcity, food insecurity, erratic monsoon rains and increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in the country. He said that Global Climate Risk Index has ranked Pakistan 7th worst affected country by climate change with 133 extreme weather events during 1996-2015.

Director General NCRD said that according to Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan’s per capita availability of water is about 1,000 m3 meaning it is in the category of high stress countries. He said that NCRD as per its mandate of generating policy recommendations to the government took this initiative to organize a National Seminar on the pressing issue of Climate Change. Director General Ministry of Climate Change Dr Irfan Tariq said that efforts are under way to achieve the set targets regarding climate change in the country. He said that Ministry would take along all the stakeholders to achieve implement the national climate policy in the country.

He appreciated NCRD for organizing a national seminar on climate change and its impacts. He said that such efforts would create awareness among the masses and for the policy makers. The seminar was attended by Member Climate Change and Food Security Planning Commission Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chief Executive Officer Vision and Actions Zabardast Khan Bangash,  Director Research Uptake and Business Development, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad Shakeel Ahmad Ramay and delegates from Various INGOs, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations. The speakers during sessions highlighted various aspects of climate changes issues in the country including global perspective on climate change and potential impacts of climate change on Pakistan. The Speakers also highlighted the Pakistan’s National Climate Change Policy major features and implementations.