Monday, December 29, 2008

Pakistan and climate change

The News (Pakistan): ….Several nations, including India and China, have developed national plans of action on climate change. Their plans have identified areas where gaps in capacities exist, investments need to be made, and immediate actions need to be taken. Pakistan needs such a plan too. … [K]ey areas of priority for investment and action are outlined here.

Water security: The receding glaciers will increase water flows in the Indus basin, followed by permanent reductions. Sustained water availability for agriculture will help reduce our food insecurity. … Efficient water-management, including water pricing based on the principles of cost recovery, will play a critical role in providing water security for the next half century when the population will increase and the per-capita water availability will diminish to alarming levels.

Food Security: Food security however will need R&D investments on heat-resistant varieties of wheat that is the staple for most people; rice, a net foreign exchange earner; and cotton, the backbone of our textile sector. … A priority area of investment for food security would require substantial increase in our presently inadequate storage capacity for grain and other agricultural produce. …Absence of clear policies and of absence of serious research on biofuels, biosafety, and biotechnology only accentuates the food insecurity….

Indus River via satellite, NASA

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