Monday, July 1, 2013

Climate change: Pakistan's anti-climactic response

Aamir Saeed in Dawn (Pakistan): At a time when developing and developed countries across the globe are investing heavily in adaptation to and countering climate change, Pakistan has not only dissolved it’s climate change ministry but also slashed its development budget by more than 60 percent.

The government allocated a total of Rs58.8 million to combat climate change in the Public Sector Development Program for 2013-14 as compared to Rs168.1 million allocated to the climate change ministry in 2012-13. The ministry has now been transformed into a division.

Environmentalists and officials say the move may have serious repercussions on different fields in the country including agriculture, water and forestation besides losing representation at international forums. International donors and organisations working on climate change are also unlikely to support Pakistan in dealing with the relatively recent, but highly dangerous threat.

Dr Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry, a lead author of the National Climate Change Policy and an expert on climate change, says Pakistan may face isolation in the international community if it doesn't take effective measures to cope with changing weather patterns. “We need to link all our development activities like dams, roads, canals and bridges with climate change; otherwise all the development may go waste,” he observes....

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