Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Climate change hurting Pakistan’s environment: Environment Minister Faisal Saleh

Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistan reaffirmed its deep commitment to global efforts to mitigate the adverse effects climate change at the largest-ever gathering of world leaders on the phenomenon at the UN Headquarters in New York on Monday. “Climate change is causing irrevocable damage to Pakistan, with tremendous social, environment and economic impacts,” Environment Minister Mukhdoom Syed Faisal Hayat told the participants, top officials from over 150 nations, including 80 heads of State or Government.

The minister, who was representing President Pervez Musharraf, said agricultural productivity in Pakistan was being effected due to changes in land and water regimes. Dry lands areas in arid and semi-arid regions were most vulnerable and negatively affected agriculture productivity, puttting the country’s food security at risk.

“Even glaciers in Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world,” Hayat said, adding: “There are fears that many may disappear.”

To cope with the situation, he said the government has constituted a high-level committee, established a study centre as also a mechanism to ensure quick action. A mega forestry project worth $240 million was being launched for carbon sequestration. The minister also said that Pakistan intended to develop efficient water management systems, create mass awareness campaign and change cropping patterns.

These measures, he said, needed additional financial resources that Pakistan would obtain through regional and international cooperration as the worst-hit country, he said.

The minister also urged the international community to support Pakistan’s eneavours to meet its increasing energy needs in the backdrop of the country’s sound economic performance and high growth rates…

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