Saturday, January 16, 2010

Climate change affecting Pakistan's crop output, says Oxfam

Khaleeq Kiani in Dawn (Pakistan): Despite Pakistan’s contribution to the greenhouse gas emissions being far below global average, climate change is significantly affecting crop output in the country, increasing poverty levels and adversely affecting people’s lifestyle. This has been stated in a report “Climate Change, Poverty and Environmental Crisis in the Disaster-Prone Areas of Pakistan” prepared by Oxfam, a UK-based non-governmental organisation.

The report is based on surveys carried out in three coastal villages of Badin district in Sindh, three flood-prone villages close to the Indus River in Rajanpur district of Punjab and three drought-prone areas in Khuzdar district of Balochistan. The overall temperature in some of these areas has been forecast to increase by as much as 5.3 per cent over five to six decades, rising almost every year.

The report said that 40 per cent people in Pakistan were highly vulnerable and frequently exposed to multiple natural disasters like cyclones, floods, drought, intense rainfall and earthquakes. “This exposure to vulnerability is predicted to be exacerbated with impending impact of climate change,” it said. “With variations in rainfall patterns, storms, floods and drought are predicted to increase and reach new locations, which had not earlier experienced them.”

The findings show that environmental problems in the three districts are ‘serious and growing’ and the climate change is exacerbating or likely to exacerbate them in the future. The predicted impacts of climate change will increase existing vulnerabilities, inequalities and exposure to hazards, the report said….

Women filling water from a reservoir on the way to Mubarak Village in Sindh. Shot by Shabbir Siraj, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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