Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wetlands can remedy severe weather patterns

The News (Pakistan): Environmental hazards like global warming and climate change certainly pose a serious threat to natural assets and halt efforts aimed at achieving healthier and happier lifestyles, Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi said here Saturday. He expressed these views while addressing the closing ceremony of Wetlands Day, organised here by the Ministry of Environment’s Pakistan Wetlands Programme.

The combined nationwide event featured a range of activities, with a special focus on raising-awareness of wetlands and, in particular, their significance to lessen the impact of severe weather conditions that are likely the consequence of climate change. The Wetlands Day celebrations were held simultaneously in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Gilgit, Rahim Yar Khan, Nowshera, DI Khan, Chitral Peshawar, Jhelum, Mardan, Gwadar, and Jiwani.

The minister said that unexpected hot and dry summers, and increased floods and cyclones are due to climate change, which have been seen in Makran Coast during the past few years. Commenting on the effects of climate change on wetlands, he said the impact is visible in the form of the enhanced frequency and intensity of hurricanes and coastal storms, out of season rains and floods, drought, and acute shortage of water and glacial melt.

Highlighting the importance of wetlands, he said Pakistan has about 225 significant wetlands found across different eco-regions of the country. He said wetlands serve many purposes, as on one hand, they act as purifiers or natural buffers to water pollution and on the other, they can prove to be the remedy to climate change impacts by providing protection against climate extremities such as floods….

The Indus River near Skardu, Pakistan, shot by Kogo, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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