Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pakistan’s first climate change policy ready

Suhail Yusuf in Dawn (Pakistan) discusses the release of Pakistan’s new climate change policy: After being devastated by the most severe flood in history, Pakistan has formally approved its first draft of the climate change policy. “In fact Pakistan is among the few developing countries which has prepared such a comprehensive national policy on a subject which is on top of the global priority agenda may be after war on terror,” said Dr Qamaruzaman Chaudhary, former director general of Meteorological Department of Pakistan and leading author of the policy.

The policy draft has already been accepted by the country’s Ministry of Environment and is ready for the cabinet’s approval. In 2008, the Climate Change Task Force was formed for the policy draft. Some 40 experts from different but related fields strived for two years to finalise it. The task force also consulted federal and provincial agencies, organisations and other experts.
The country has diverse ecosystems which include coastlines, deserts, arid zones, mountains and glaciers. These areas are in danger due to population growth, lack of planning and mismanagement. For Pakistan, climate change is a reality as data of temperature from the last 100 years shows a visible increase in heat. It is also among the top countries vulnerable to climate change.

“Particularly, during the last two decades, extreme weather events like heavy rains, heat and droughts have increased,” Chaudhary said. This pattern of extreme weather could be noticed in Thar. The region is an arid zone where drought arrives after every three years, and may stay put for 12 months or more….

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