Tuesday, April 17, 2012

First climate change adaptation project launched in Pakistan

Sana Jamal in Pakistan Observer: At a time when glacier melting is a burning issue in Pakistan, concerned experts met here on Monday to highlight the emerging climate-change challenges and to reduce threats of floods in Northern Pakistan. To mitigate the risks caused by sudden discharge of a huge volume of water from glacial lakes, a first of its kind project titled “Reducing Risks and Vulnerabilities from Glacier Lake Outburst Floods” in Northern Pakistan (GLOF Project) was launched.

Pakistan’s first Climate Change Adaptation project would focus on mitigating risks stemming out from the Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF). The project, managed by the Ministry of National Disaster Management in collaboration with UNDP, would be implemented in two pilot sites: Bagrot Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan and Drongagh Valley Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Calling the GLOF as ‘Mountain tsunami in the making’, Jawed Ali Khan, DG Environment and Climate Change explained that “the objective of the project is to develop human and technical capacity of public institutions to understand and address immediate GLOF risks for vulnerable communities in Northern Pakistan” and to enable local communities to adapt to climate change pressures by responding to GLOF risks.

...“Northern Pakistan is home to 5218 glaciers, and 2420 glaciers lakes out of which 52 lakes have been classified as potentially dangerous”, informed Dr. Arshad Muhammad Khan, Director of Global Change Impact Studies Centre. “However Pakistan could not initiate any extensive research on glaciers due to harsh weather condition and non-accessibility to the region” he added...

A great shot of Attabad Lake in Pakistan by Adeel Sattar, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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