Sunday, March 8, 2015

En route to climate change adaptation

Ayesha Qaisrani in Pakistan Today: With no adherence to geographical boundaries, climate change continues to hover over our heads like a dense, dark cloud of uncertainty. Even with all the sophisticated projections of climate change, only one thing about it remains certain: that it is happening and we better act now.

Realising the gravity of the situation, Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) in collaboration with Janathakshan and Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN), organised a sub-regional workshop for the South Asian nations in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to discuss the latest adaptation initiatives taken up and exchange best practices and information. The workshop took place on the 23rd and 24th of February 2015 and was attended by representatives of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal including representation from the respective governments, the parliaments and the civil society.

...It was encouraging to get insights about the adaptation initiatives being taken up by the nations of South Asia. Even more encouraging was the general recognition of the need of cooperation and collaboration among the nations for an effective response to climate change. Emphasising on the need of regional cooperation, Mr Malik Muhammad Uzair Khan, Member Parliament, Pakistan, commented, “Pakistan like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is reeling under the worst impacts of climate change. Clearly, climate change knows no borders and now more than ever it is critical that our leaders come together to share best practices for climate change adaptation and set the region on the path of sustainable development.”

Underlining that capacity building is the keystone to effective adaptation to climate change. The representatives advocated a balanced investment in physical infrastructure and skills of the population. They stressed upon focusing on education and awareness, health, agriculture sector, water management and disaster preparedness to increase the resilience of people and reduce their vulnerability. Besides individual and community level, focus should also be directed at institutional capacity building as, quite often, it is the institutions that are inefficient in setting their priorities for strategic response to climate change....

NASA image of 2010 flooding in Pakistan

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