KARACHI, May 14 (APP): Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman stressed the need of immediate, comprehensive and well coordinated efforts for environmental protection to deal with serious threats of climate change to the country.
She was addressing the reception ceremony of ‘Expedition Indus’ that culminated here on Saturday at Karachi after 45 days of journey along with River Indus from Northern areas to Karachi.
Sherry Rehman said that Pakistan is facing an environmental crisis as Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries which were facing serious threats due to climate change despite less than one percent contribution in emission of green house gases.
She vowed to stand against environmental injustice and climate colonialism at global level and said that issue of global warming and serious implications of climate change made immediate, comprehensive and well coordinated efforts for protection of our rivers and overall climate unavoidable as further delay in the regard would prove fatal.
She indicated that climate change has affected life both in urban and rural areas across the globe as reckless exploitation of fossil fuels, over harvesting of natural resources and pollution after industrial revolution has resulted into abrupt and unpredictable changes in weather patterns and extreme weather events across the globe.
The minister for Climate Change pointed out that water flow in Pakistani rivers particularly in River Indus were on decline, drought and famine like situation prevails in a number of areas and the entire country was in grip of heat wave while more than 20 glacial lakes situated in northern areas were prone to hazardous glacial lake outburst flooding (GLOF).
“We have t take care of our land and rivers like our mother as these rivers are our lifeline and a living entity which has their own rights, she said and underscored the need of legislation for protection of rivers and overall ecological system and implementation on the laws in letter and spirit.
Sherry Rehman said that in previous years Sindh province was on top wit regard to plantation though such efforts were not highlighted in mainstream media. “But we have to think beyond planting trees and devise a comprehensive policy that covers all the aspects besides preparing our communities for adaptation with changing climate,” she noted.
Referring to water shortage in Indus river basin and difference of views over the distribution of water among the federating units she maintained that judicious and equitable distribution of resources could prevent confrontation.
Sindh minister for culture and tourism Syed Sardar Shah speaking at the occasion lauded the endeavour of team Expedition Indus and said that there was a vast history of river Indus and its greatness was even mentioned in ancient scriptures of India.
He said that it was tragic to see water levels receding in Indus that was once called as the mighty river.
He suggested conducting a baseline survey on ecological disorder in the region which has resulted into sea intrusion and erosion of deltaic region of Pakistan.
The survey would help assessing the damages and adverse effects on ecology of the area and its habitats.
Stressing on implementation on 1991 water accord he said that Indus River is lifeline for residents of Sindh.
Wajahat Malik, Aafia Salam, Farman Ahmed, Lieutenant Commander Babar Nisar Kha and other participants of the expedition shared their experiences of the 45 day long journey and presented recommendations for preservation and protection of River Indus.
Earlier Sherry Rehman received the participants of Expedition Indus at culmination of their journey and lauded the endeavour of Expedition Indus team.
The traditional gift of Ajraks was also presentation to the participants at the occasion.