Multi-stakeholder engagement at global to nuance level needed to preserve Indus delta: Memon


ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP):Former Federal Minister, Senator and Chairman Water Environment Forum (WEF), Nisar Memon on Friday said the Indus Delta facing extreme climate stress could be preserved by connecting multi-stakeholders focussing collaborations at all levels namely global, regional, national and district,(GRaND) by adopting Delta Convention.

He said it was also necessary to implement COP15 Paris agreement for containing temperature below 1.5C, and action the COP27 decisions on fund releases like Loss & Damage Fund.

UN should declare Indus Delta as World Heritage Region and, echoed Nisar Memon as the voice of Indus Delta at the “Community Voices: Deltas Unite – Urgent Call for Climate Action with a UN Convention for Conserving River Deltas (UN-CCRD)” organized virtually by The African Centre for Climate Actions and Rural Development Initiative (ACCARD) in collaboration with TWIN (Transboundary Water, In-Cooperation Network), Consortium for Capacity Building (CCB), Water Environment Forum Pakistan and Government of Bayelsa State and partners.

University of Vermont, USA Research Associate, Maryam Shabbir co-hosted the session and initiated the dialogue alongwith members of the partner organizations that collaborated for the session.

In this three hour global discourse, held virtually, Memon was joined by Altaf Siyal, Mukhtar Mahar and Mir Baloch and said, “Indus Delta challenges are: seawater intrusions, coastal erosions, agricultural land degradation, degradations of wetlands, deteriorating groundwater quality with even arsenic and surface water pollution,” which are mainly caused by reduced water from upstream to downstream, diminishing river flows to delta, & climate changes with temp rises.”

Nisar Memon said that the deltaic community is very eager to get their issues resolved under proposed ‘UN Convention for Deltas’ to save this 5th largest delta of the world from challenge of Climate Change. Pakistan is least contributor yet affected most.’

He opined that the global challenges to delta are responsibility of UN and must be effectively addressed at its forum like Climate Change Conferences joined by international funding agencies like WB, IMF, and ADB. He emphasized that Indus River system faces transboundary issues like water diversions, water releases, environmental flows, discharges to sea from river, excessive ground water pumping, and pollution can be regionally resolved with India who is signatory to Indus Water Treaty brokered by WB in 1960.

Nisar Memon said, “leadership of the developed world must heed to warning by UN secretary general Guterres as climate coalition demands action to ‘Humanity has opened the gates to hell’.

Memon said,”the Indus treaty however needs to incorporate Environment provisions to strengthen it.” He added, “enforcement of Water Apportionment Accord 1992 signed between Pakistan provinces must ensure timely needed release to lower riparian and the delta.”

The former federal minister and senator said all these solutions are urgently needed to address the concerns of Indus delta community “to save the dying Indus Delta from death and disasters, reduced livelihood, increasing health hazards and painful migration.”

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