HomeNationalPM’s aide Romina Khurshid urges collective action for climate-resilient Pakistan

PM’s aide Romina Khurshid urges collective action for climate-resilient Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 13 (APP):Coordinator to the Prime Minister on Climate Change, MNA Romina Khurshid Alam, on Thursday said that while Pakistan is struggling to cope with exacerbating impacts of climate change particularly heatwaves and floods, the present government is taking all-out policy measures to overcome the impacts, which have already caused irrecoverable economic losses worth billions of rupees.
While addressing a national seminar ‘Disaster-Resilient Pakistan held here at the National University of Technology and organised by the National Disaster Management Authority, PM’s aide noted that frequent disruptions in normal weather patterns overall last one decade has severely impacted the country’s agricultural productivity, posing risk to national food water, energy securities, livelihoods of millions, deepening hunger and malnutrition woes.
The country’s geographical location, coupled with its heightened socio-economic vulnerabilities, intensifies the risks posed by the climate crisis, she highlighted.
Evidence from the various reports international financial institutions including World Bank and Asian Development Bank suggest the country would continue to experience more adverse effects of climate change in future, including more erratic weather patterns, heightened glacial melting, paced sea-level rise and unleashing of more intense weather events such as floods and droughts. These impacts not only threaten human lives and infrastructure but also exacerbate existing socio-economic disparities, the reports highlight.
Quoting from a World Bank study ‘Pakistan: Country Climate and Development Report’, the PPPM’s aide Romina Khurshid said that between 1992 and 2021climate- and weather-related disasters in Pakistan causes economic losses to the tune of US $29.3 billion from damage to property, crops, and livestock, equivalent to 11.1% of the 2020 GDP.
The devastating riverine floods in 2022 alone resulted in more than $30 billion in economic losses and damages, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive action, she added.
Apprising the event participants of the the present PM Shehbaz Sharif-led government’s climate risk mitigation measures, Romina Khurshid Alam said, “The present PM Shehbaz Sharif-led government is taking all-out policy initiatives and implementing various adaptations and mitigation coping measures to address the country’s worsening climate-vulnerability.”
The PM’s Coordinator Romina Khurshid noted that as a part of climate change adaptation and mitigation policy measures, enhanced investments in resilient infrastructure, sustainable agriculture practices, efficient water management and renewable energy are imperative to build resilience against climate change-induced risks and protect the country’s vulnerable socio-economic sectors and lives and livelihoods of the climate-susceptible communities, particularly in coastal and mountain areas.
The present government has already prioritised climate action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come, she added.
Spelling out various policy initiatives, the PM’s aide said further that as a part of climate action, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination was already implementing a robust policies and implementation frameworks to cope with climate and environmental challenges including the National Environment Policy, National Climate Change Policy, National Forest Policy, the Pakistan Climate Change Act (2017), Green Building Codes.
Moreover, the various projects have also been implemented under these policies and implementation frameworks such as the Scaling up of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) Risk Reduction project, the Living Indus Initiative, Recharge Pakistan and the Green Pakistan Programme, under which 2.1 billion tree saplings have already been planted across the country, Romina Khurshid added.
She also told the seminar participants that National Adaptation Plan of Pakistan, rolled out by the ministry in consultation with relevant provincial, national and international stakeholders, is being implemented to enhance resilience, address vulnerabilities, and mobilise climate finance, manage disaster risks by investing in early warning systems, strengthening climate governance and enhancing preparedness for effective response.
Arranging adequate funding for implementation of the various policies and implementation frameworks for coping with climate change impacts on socio-economic sectors is a major challenge, the PM’s aide highlighted and urged the private sector to come forward to support and fund government’s climate resilience building initiatives.
“Efforts are being made to engage private sector by approaching financial institutions including banking, industrial sector and corporate sectors to invest in climate-resilient development programmes and projects of the government under public-private partnerships, and help strengthen the government’s climate action for making Pakistan climate-resilient,” Romina Khurshid Apprised the participants.
While highlighting the unprecedented significance of the public-private partnership for climate-resilience Pakistan’ She As Pakistan moves on to deal with intensifying impacts of climate change despite limited financial resources and technical capacity, the private sector’s partnership with the government for collective climate action are of unprecedented significance for the climate-resilient Pakistan.
“Failure to act swiftly and collectively would only aggravate the climate-vulnerability of the country’s socio-economic sectors, particularly agriculture, energy, water, health and education,” she warned.
On the occasion, the speakers emphasized on the collective responsibility in disaster management and discussed the adoption of a national anticipatory approach. Guest of Honour of seminar, Rector NUTECH, Lt General (R) Moazzam Ejaz delivered the closing remarks.
Chairman NDMA, Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik briefed attendees on the establishment of a modern National Emergencies Operation Center at NDMA. He outlined the capabilities of NEOC, enabled by multiple satellite feeds, software and artificial intelligence tools, to generate a National Common Operating Picture (NCOP), strengthening digital risk assessment, early warning systems and preparedness strategies for Pakistan. He emphasized the role of government and institutions in disaster risk reduction entails need for comprehensive policies, regulatory frameworks, and cross-sector collaborations to effectively translate knowledge into actionable measures. He urged that engaging young people not only builds future resilience but also injects fresh perspectives and innovative ideas into disaster management strategies.
The seminar was attended by key stakeholders, including government officials, Ambassadors, representatives of UN agencies, development partners, humanitarian organizations, academia, disaster response experts, media, tech professionals and youth, all dedicated to investing in disaster risk reduction and resilience building as a key component of sustainable development.
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