Climate Policy to help Pakistan tackle vagaries of climate change: Minister

Climate Policy to help Pakistan tackle vagaries of climate change: Minister


Islamabad, February 26, 2013 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Climate Change, Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan underlined the need for efforts to strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to deal with vagaries of climate change, largely induced through anthropogenic interventions that result in global warming and said that in this regard all government departments and civil society organizations will have to work jointly. In this regard, overarching role of media cannot be downplayed.

“Highlighting vulnerability of the country due to increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters in the country, which are being caused due to changing and unpredictable weather patterns, Pakistan has been ranked among top ten countries worst hit by impacts of climate change in shape of severe floods, torrential rains, rise in temperature and cyclones.

However, we need to work together with civil society organizations to mitigate these impacts and help vulnerable communities, particularly those associated with agriculture, to better adapt to changing weather patterns,” he said.

Addressing launching ceremony of the National Climate Change Policy of Pakistan here today, the federal minister said that the climate change policy is way forward that provides a complete roadmap for the country and all sectors of economy to cope with climate change impacts.

The Minister Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan said the new climate change policy has been hammered out in consultation with all the provinces and a National Plan of Action has also been designed to implement the policy.

He assured his resolve regarding effective implementation of the policy through capacity enhancement of the provincial environment departments to shoulder their additional responsibility after the Eighteenth Amendment.

The cabinet had approved the draft of National Policy on Climate Change last year on September 26.

Muhammad Ali Gardezi, Secretary Ministry of Climate Change in his welcome remarks informed the audience about the extensive process of consultations with all the Federal and Provincial stakeholders. He also outlined various actions taken by the Ministry of Climate Change to mitigate and adapt to the rising challenge of climate change.

The federal secretary said that in fact the policy is an over-arching document of the Government of Pakistan that reflects the vulnerability and challenges being faced by the country as a result of changing climate. Besides, it provides strategic direction to cope with the climate-induced threats such as sea level rise, devastating floods, erratic and unpredictable rains and shifting monsoon patterns.

“The policy framework clearly spells out policy measures for mitigation and adaptation for various development sectors that include energy, transport, agriculture and livestock, industries, forestry, water resources, biodiversity, ecosystems and other cross-cutting themes, i.e. disaster risk reduction, human health and gender. These measures would touch upon water, food, energy and national security of the country,” Muhammad Ali Gardezi explained.

He thanks the One-UN Joint Programme on Environment of the United Nations Development Programme in Pakistan for unfailing support for the development of the policy document.

Dr Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, adviser to the government on climate change affairs, the key architect of the policy document said, “Pakistan’s contribution to global warming is negligible but it is one of the top ten most affected countries.”

He said that key objectives of the new policy are to pursue sustainable economic growth by appropriately addressing the challenges of climate change; to integrate climate change policy with other interlaced national policies. to focus on pro-poor gender sensitive adaptation while also promoting mitigation to the extent possible in a cost effective manner; to ensure water, food and energy security of the country in the face of challenge posed by climate change and to minimize the risks arising from the expected increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like floods and droughts.

Facilitating an effective use of the opportunities, particularly financial, available both nationally and internationally, is critical for fostering the development of appropriate economic incentives to encourage public and private sector investment in adaptation measures and promoting conservation of natural resources and long term sustainability also figure on the list, he said.

Earlier, Jawed Ali Khan, Director-General of the climate change ministry presented salient features of the policy and Syed Mujtaba Hussain, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change presented implementation arrangements of the National Climate Change Policy in the post Eighteenth Amendment scenario.

Other notable speakers included Mr. Mohayuddin Marri, Member (Infrastructure) Planning Commission of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Ijaz, Joint Secretary/National Programme Director One UN Joint Programme on Environment Ministry of Climate Change and provincial representative Dr. Muhammad Bashir, DG Environmental Protection Agency, Government of KPK. This was followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

Representatives of Federal and Provincial governments, academia, research and training institutes, media, civil society, development partners and UN agencies attended the event.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326



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