Federal Minister for Climate Change attended a high level side event at Conference of Parties 23 tilted “ Cooperation for Building Resilient Mountain Communities” organized by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
While addressing to event, Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan highlighted that in Pakistan, the Himalayan, Karakorum and Hindukush (HKH) mountain range form the largest glaciers in the world outside the Polar Regions. This region plays an important role in global climate change. It is the source of large river systems. People living in the HKH region of Pakistan are annually affected by a number of climate-related hazards. These include floods, heat waves, glacial lake outburst floods, avalanches and landslides that result in extensive human and material losses.
He further added, a major part of the snow and ice mass of the HKH region in Pakistan is concentrated in the watersheds of the Indus basin. As a result of the rapidly changing climatic conditions, the glaciers in Pakistan are receding at a much faster rate, particularly due to rapid changes in the world’s temperatures.
He also emphasized that dependence on natural resources is central to the livelihoods of many rural communities and degradation of ecosystems. The natural habitats in the mountainous region of Pakistan will shrink and shift under global warming, putting the survival of species like snow leopards, brown bears, at risk of extinction in the wild. Increases in snow and glacier melt, coupled with extreme climatic events, will adversely impact habitats through increase in intensity and frequency of floods. Mountain communities living in the proximity of glacier lakes and glacier-fed rivers are particularly at risk. There is an opportunity to alleviate poverty by maintaining the health of ecosystems on which these communities depend.
He also highlighted that the National Climate Change Policy mentions about the most likely climate change risks to the mountain areas of Pakistan, such as: Increase in frequency and intensity of precipitation, resulting in more frequent flash floods and landslides; Increase in intensity of wind storms; Increase in temperature, resulting in rapid glacier melting and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) and change in cropping patterns. He also told the participants that Pakistan is taking number of initiatives including development of a program to prevent crop damage due to unexpected weather changes, Introduction of short duration food crops suited for high altitude, introduction of new feedstock technology for livestock, slope stabilization is a part of all road construction projects to minimize landslides, Restrictions on illegal trade of timber and other development activities detrimental to mountain ecology, Protection of agricultural terraces from extreme soil erosion, wind, hailstorm and snowstorm related dam, Building vegetative barriers for combating rangeland erosion and increasing forest cover.
He also emphasized It is expected that the aforementioned efforts will contribute towards overcoming the adverse effects of climate change in mountain areas and improve livelihoods of the local communities. Pakistan will indeed avail this opportunity to learn from other country parties to further increase support for the mountain communities.
The event was also attended by Mr. Anwer Hossain Manju minister for environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh, Mr.Dashu Chencho Norbu, Secretary for National Environment Commission, Government of Bhutan, Mr.Shri Chandra Kishore Mishra, secretary for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change ,Mr. Shri Chandra Kishore Mishra, Secretary for Ministry of Environment, government of Nepal, Mr. Qingchen Chao, Professor Deputy Director General, National Climate Centre China metrological Administration.PREVIOUS NEXT