Call for creating awareness of climate change issues
GILGIT: Speakers at a conference on Friday declared glaciers in Gilgit-Baltistan as water bombs for communities of the mountainous region, saying deforestation in the region could trigger climate change, which in turn would affect crops, productivity and livelihoods besides creating water pollution and energy crisis.
Local and foreign environmental experts explained how climate change was impacting lives, livelihoods and fragile ecosystems in Pakistan, especially the mountain communities, who stand on the frontline of climate change.
The speakers urged the government to take measures to avoid increasing temperature disasters in future and create awareness among masses, particularly the most vulnerable people of the region, on potential threats of climatic hazards.
The two-day international conference on “mountains and climate change – resources, challenges and opportunities for better life and livelihood” concluded here at the Karakoram International University (KIU), on Friday.
“A number of international experts from Kathmandu University, Nepal; Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway, Slovenia, EV-K2-CNR and Institute for Ecosystem Study, Italy, discussed various aspects of climate change to highlight the pressing issue.
KIU vice-chancellor Dr Mohammad Asif said that melting of glaciers was one of the most challenging issues related to climate change in the mountainous areas because retreating glaciers could put people at a high risk. He said that the flow of water in rivers and streams speedily increase due to melting of glaciers. He announced that a ‘department of glacier and mountain’ would be established at KIU to conduct research on climate change issues in the region.
Speaking at the conference, Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman said that GB being a mountainous region had been facing challenges related to climate change. “The recent floods triggered by melting of glaciers caused a massive loss to GB people,” he said.
He said that people of the region were cutting forest, as they lacked alternative energy sources. He said that the GB government lacked resources to overcome the issues which caused global warming.
He urged the national and international organisations to join hands with the GB government in hydropower generation projects to meet the region’s energy needs and reduce dependency on timber, thus controlling deforestation.