Punjab government keen to deal with climate change impacts: minister
Punjab Minister for Environment Zakia Shah Nawaz has termed the climate change as a serious threat to livelihoods of millions of people across Pakistan. “Punjab also facing the same phenomenon and the provincial government is fully aware of the scale of threat and keen to redress the climate change impacts on the communities through various adaptive measures,” she said this while speaking as chief guest at a seminar on “Harvesting Global Food Security & Justice in the face of Climate Change,” held on Friday under the GROW campaign.
The seminar was arranged by the Indus Consortium in collaboration with Oxfam Novib Pakistan. The minister assured the participants that the provincial government would take all the possible measures to resolve climate change related issues that are identified by the experts and climate change effected communities. Earlier, provincial steering committee on climate change presented various recommendations to the government for redressing the threats posed by climate change.
The recommendations were based on the detailed deliberations by members of steering committee with the representation of experts from academia, civil society, concerned officials from government line departments, media and local communities. The recommendations include various policy measures and administrative actions for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Ashiq Hussain Bokhari, co-ordinator of the steering committee said that climate change impacts vary in different localities that include unprecedented rains, floods and drought situation and creating serious situation of food insecurity, especially among local farming communities. He said that the provincial government needs to take steps to help communities in finding local solutions of the issues under Local Adaptation Plans for Action (LAPAs).
Dr Pervez Hassan, Climate Change Commission Punjab on the occasion said that it is a matter of great satisfaction that climate change and its impacts are not only being discussed but the government and communities have started working together to address these issues.
He said that Climate Change Commission Punjab would welcome communities and civil society organisations to reach at a coherent approach to ensure our agriculture and communities are better protected from the impacts of climate change. Saadia Sohail Rana, Member Punjab Assembly said that we need to enhance awareness at every level. Senior academician Dr Khalid Saifullah Khan, Anjum Riaz, Chief Meteorologist Food Forecasting, Jamshaid Fareed, Iqbal Hyder and Asim Saqlain also expressed their views on the diverse impacts of climate change on the food security situation, especially in Punjab.
The speakers also highlighted the need of finding climate change impacts on local level in the form of local adaptation plans. The speakers said that Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPAs) around Climate Change issues have been developed in six districts of Punjab by Indus Consortium. They said such mechanisms need to be replicated in all districts of the Punjab keeping in view their specific issues and requirements.