Climate change policy needs integration in all sectors
KARACHI: A two-day capacity building workshop on Sindh’s climate change policy concluded on Thursday at a local hotel where experts discussed ways to link the national climate change policy with the annual development plan and sustainable development goals.
The event was held jointly by Sindh Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), planning and development department of the Sindh government, and Lead-Pakistan, a non-governmental organisation.
In his opening remarks, director general Sepa, Naeem Mughal said that it is the need of the hour to debate and discuss the national climate change policy 2012 at the provincial level and a strategy was developed, accordingly, to tackle the worsening affects of the phenomenon.
“For better and effective implementation of national climate change policy, a provincial action committee and a working group have been formed with the task to prioritise areas facing the threat of climate change,” he said.
Former secretary forest and wildlife Shams-ul-Haq Memon spoke about Sindh-specific environmental issues, provincial geographical zones and unexpected weather patterns being experienced in the province.
He regretted that natural shields, for instance indigenous trees, had been cut down and exotic species had been introduced, which were doing more harm than good to the environment.
He underlined the need for updating curriculum, creating awareness and sensitising officials on climate change.
Nasir Panhwar heading the Centre for Environment and Development said Sindh was experiencing extreme weather patterns including high temperature, dryness, droughts and cyclones.
“Change in climate is also affecting socio-economic conditions of the people across the province. Hence, it is imperative that the theme of climate change is integrated into all sectors at provincial and district level,” he pointed out.
Ibad-ur-Rehman, Arif Rehman and Nadeem Ahmed representing Lead-Pakistan gave a detailed presentation on climate change issues, national climate change policy and sustainable development goals, and their relevance and importance to the public sector development projects.
Dr Noman Ahmed of the NED University of Engineering and Technology was of the opinion that the concept of climate change was still considered vague by many educated people who believed that the issue could be tackled at a later stage.
Gulzar Feroz of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber and Commerce and Industry, senior ecologist Rafi-ul-Haq and Dr Shoukat Hayat also spoke.