Report highlights hazardous changes to climate
By: Dilshad Azeem
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is facing serious threats due to climate changes fast taking place particularly in mountainous regions of Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya, it is learnt.
“The carbonaceous filth has started mixing into Indus waters pouring in from Glaciers (snow melting) which could leave hazardous consequences for life of every kind in the water passageways,” officials told The News here Friday.
While referring to the latest study carried out at an official level, the sources identified many vulnerable areas which are exposed to threats. “The water, food and energy security risks are at the top of the list of these threats.”
The government needs to initiate practical measures rather than letting time lapse if the adversities of the catastrophic impacts of these natural changes are to be mitigated, they maintained. The studies and a complete framework to control the disasters are explained in the National Climate Changes Policy, finalized by the Environment Ministry in coordination with other departments and experts.
“The threats are the cause of major survival concerns for Pakistan, particularly in terms of country’s Water Security, Food Security and Energy Security considerations,” the policy framework reads.
The policy pinpointed as many as nine key areas wherein Pakistan stands vulnerable to climatic modifications, a natural phenomenon, controllable up to certain scope while taking precautionary measures.
The report, titled “Vulnerability to Climate Change Threats” to the country due to climate changing including the global warming etc, also warns that immediate measures are to be adopted to tone down the destructive impacts.
The important threats are:-
1. Considerable increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, coupled with erratic monsoon rains causing frequent and intense floods and droughts; 2. Projected recession of Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalayan (HKH) glaciers due to global warming and carbon soot deposits from trans-boundary pollution sources, threatening water inflows into Indus River System (IRS); 3. Increased siltation of major dams caused by more frequent and intense floods.
4. Increased temperature resulting in enhanced heat- and water-stressed conditions, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions, leading to reduced agriculture productivity;
5. Further decrease in the already scanty forest cover from too rapid change in climatic conditions to allow natural migration of adversely affected plant species;
6. Increased intrusion of saline water in the Indus delta, adversely affecting coastal agriculture, mangroves and breeding grounds of fish;
7. Threat to coastal areas due to projected sea level rise and increased cyclonic activity due to higher sea surface temperatures;
8. Increased stress between upper riparian and lower riparian regions on sharing the water resources;
9. Increased health risks and climate change induced migration.