Climate change bigger threat to Pakistan than terrorism’
Climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism to Pakistan and it is responsibility of Ministry of Climate Change to deal with all looming disasters like floods and droughts. Senator Mir Muhammad Yousuf Badini, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change, said this on Tuesday while chairing meeting of the committee at the Parliament House.
Chairman of the committee said that Ministry of Climate Change should make its coordination with other ministries effective to deal with adverse impacts of the climate change. Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said the committee should take notice of hunting of precious animals and birds as the illegal poaching has been threatening the whole ecosystem. Chairman of the committee suggested that issues related to environment and climate change should be highlighted by Pakistan Television.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid informed the committee members that the PTV has already running an awareness campaign about adverse impacts of the climate change.
Arif Ahmed Khan, Secretary Ministry of Climate Change, informed the committee members that there is need to protect forests by offering incentives to forest communities. “We have been facing billions of rupees loss each year due to floods while one of the reasons of the floods is huge deforestation rate in the country,” he said. Pakistan has got a forest cover on only five percent of its area while the deforestation rate is 27,000 hectares per year.
The secretary said that a national policy on forests has also been formulated that would soon be sent to the prime minister for approval. “We are consulting provinces and other stakeholders to get the policy unanimously passed,” he said. Chairman committee also expressed his reservations over the ongoing deforestation and cutting of trees along the Murree Expressway.
Major General Asghar Nawaz, acting chairman of National Disaster Management Authority, informed the committee members that Pakistan stands at number three among the countries that are worst hit by the climate change. “The meteorological department can give weather forecast of seven to fifteen days in advance and it is insufficient to deal with the all looming natural disasters,” he said. He said the met departments immediately need at least ten more weather forecasting radars while the department also lacks modern facilities to predict natural disasters in advance.