Pakistan faces major risks from climate change: PARC
ISLAMABAD: The agriculture sector of Pakistan has still the potential to push the economy upwards, said Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) founding chairman Dr Amir Muhammed who is also Rector of FAST. He was speaking as chief gust on the occasion of inaugural session of a seminar on “Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Pakistan: Implications for Food Security” at the auditorium of National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) in Islamabad.
He said that Pakistan is facing major risks related to climate change including rise in sea level, glacial retreats, floods, higher average temperature and higher frequency of droughts. The climate change is a serious issue in the region. He urged the agricultural scientists, environmental experts and policy makers to develop a comprehensive economic policy for the agriculture sector.
PARC Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) Vice Chancellor Dr Asad Zaman, NARC Director General Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, Engr Shamsul Mulk, Acting FAO Representative for Pakistan Francisco Gamarro, and other speakers also addressed the seminar and said that Pakistan was among the countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
The speakers said that rapid changes in the agriculture sector are happing at the international and national levels which have direct and indirect implications for local communities. Many factors like economic crisis, trade distortions, shifting cultivations, natural resource degradation and technological advances are affecting agricultural productivity and well-being of the rural communities.
They emphasised that coordinated efforts are needed to tackle the issues of climate change at grass-root levels. All people should bring something which is good for every one. They also highlighted the various socio-economic and cultural aspects of the climate change on food security.
Dr Munir Ahmad and Dr Muhammad Iqbal of PIDE presented an overview of climate change and agriculture in Pakistan.
The seminar was jointly organised by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) with the support of International Development Research Centre (IDRC), with the objective to share the findings of PIDE research studies conducted on the topic with agricultural scientists and other important stakeholders. The studies are based on district level time series data on crop yields, climate variables and other important factors.