ISLAMABAD, February 24: : Commenting on the challenge of Climate Change and strategies to mitigate the crisis, Malik Amin Aslam stated that Pakistan was the most vulnerable country at the risk of bearing the impacts of climate change and needed to come up with nature-based solutions. He was speaking at the two-day international conference titled “South Asia: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges” organized by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) in collaboration with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) here on Thursday.
He said that it was important to realize that South Asia was home to one of the top 3 global polluters, i.e., India and two of the most climate vulnerable countries, i.e., Bangladesh and Pakistan. Pakistan had a few global hotspots, which could become unliveable in times to come because of the increase in global temperatures, he added. The Minister further said that the most worrisome aspect of climate change was the potential climate-induced migration that could take place causing 400 million people to become climate migrants in South Asia, half of them from Bangladesh. He added that the current government was committed to finding sustainable solutions which were possible only after collective action. In this lieu, he mentioned the Living Rivers Initiative, which he was hopeful would commence by April this year. He explained that the Initiative was aimed at emphasizing the significance of preserving river ecology.
Aisha Khan, CEO Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) said that Pakistan was the fifth most vulnerable country among South Asian countries at the risk of suffering from the most horrific impacts of climate change. She said that the issues related to climate change were deeply intertwined, especially in case of Pakistan, ranging from water management to poor air quality and glacial melts to inadequate mechanisms for ecological preservation. Climate change was a phenomenon that had no respect for boundaries, she added, and hence its mitigation required multilateral solutions. She recommended that promoting hydro-electricity was the need of the hour in addition to promotion of effective information-sharing systems on crisis management. – PR