Pakistan integrating scientific climate information into development priorities, says Zahid Hamid | Pakistan Today

Pakistan integrating scientific climate information into development priorities, says Zahid Hamid

Pakistan has enacted several pieces of national policy initiatives in the areas of forestry, energy conservation, disaster management, renewable energy development, among others. These policies integrate scientific climate information into development priorities.

Federal Minister for Climate Change, Zahid Hamid, said this, while speaking at a National Conference on “Integrating SDGs and Climate Change for Resilient Pakistan” organized by Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Pakistan and Pakistan Red Crescent.

According to Zahid Hamid, “Climate change is affecting every sector of Pakistan, whether it be agriculture, industry or exports. Pakistan lost more than US $ 2 billion due to extreme weather events, according to the think tank, German Watch. I appreciate Pakistan Red Crescent, IFRC and LEAD for organising this event, and hope that Pakistan Coalition for Resilience will be a huge success.”

CEO Lead Pakistan, Ali Taqueer Sheikh, said, “Pakistan ranks among the top ten countries vulnerable to climate change. It is losing billions of dollars each year because of floods, heat waves, cyclones, GLOFs and flash floods. This national conference will sensitize policy-makers to integrate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate resilient policies in developmental plans, so that Pakistan can progress on the path of low-carbon growth.”

PRC Chairman Dr SaeedElahi speaking on the occasion said, Pakistan Red Crescent as a part of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is on the front line of disaster response. It recognizes the urgent need for and commits to better manage the rising risk of extreme events,by improving early warning systems, and through better disaster relief and risk reduction and climate-smart programmes for healthcare, water, sanitation and food security.

He said, the disaster risks, such as unplanned urbanization, weak enforcement, unchecked construction in flood plains, expansion of economic activities in hazard prone area, water resource mismanagement, land degradation, desertification, environmental degradation and climate change have further increased the vulnerabilities and are compromising the sustainable development.

Dr Saeed said that through this conference, we aim to empower the key stakeholders, including key policymakers and opinion leaders, to explore how best the policies and strategies can serve as vehicle for the successful implementation of the SDGs; Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement.  The expected outcome is to have a clearer and deeper understanding on how to ensure that climate information across different timescales is taken into consideration in our policies, programs and projects, and contributes to establishment of healthy, safe, resilient and more prosperous communities in Pakistan.

Coordinator Climate Change, LEAD Pakistan, Basharat Saeed, delivered a presentation on SDGs and climate change, highlighting the critical need for all stakeholders to integrate SDGs and climate change for development and survival.

IFRC Climate Center Technical Advisor, Donna D Lagmedo, Former Governor State Bank Dr. Ishrat Hussain, DG Met, Dr.GhulamRasool, Chairman Water Resources Council, Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Climate Change expert,ShafaqatMunir, and others also spoke on the occasion.