Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) a consortium of 43 INGOS, chaired by Islamic Relief Pakistan held a conference on Climate Change Adaptation, Role of Civil Society and Organizations in Islamabad.
In the wake of the drastic and catastrophic climatic changes taking place in the country, the conference provided with an opportunity for the major stakeholders to not only devise a way forward but also harness the partnerships to effectively cope the climate induced challenges.
Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lt-Gen Mohammad Afzal, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Minister of State for Climate Change Ms. Zartaj Gul, Country Director Islamic Relief Pakistan Mr. Umair Hasan along with prominent figures from the private sector, media, academia, environmentalists and representatives of government institutions actively participated in the conference.
Mr. Umair Hasan, Country Director Islamic Relief Pakistan welcomed the guests and briefed the audience about the role of Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) and how the body has been instrumental in addressing the prevailing social issues and responding to emergencies in Pakistan since 2003.
Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam said:
“Pakistan was wasting 40 million acre feet (MAF) water reaching its reservoirs to Tarbela in 100 days due to lack of storage. Pakistan was signatory to Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and according to it, Pakistan had 15 potential sites at the eastern and western banks of Indus River.
These sites can be used as a storage capacity to recharge underground water as a wetlands and sources for ecological conservation.
He informed the conference that the project Recharge Pakistan had been shaped in this regard to conserve the 40MAF wasted water which was sent to the Global Climate Fund (GCF) for its approval to get grant for implementation”
He lauded the role of PHF in highlighting the threats posed by climate change in Pakistan.
Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lt-Gen Mohammad Afzal while expressing his views said:
“Every disaster in the country cost around $2-3 billion. Pakistan was facing both human-induced and hydro-meteorological disasters occurring in the country despite it’s less than 1pc (0.72) greenhouse gas emissions at the global level. The German Watch Climate Risk Index 2019 report has placed Pakistan in the world’s top five most vulnerable countries due to climate change.
Around 8,000 government officials were trained by National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) for disaster resilience and mitigation.”
Minister of State for Climate Change Ms. Zartaj Gul urged the audience to take ownership of the environmental issues being faced by Pakistan.
“We appreciate the role of ingos, donors and private sector for identifying Climate Change as their top priority.”
While emphasizing on the need of knowledge sharing, she said:
“The government realizes how crucial knowledge and experience sharing is when it comes to address the big issues like climate change, we ensure that the knowledge shared with us by the ingos and the experts will be reflected in our policies”
During the event, panel discussions were also conducted to yield positive outputs along with a community members’ interaction session, which had people belonging to disaster-hit areas sharing their experiences of disasters and problems being faced due to change in weather patterns.
The conference concluded with the resolve to further strengthen the partnerships between the government, PHF, private sector and academia for a CLIMATE RESILIENT PAKISTAN.