ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Wednesday said the present government was working on reviving the riverine ecology in the dying Indus Delta which was imperative for national survival amid increasing climate change impacts.
Addressing a day-long National Climate Change Conference on “Climate Action & Adaptation: Way Forward for an Ecologically Sustainable Pakistan” organized by Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO), the SAPM said it was a very timely topic as Pakistan at the forefront of climate change and among top 10 countries affected due to climate change, adding, “We are also part of the continuously affected top three countries list along with Haiti and Philippines which is not a good merit”.
Amin said the Ministry of Climate Change was working to prepare a strategic short, medium and long-term adaptation plan. However, the prime minister has directed
him to start focussing on riverine ecology, he added.
“River Indus has sustained civilizations for over past 5,000 years but it has become questionable that will it sustain for another 50 years,” he underlined.
The highest forum level approval from the prime minister was received for “Living Rivers Initiative” along with all chief ministers on board to revive the dying ecology of the Indus River, he told.
“It will be a nature-based solution including wetlands, riverine forests, local communities and we have a 4-month timeline to work out a comprehensive framework for project execution,” Amin said.
The SAPM mentioned that the multilateral environmental partners were also excited to chip in the endeavor as it was necessary to identify gaps and then manage funding accordingly. “Our future existence depends on this ecology and how this ecology adapts to climate change is important. It will have all public and private partners on board,” he concluded.
He emphasized that the underpass and overpasses were not the real development which should be done in harmony with nature preservation.
“Our donor agencies have asked us that they have linked the future grants with green implementation and progress so no successive government can change this direction of the present government and will be bound to invest in nature based solutions,” the SAPM told the participants while responding their queries.
SPO CEO Arifa Mazhar in her welcome remarks said the SPO was working on climate change adaptation and intended to work in addressing water scarcity issues including proposed interventions for water scarce areas and community development.
She informed that the SPO was working as a disaster risk reduction, management and preparedness institution that also responded to 2010 floods.
Chairperson SPO Senator (R) Javed Jabbar welcomed the participants and guests and also moderated the opening panel discussion of the conference.
The conference had multifaceted panel discussions engaging women, transgender women, experts, government officials and environmentalists to discuss climate action interventions and way forward to make the country a disaster resilient state.