PAKISTAN, THE LESS EMITTER BUT MORE VULNERABLE

I got astounded to read in a local newspaper a few days back, that according to Global Climate Risk Index 2017, Pakistan ranks 7th position among the most adversely affected countries due to climate change. Well, this is not a position of a child in exam result that the higher it is, the gladder the parents are…

Despite having such high vulnerabilities of climate changes in future, Pakistan is still among the low emitter of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions. Now, this is alarming… but have we realized its high vulnerability and impacts on our Agriculture, Livestock, and livelihood fully???

We hail efforts of the government of Pakistan which is trying to cope this up at domestic level, and recently passed the national policy to combat Climate Change and “Pakistan Climate Change Act 2017”. Now; at least the legislation has, in turn, created Climate Change Fund, Climate Change Council, and Climate Change Authority to implement the Climate Change Act. Likewise; two provinces, Sindh and Punjab are finalizing their climate change policies with due consultation with stakeholders.

Well, there is no doubt that development practitioners throughout the country have been demanding the laws, policies and institutional set-up on climate change, however; if it cannot be translated into some practical moves, and then it will all go in vain.

A few months ago, I got a chance to participate in the first International Conference on Emerging Trends in Earth and Environmental Sciences organized by College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore. About a hundred of students, environmentalists, and academic professionals were gathered to present their researches. It kept me thinking after so many days that we always hear development professionals and government departments’ representatives said that we need researchers/ researches… But why don’t they see this side of the population, with a handful of researchers and with their help, we can do a lot to mitigate climate change impacts.

But sadly, it does not finish here, we must transfer the knowledge, whether it is coming from the researchers, laws or policies, to the 200 million Pakistan’s population which has more than 60% from rural and to which we depend on our maximum economy, and that’s Agriculture.

Now an activist we cannot even make slogan “End Climate Change” like we chant for Violence against Women or Poverty because climate change cannot end magically, it can only be mitigated and adapted with collectiveness and with a commitment from people and government. One can easily understand any government’s priorities by looking into its financial planning and budgetary allocations, however, unfortunately, we have still not set it as our priority. Climate Public Expenditure Review by Grow campaign reveals a lot about government’s less-attention areas, which primarily include agriculture, environment and other related sectors. So do we want to see our children getting suffered out of our deeds? Have we not learned from the past or we need a lot more to come? I think now we want to create severe circumstances for our children where they cannot have food, cannot breathe or have safe drinking water.

 

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