Climate-resilient Economic Development

With regard to climate change, among South Asian countries, Pakistan is hugely affected country. It is among the seventh countries vulnerable susceptible to climate change. The vulnerability of Pakistan is due to its geographic, demographic and varied climatic conditions.

Of that the nation has experienced severe consequences in the shape of economic instability, infrastructure immensely damaged, human capital loss, fishing, rare species of birds, flora, and fauna declined, and agricultural deficiency due to climate change since past few decades.

Not only has this but withal increment in temperature causes heatstroke death for past two years. Besides, there is increasing sea intrusion, expeditious melting of glaciers, elevating sea-levels, unprecedented rains, cyclones, droughts, and floods these adverse corollaries further threaten to hold back advantages in economic and social development.

As Pakistan already has suffered the most weather and climate cognate disasters, virtually every sector of development has adversely been affected due to transmuting climate pattern in the region.

Due to climate change, Pakistan has lost its actual gross domestic product from two decades.  Billions of rupees cash crop have been destroyed. Numbers of in-kind items have been spoiled.

Adapting to these hard circumstances, in recent past, Pakistan has taken good initiatives to combat with rising destructive climatic situation. Sustainable Land Management Program is initiated with the fortification of UNDP with the total cost of 105.400 million to combat desertification.

Pakistan has a climate change policy that “ensures that climate change is mainstreamed in the economically and socially vulnerable sectors of the economy and to steer Pakistan towards climate resilient development.”

In addition, recently the government has passed “Pakistan Climate Change Act 2017”. Also, the government has launched Green Pakistan Program (to increase the forest coverage) with the total cost of Rs. 3.7 billion till 2021, and a number of other climate battling projects.

Apart from these, at global level, Pakistan has signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Due to Donald Trump’s recent gainsays the USA to be no more the part of The Paris Agreement on climate change – is a great menace to changing global climate. Though, the US is the second country in the world that emits an astronomically vast quantity of greenhouse gases. Its withdrawal from the agreement will engender a huge breach and quandaries for other countries and be a great challenge for fighting climate change.

Pakistan has lots of options to adapt climate resilient economic development.

The most vulnerable to climate change are the people living in rural and semi-urban areas.

For that at the community level the focus need to be given on inclusive agricultural development – incipient climate resilient crops/seeds should be planted, new ways, means, and practices of cultivation need to be introduced among farmers, and their immediate linkages with new markets ought to be developed. It will also help in reducing poverty and improve the resilience of agriculture sector in the country.

In addition, the non-agricultural activities, such as consumption something through credit, insurance, and social safety nets need also be adopted. The government should expand tourism and services sector.

High rates of urbanization and economic growth will ameliorate climate resilience. The country’s climate change and economic policies should align for inclusive and sustainable economic development.

In climate affected rural areas, the government may setup inclusive economic generation zones that may help in the time of crises and disasters. Mostly affected are women and children, during the time of disasters, therefore for women there need to be initiated small business enterprises to generate some amount of money to run the households.

Moreover, economic diversification is one of the very potent implements for climate risk mitigation or adaptation in Pakistan.

It is a very earnest matter; therefore concerned departments and institutes ought to mainstream climate change adaptation in planning, budgeting and spending national and sub-national levels.

To sum up, measuring the growing economic menace of climate change to the country, and the required economic and fiscal responses, are challenging tasks that disclose obstacles regarding the absence of data and capacity.

However, Pakistan needs to develop knowledge and awareness base of the economic consequences of climate change is a significant stage to mainstreaming climate change into economic development.

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