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.

موسمیاتی تبدیلی پر پالیسی سازی، ایک دیرینہ خواہش



ٓٓان دنوں پاکستان کی منتخب کردہ جمہوری حکومت خود ساختہ مسائل کا شکار ہے۔ ملک میں ہر جانب پانامہ گیٹ، جے آئی ٹی اور نواز شریف صاحب اور انکا خاندان زیرِ بحث ہے اور ہماری ریاست کا نام نہاد پانچواں ستون، میڈیا جو کہ ان دنوں ریٹنگ کے چکر میں پاگل سا ہو ا ہے۔لیکن اس چارچھ ماہ کے دورانیے میں ہم ملک میں درپیش بہت سے سنگین اورہنگامی بنیادوں پر حل طلب مسائل کو بھول گئے۔اب سوال یہ پیدا ہوتا ہے کہ نواز شریف صاحب اور ان کے شہزادے اور شہزادی کے کرپٹ ثابت ہونے یا نہ ہونے سے عام آدمی کو بھلا کیا فائدہ ہوگا؟ وہ عام آدمی جو دو وقت کی روٹی تک مشکل سے کما پاتا ہے۔ وہ عام آدمی جو کہ حالیہ مون سون بارشوں کے باعث سیلاب کے پیشِ نظر پریشان ہے۔ وہ عام آدمی جوگزشتہ دنوں چلنے والی شدید آندھیوں کے باعث 60-70فیصد تباہ شدہ گندم کی فصل پر بے بس اور مجبور ہے۔وہ عام آدمی جو کہ ماہ رمضان میں ضائع ہونے والے کثیر تعداد خوراک کے عوض سارا سال اچھی خوراک کھا سکتا ہے۔یا وہ عام آدمی جوسارا سال اپنی مدد آپ کے تحت مقامی سطح پرمل کر موسمیاتی تبدیلیوں کے حوالے سے صوبائی سطح پر پالیسی سازی اور حکومتی انتظام کاری کیلئے کوششیں کرتے رہے ۔

وہ کہتے ہیں نہ کہ ” بات نکلے گی تو بہت دور تلک جائے گی” ۔۔۔ تو پہلے بات کرتے ہیں ہماری نام نہاد جمہوری حکومت کی، جس کا ووٹر الیکشن کے دوران ہر وہ شخص ہوتا ہے جو کہ پچھلے دورِ حکومت میں آنے والی سیاسی پارٹی کے اُمیدواران سے اپنے وعدے پورے نہ کرنے کے باعث نئی پارٹی سے زیادہ امیدیں لگائے بیٹھاہوتا ہے۔ ان ووٹرز میں ہمارے کاشتکار بھائی بہن بھی تھے جن کوسماجی ترقی کی مد میں اگر صرف زرعی اصلاحات ہی میّسر ہو جائیں تووہ خوشی سے پھولے نہیں سماتے۔لیکن جنکے اپنے اتنے گھمگیر معاملات ہوں وہ ان غریب کسانوں کے بارے میں سوچے کیوں؟ لیکن ہاں! ایک وقت ہے جب ان کی بھی سنی جاتی ہے اور وہ ہے الیکشن مہم کا وقت۔ جی ہاں۔ اور تب سکیمیں بھی بنتی ہیں، صحت کارڈز بھی اور کاشتکاروں کے آنسو پونچھنے والے cowboyhat پہنے ہمارے قابل احترام وزیرِاعلی صاحب کی تصویریں اور ویڈیوز بھی میڈیا پر چلائی جاتی ہے۔ لہذا بنیادی شہری حقوق کی فراہمی سے زیادہ ہمیں صوبائی دارلحکومت،لاہورمیں کی چند سالوں میں بار بار بننے والی نئی کشادہ سڑکیں، میٹرو بس، اورنج لائن اور ائیرپورٹ کی دوبارہ تعمیر ہونے جیسے بڑے بڑے پروجیکٹ زیادہ عزیز ہیں۔ پچھلے دنوں سانحہ احمد پورشرقیہ کے موقعہ پر ایک صحافی نے دورانِ ٹالک شو ،کیا خوب کہاکہ چلیں آپ لے لینا اپنی کمیشن دلپسند ممالک ترکی اور چین سے،لیکن عوام کے صحت اورتعلیم جیسے انتہائی بنیادی حق کیلئے ہسپتال اور سکول ہی بنوادیں۔

اب کچھ بات کرتے ہیں عام آدمی کے عمل اور اعمال کی۔ رواں سال پانی کی عالمی دن کے موقع پر پنجاب یونورسٹی کے ایک منعقدہ سیمینار میں شرکت کا موقعہ ملاس میں ایک ماہرسائنسی علوم طلبہ و طالبات کوپانی کی قلت کی سائنسی وجوہات سمجھانے کی بجائے کچھ یوں تاکید کر رہے تھے کہ آج اگرملکی سطح پر ہمیں پانی کی قلت کا سامنا ہے تو وہ ہمارے بد اعمال کی بدولت ہیں ۔ہم سب گناہ گار ہیں اور توبہ نہیں کرتے جسکی وجہ سے اﷲہم پر یہ عذاب نازل کر رہا ہے۔ ان محترم کی باتیں سن کر میں سوچ میں پڑ گئی کہ کیا یہ شخص جانتا ہے کہ جن نوجوانوں سے وہ اس وقت مخاطب ہے ان کے نصاب میں تکنیکی سائنس کے ذریعے پانی اور موسمیاتی تبدیلیوں کے مسائل پر تحقیق تو شامل ہے لیکن انسان کے اعمال کی بحث شامل نہیں۔لیکن اگر ایک لمحہ کیلئے مان بھی لیں کہ پانی کی قلت، موسمیاتی تبدیلیاں اور غذائی قلت کی وجوہات ہمارے اعمال ہیں اس کا مطلب پھرتو ساری قوم دن رات کی نمازیں پڑہنا شروع کر دے اور اپنے گناہ بخشوائے۔گویا پاکستان کے شہریوں کے موجودہ حالات بلخصوص موسمیاتی تبدیلی ، پانی کی بڑھتی ہوئی شدید قلت اورغذائی قلت میں انکے عمل کانہیں کوئی عمل دخل ہی نہیں۔

ادارہ برائے تحفظِ ماحول پنجاب پچھلے تقریباً ایک سال سے لاہور ہائی کورٹ کے مجوزہ کمیشن برائے موسمیاتی تبدیلی کی راہنمائی ،پنجاب پلاننگ اینڈ ڈویلپمنٹ ڈیپارٹمنٹ کی شراکت داری اور دیگر غیرسرکاری تنظیموں کی مشاورت سے موسمیاتی تبدیلیوں پر صوبائی پالیسی ترتیب دینے کی کوشش میں ہے۔پالیسی مسودہ پر متعدد غیر سرکاری تنظیموں نے اپنے بھی تاثرات دئیے جن میں سے بہت سے نکات کو شامل بھی کر لیا گیالیکن تاحال اصل مدعا تویہ ہے کہ پالیسی مسودمیں ہر اس عام آدمی کے حق کا خیال رکھا جائے جو موسمیاتی تبدیلیوں سے چھوٹی یا بڑی کسی بھی سطح پر متاثر ہو رہا ہے، اور یقیناًپالیسی کا اسمبلی میں پیش ہونااور اصل صورت میں عمل درآمد ایک لازمی امر ہے۔ خدا کرے کہ ہر آنے والی حکومت ، اداروں کو اتنا خودمختار بنائے کہ چاہے سیا ست کا پارہ جتنا بھی ہائی کیوں نہ ہو جائے، اداروں کو صرف اپنے کام سے مطلب ہو۔

Rain…Rain Everywhere

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“Rain makes everything better” updating her Facebook status while enjoying the rain in her comfortable bed. “Well, not everything. You must watch the news after the heavy rainfall” her friends replied in a comment.

Meteorology department already issued warnings about the monsoon season and modifications of weather phenomena before the time. “Three to four spells of monsoon rainfall with thunderstorm and isolated heavy falls are predicted in Punjab, KP, AJK and GB, while, two spells are expected in southern parts (Southeast Sindh and Eastern Baluchistan) of the county during the current month” that’s the report outlook prepared based upon regional and global weather conditions incorporating the climate system dynamics.

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But despite the cautionary statements, citizens suffered and normal life is disrupting by an urban flood, inundation, massive traffic jams and frequent power cuts especially in low lying areas. Heavy downpour also caused problems in different hospitals.

The system of electric supply company failed, resulting in electricity failure in various areas due to tripping of dozens of electric supply company feeders. Numerous areas are without power for many hours, which also interrupted the supply of clean water. Even till late night, many parts of the city are without electricity as the supply of electricity is badly hampered due to rain.

A massive gridlock confirmed after a heavy monsoon rain, inundating major thoroughfares and low-lying areas due to poor drainage system. Poor drainage system and ongoing construction work for various projects in various cities are cited as the reasons behind the worst traffic jam, as hundreds of commuters can be seen stranded with their vehicles stuck in gridlock on waterlogged roads.

Thus, rainfall is not making better everything for everyone. As people, especially of low-lying areas, are facing issues from drinking water to proper water drainage. Not just only the long traffic jams and storm water on roads are making life rough for many but also power cutouts at home and at offices complete the circle of inimical life. Hence, is capable of turning a blessing into an obscenity.

Climate Change

Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere and its short-term variation in minutes to weeks. Climate is the weather of a place averaged over a period of time, often 30 years. Climate information includes the statistical weather information that tells us about the normal weather, as well as the range of weather extremes for a location.

Climate change is a change in the average pattern of weather over a long period of time.The gaseous composition of earth’s atmosphere is undergoing a significant change, largely through increased emissions from energy, industry and agriculture sectors; widespread deforestation as well as fast changes in land use and land management practices. These anthropogenic activities are resulting in an increased emission of radiatively active gases, viz. carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), popularly known as the ‘greenhouse gases’ (GHGs) (Table 1). These GHGs trap the outgoing infrared radiations from the earth’s surface and thus raise the temperature of the atmosphere.

The global mean annual temperature at the end of the 20th century, as a result of GHG accumulation in the atmosphere, has increased by 0.4–0.7 ºC above that recorded at the end of the 19th century. The past 50 years have shown an increasing trend in temperature @ 0.13 °C/decade, while the rise in temperature during the past one and half decades has been much higher.

 

Table 1. Abundance and lifetime of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

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Parameters                                          CO2               CH4             N2O      Chlorofluorocarbons

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Average concentration 100 years      290,000         900              270                         0

ago (ppbV)

Current concentration                     380,000          1,774            319                        3-5

(ppbV) (2007)

Projected concentration in the          400,000-        2,800-          400-500                 3-6

year 2030 (ppbV)                              500,000         3,000

Atmospheric lifetime (year)              5-200             9-15             114                         75

Global warming potential                 1                    25                298                  4750-10900

Source: IPCC (2007)

 

The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change has projected the temperature increase to be between 1.1 °C and 6.4 °C by the end of the 21st Century (IPCC, 2007). The global warming is expected to lead to other regional and global changes in the climate-related parameters such as rainfall, soil moisture, and sea level. Snow cover is also reported to be gradually decreasing.

Therefore, concerted efforts are required for mitigation and adaptation to reduce the vulnerability of agriculture to the adverse impacts of climate change and making it more resilient. The adaptive capacity of poor farmers is limited because of subsistence agriculture and low level of formal education. Therefore, simple, economically viable and culturally acceptable adaptation strategies have to be developed and implemented. Furthermore, the transfer of knowledge as well as access to social, economic, institutional, and technical resources need to be provided and integrated within the existing resources of farmers.

  1. Emission of Greenhouse Gases

The three major GHGs are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, besides chlorofluorocarbons. A brief description of their sources and sinks is given below.

Carbon Dioxide

The main sources of carbon dioxide emission are decay of organic matter, forest fires, eruption of volcanoes, burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and land-use changes. Agriculture is also a contributor to CO2 emission but is not considered a major source of this important GHG. Within agriculture, soil is the main contributor with factors such as soil texture, temperature, moisture, pH, and available C and N, influencing CO2 emission from soil. Emission of CO2 is more from a tilled soil than from an undisturbed soil (no till). Temperature has a marked effect on CO2 evolution from soil by influencing root and soil respiration. It may be mentioned that plants, oceans and atmospheric reactions are the major sinks of carbon dioxide.

Methane

Methane is about 25-times more effective as a heat-trapping gas than CO2. The main sources of methane are: wetlands, organic decay, termites, natural gas and oil extraction, biomass burning, rice cultivation, cattle and refuse landfills. The primary sources of methane from agriculture include animal digestive processes, rice cultivation and manure storage and handling. The removal in the Stratosphere and soil are the main sinks of methane.

In ruminant animals, methane is produced as a by-product of the digestion of feed in the rumen under anaerobic condition. Methane emission is related to the composition of animal diet (grass, legume, grain and concentrates) and the proportion of different feeds (e.g., soluble residue, hemicellulose and cellulose content). Mitigation of methane emitted from livestock is approached most effectively by strategies that reduce feed input per unit of product output. Nutritional, genetic and management strategies to improve feed efficiency increase the rate of product (milk, meat) output per animal. Because most CH4 is produced in the rumen by fermentation, practices that speed the passage of feed from the rumen can also reduce methane formation.

Methane is also formed in soil through the metabolic activities of a small but highly specific bacterial group called ‘methanogens’. Their activity increases in the submerged, anaerobic conditions developed in the wetland rice fields, which limit the transport of oxygen into the soil, and the microbial activities render the water-saturated soil practically devoid of oxygen. The upland, aerobic soil does not produce methane. Water management, therefore, plays a major role in methane emission from soil. Altering water management practices, particularly mid-season aeration by short-term drainage as well as alternate wetting and drying can greatly reduce methane emission from rice cultivation. Improving organic matter management by promoting aerobic degradation through composting or incorporating into soil during off-season drain-period is another promising technique.

Nitrous Oxide

As a greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide is 298-times more effective than CO2. Forests, grasslands, oceans, soils, nitrogenous fertilizers, and burning of biomass and fossil fuels are the major sources of nitrous oxide, while it is removed by oxidation in the Stratosphere. Soil contributes to the largest amount of nitrous oxide emission. The major sources are soil cultivation, fertilizer and manure application, and burning of organic material and fossil fuels. From an agricultural perspective, nitrous oxide emission from soil represents a loss of soil nitrogen, reducing the nitrogen-use efficiency.

Appropriate crop management practices, which lead to increased N-use efficiency, hold the key to reduce nitrous oxide emission. Site-specific nutrient management, fertilizer placement and proper type of fertilizer supply nutrients in a better accordance with plant demands, thereby reduce nitrous oxide emission.