Speakers call for ‘trans-boundary’ solution to impending climate threat

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Millions of people in entire South Asia are facing huge devastation resulting by climate change. The nature of challenges and threats of disasters induced by climate change demanded transboundary solutions and hence, it is imperative for all the governments in South Asia to enhance cooperation and collaboration at SAARC level to evolve mechanisms to protect the lives and agriculture across the South Asian Region.
The panel of experts on climate change, water governance and inequalities expressed these views during the seminar ‘SAARC-Challenges and Opportunities in Changing Regional Dynamics’ held by Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG) in collaboration with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Heinrich BöllStiftung Pakistan (HBS), Sungi Foundation, Roots for Equity, LokSanjh and ActionAid Pakistan here on Monday.
Sanjay Vashist, Director Climate Action Network (CAN) South Asia shared his views with the audience on the Impacts of climate change in South Asia including shrinking crossborder resources. He saidthat the South Asian governments lacked capacity to respond to these challenges while working in isolation. Therefore, they must join hand to find solutions for the vulnerable communities across South Asia.
“The climate financing at global level was shrinking and thus it was high time for the South Asian governments to mobilize their own resources”, Sanjay said. The nature of the disasters in South Asian countries including floods and draughts existed in across the region and thus it could be responded by collaborated mechanisms.
Dr. Imran Khalid of SDPI presented details of water related complexities in relations to climate change and said that we need transborder climate change adaptation strategy. He suggested that besides redressing implementation gaps, track two discussions round crucial water issues of the region must be initiated. AftabAlam Khan of Actionaid Pakistan highlighted the level of inequalities linked with the impacts of climate change. He said that small farmers and other weaker segments of society have to face most of the adverse impacts of climate change. He demanded that SAARC countries should incorporate the voices of these vulnerable communities in its discussions at highest level.

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