Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Muhammad Khalid Khurshid Khan Thursday said it was imperative to provide advanced technological paraphernalia and capacity building to public departments for containing glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) and other disasters.
The country despite its negligible contributions to global green house gas emissions (GHGs) was bearing the brunt of environmental degradation and was also amongst top 10 vulnerable countries due to climate change, he said addressing the 4-day workshop on Disaster Risk Management under the auspices of GLOF-II project in collaboration with the UNDP and Ministry of Climate Change.
The Chief Minister said there was no industry in GB whereas it was facing the worst impacts of environmental degradation in the form of temperature rise and GLOF.
“The number of glacial lakes has rapidly increased due to visible environmental degradation which is alarming.
GB is home to the largest glaciers after North and South Poles whereas fast melting of its glaciers will wipe out the entire region as our lush green pastures rely on this snow,” he added.
Khan said threat identification was the core of disaster risk management and its impact mitigation endeavours.
“We are mitigating climate change and temperature rise through plantation under the Prime Minister’s vision of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami. It is the only natural course for mitigation.”
He emphasised that there was need to improve technology for early warning of GLOF, in time preparedness and response measures.
Additional Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Jodat Ayaz said the training workshop was a joint step to develop resilience among the public partners involved in disaster management and local communities against impending GLOF and other calamities.
The shift in global temperature had caused a half degree rise in Pakistan’s indigenous temperature incurring shift in weather pattern resulting GLOF and other associated natural disasters, he added.
Ayaz said the stakeholder team was fully on board and swift implementation of GLOF-II project would be ensured.
“A complete module of Disaster Risk Management has been prepared and will also help in guiding all partners for better response and preparedness against disasters,” the Additional Secretary said.
The GLOF-II project funding of US$36 million was difficultly achieved through the United Nations Green Climate Fund owing to huge resistance of India which was a great accomplishment of the country’s representatives in the UN, he added.