Parliamentary committees urged to push authorities for rapid climate response

Zubair Qureshi

The National Climate Rapid Response (NCRR) Brief has urged the Senate, National Assembly and joint parliamentary committees on climate change, water, national food security to expedite the federal, four provincial, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to take urgent steps to reduce climate impact without any failure. Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) launched the NCRR Executive Brief.

According to the brief, the scale of the damage to climate barriers has gone beyond the red alert.

Strangely, it seems the cartels and mafias have surged and urgent steps are needed to stop the local deforestation, water degeneration, over-harvesting of underground water, and change in the land-use of green and agricultural land.

The NCRR executive brief also highlighted the human insecurity indicators which have gone up the red point but the authorities are playing slow.

They will come up with a rapid response agenda under their jurisdiction areas and take strict action against the cartels and mafia. Only parliamentary committees can push the agenda forward if they are sincere to their core of hearts and duty-bound.

Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said the objective of the executive brief is to urgently highlight the fast rising human security challenges and inaction of government authorities. Through this brief, the parliamentary committees are urged to push climate action forward more vigorously.Talking about the environmental degradation and climate change governance in Pakistan, WWF-Pakistan Director General (DG) Hammad Naq Khan said: Pakistan is in the midst of a climate crisis. Currently, we are facing an intense heat wave across the country that threatens livelihoods, food security and collective well-being. We are seeing regular occurrences of glacial lake outburst floods. Episodes of riverine flooding, part and parcel of our landscape, are being exacerbated by global warming. Moreover, biodiversity is also at risk as can be seen with the recent fires that devastated parcels of the precious chilghoza forests in Balochistan. In recent years, we have witnessed intense storms affecting our urban areas and a return of locusts to Sindh and Southern Punjab; events that researchers link to the climate crisis. Meanwhile, environmental degradation continues to affect our natural environment and our communities. The quality of the air we breathe is degraded, our waterways are polluted, and the land is degraded by improper disposal of solid and hazardous waste.

Karakoram International University (KIU), Gilgit, Assistant Professor and IUCN Pakistan Biodiversity Expert Dr Saeed Abbas mentioned that over the last one decade the frequency as well the intensity of floods, GLOFs (glacial lake outburst flood), rock sliding, avalanches, land slips, earthquakes have been reported to be increased 4 times as compared to last 30 years. The main reasons for this effect are the presence of emerging industrial activities in neighbouring China and increasing vehicular pollution in Pakistan, India and China resulting in penetration of monsoon residues into high Himalayas.

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