Islamabad—Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid has urged the national media to play its role in highlighting the climate change threat. Addressing the inaugurals session of the three-day National Conference on “Water and environment for sustainable development in changing climate” here, he said the government is well aware of the challenges related to climate. However, support of the media is vital for the implementation of its policy on climate change.
The minister said that the government is committed to the freedom of media and it will do all to facilitate media persons in their professional duties. However, media also has a responsibility of ensuring balanced coverage and prioritising issues that are of importance to the common man, he added.
He said that while the print media does carry material catering to the educational, information and entertainment needs of readers, the same cannot be said about the electronic media far less about the new media commonly known as social media. “We face problems related to health, education, sanitation, terrorism etc which find space in media. However, the same cannot be said when it comes to awareness about climate change and its impact on Pakistan”, he added.
The minister said that global warming poses a serious threat to Pakistan’s economy and ecology, Pakistan cannot do much to reduce causes of global warming as Pakistan is the least contributor of Green House Gases but we could adapt measures to overcome weaknesses to reduce at least its serious impacts on our economy and ecology.
In recent years, he said, Pakistan has witnessed the vagaries of climate change with growing regularity and destructive ferocity. Droughts, desertification, glacial melt, sea level rise and recurrent floods are all manifestations of climate induced phenomena. The minister said besides, the tragic human and material costs these threats also impede our ability to promote sustainable growth and development and ensure economic prosperity for our people.
Long-term impacts of climate change are expected to threaten our biodiversity, water availability, food security, human health and overall well-being of the masses.
“Pakistan being an agricultural based economy, lying in arid and semi-arid region, with heavy dependence on irrigated agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate change”,Pervaiz Rashid said.
He said the Government is fully committed to cope with the negative fallouts of climate change. ‘Vision 2025’, our blueprint for a future oriented and growth centric roadmap for Pakistan clearly recognizes global warming and climate change as priority areas for effective action by the government, he added.
He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif clearly spelt out Pakistan’s policy on climate change while addressing the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris on November 30, 2015.
He quoted Prime Minister as saying : “Pakistan is committed to the cause of reducing global emissions. Several mitigation initiatives, including promotion of affordable renewable technologies, measures towards energy efficiency, implementation of mass transport system and expansion of hydroelectricity potential, are already part of our development strategy.”
The National Climate Change Policy and its Framework for Implementation for the period 2014-2030 will serve to integrate climate-friendly policies in our national economy and development planning.
He said that the climate change message is a universal one and it is not about culture, religion or ideology nor it recognizes any territorial or language barriers.