Climate change in Pakistan is leading to economic instability, food insecurity, biodiversity loss and serious health issues and posing an existential threat that pushes vulnerable people to hunger, unem-ployment and poverty.
These views were expressed by speakers on the first day (Monday) of a two-day workshop on climate vulnerabilities, challenges and opportunities.
Climate change is disproportionately affecting the poorest people, young and old, women, indigenous communities and other marginalized groups, they held.
Addressing this challenge requires urgent action and strong coordination among climate experts, relevant government departments and civil society organiza-tions, they further said.
Chief Guest on the occasion, Dr Abdul Rahim Soomro who is Secretary Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Department, Government of Sindh said the coastal climate vulnerability in Pakistan still needed better attention at the federal and provincial levels to broadly understand the issue and propose its inclusive solution.
He urged the need for persistent actions and coordi-nated efforts to ensure a resilient future for all.
‘It is time we think of climate change as a development issue that has the potential to increase social differ-ences and injustice, especially for those who are already living on the edge at the face of climate change’, he added.
Dr Tahir Rasheed, Regional Director, WWF-Pakistan said that climate change is posing a serious threat to the present and coming generations. It is causing biodiversity loss, habitat degradation and exacerbating freshwater issues in Pakistan.
We are working to enhance the resilience of vulner-able coastal communities to climate change through inclusive development and mitigation strategies.
Community-based afforestation of mangroves has been initiated, under which over 100,000 mangrove saplings were planted in the Indus delta and Karachi coast.
The workshop, which focused on providing a com-mon platform to share information about select en-vironmental issues along the coast of Pakistan and highlight efforts towards addressing those chal-lenges, was organized by WWF-Pakistan and Ox-fam GB to enhance formal coordinated efforts to address climate vulnerability.
Both organizations have been working jointly over the past three years to enhance the climate resilience of vulnerable coastal communities.