Webinar on ‘Pakistan’s preparedness for Climatic Calamities’ Experts call for inclusive and participatory urban management

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Zubair Qureshi

The climate experts have urged the federal and the provincial governments for strong local governance, mainstreaming of climate adaptation and meaningful planning and implementation of disaster management.
All this needs to have vigorous policy advocacy and incorporation of climate vulnerability into the development projects, besides awareness raising among the stakeholders including grassroots communities.
While participating in a webinar on “Pakistan’s preparedness for climatic calamities”, the experts also showed their grave concerns over the rapidly increasing population and decreasing ratio of per capita social investment.
All federal government policy frameworks would mean nothing if provinces don’t adopt it in a letter and spirit and trickle down funds to strengthen the local governance.
The webinar was organized by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) on Saturday in the context of sustainable urban management.
The panel included Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, Chief Engineering Advisor Ministry of Water Resources Ahmad Kamal, UN-Habitat Country Manager Jawed Ali Khan, climate and water expert Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, and senior journalist Shabina Faraz.
Well-known environmentalist and Devcom-Pakistan and DTNTV Director Munir Ahmed hosted and conducted the webinar.
Malik Amin Aslam said Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate impact is rising very fast.
In recent years, the frequency and intensity of extreme events has gone up by three times while the funding resources have been reducing. We need to act efficiently on adaptation mechanisms for which the climate induced practices and development need to be promoted on all levels. After the 18th amendment, the provinces are more responsible for taking care of the grassroots management of sewage, water and sanitation, encroachments on the pathways of the flash floods.
He said disintegrated decision making would lead to more damage to lives and livelihood if adaptation mechanisms are not implemented on grassroots level. He also cited several steps taken by the federal government to combat the climate change impact. He said Sindh province is more vulnerable to climate impact and the provincial government need to act accordingly while the federal government is all out to support the provinces for their portative initiatives.
Ahmad Kamal said flood management plans have worked efficiently because of the early warning systems installed on the riverine system that has reduced the impact significantly. A well-defined disaster management system is in place with the leading role of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) where all provincial and national authorities and organizations mandated to cope up with the challenges of natural disaster interact.
Jawed Ali Khan said the problem is with city governments where right and rational decision making is absent on sustainable urban management. He suggested strong local governance based on inclusive and participatory mechanisms.
Ali Tauqeer Sheikh asked for the private sector to support the city governments.

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