Govt ensures to minimize adverse impact of climate change: Imam

Fakhar Imam

A delegation led by representative of FAO, Ms Florence Roll called on the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam. The delegation included UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Julien Harneis, Master Plan Lead Mr. Adil Najam, International Consultant Mark Halle and National Coordinator Ministry of Climate Change Mr. Saad Hayat.

Fakhar Imam said that the present government is using all its resources to protect Pakistan from the adverse impact of climate change. He said that the issue of food security is at the core of climate change. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is the first Prime Minister of Pakistan who has highlighted the issue of climate change and not only that but has actively worked towards restoration of forests in Pakistan through Ten Billion Tree Tsunami.

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Ms. Florence Roll briefed the federal minister that “A Master Plan is being developed ” to restore the Indus River Basin at the source, through the plains and to the sea. The Master Plan will be developed with three work streams; to protect the source, use the river efficiently and sustainably and protect marine life.

Ms Florence said that the Indus River Basin is under threat from climate change, environmental degradation, population pressure and pollution hence putting a question mark on its resilience to sustain life for future generations. Pakistan therefore; needs a Perspective Plan to conserve the resource base, use it wisely and restore the ecosystem. Minister was told that the Government requested the technical assistance of the UN to develop a Plan in consultation with all stakeholders to contribute and build upon provincial, national and international initiatives in Pakistan.

Fakhar said that the current government aims to provide maximum facilities to farmers as it seeks to increase domestic production in agriculture. He said that the PTI government is playing a critical role in facilitating the Research Centres in helping the farmers increase their productivity. Numerous projects started all over Pakistan under National Agriculture Emergency Program are supporting sustainable development in agriculture and livestock sector. Fakhar said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision in agriculture and livestock sector rests on Sustainability which will directly benefit the poor farmers. Under the Agriculture Transformation Program, fertilizers and seed subsidy, innovation in the field of agriculture and upgradation of institutions are at the forefront.

Ms Florence said that climate change is shrinking the glaciers and making rains less predictable, reducing agricultural production and washing away the homes of the most indigent. Pollution from industry, agriculture and domestic sewage is sickening tens of millions of people who drink from its waters. Contamination from arsenic, nitrates, metals, plastic waste and microbiological contaminants are all at dangerous levels. Environmental degradation at the river mouth is increasing salination of the delta and destroying marine ecosystems and the fishing economy.

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