Climate Training Participants call for Coordinated Planning and Concerted Actions against Heatwave

Islamabad – Faisal Azfar Alvi: Journalists, university students and civil society members have stressed upon coordinated planning and concerted actions by government, civil society and private sector against heatwave and its impact in the country.

This was discussed by participants of an online training session on Heatwaves and Climate Change (May 21, 2022) organized by Resilient Future International Pvt Ltd.-an Islamabad based research and training company. Journalists, university students and community members from Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh province participated in the training session.

Mr Aftab Alam Khan, Chief Executive of Resilient Future International and lead trainer explained that numerous research reports had confirmed that heatwaves have been increased due to climate change. Most notable among them are recent publications of Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).These reports are prepared by thousands of scientists and approved by almost all governments in the world.

For instance, ‘Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’ publication of IPCC-AR6 launched in February 2022 had already warned that Pakistan and other South Asian countries would face higher frequency of heatwaves with greater intensity and longer duration.

M Aftab Alam Khan underscored disproportional impact of heatwaves on poor and marginalized communities particularly women, children, outdoor laborers, elderly, disabled and transgender persons. Heatwaves have negative impacts on physical and mental health. Beside heatstroke, heart and kidney patients are also vulnerable. Heatwaves lead to mental stress and increased violent behaviors by individuals and groups. The current heatwave in the country, according to estimates of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SPARCO), has caused 10 percent losses in wheat production, amount to around 3 million tons of wheat. Mr Aftab Alam Khan suggested water smart and climate resilient methods in agriculture and industrial production.

The recent outburst of Shisper Glacier lake outburst is connected with heatwave. Normally these lakes are formed in May or June. However, the heatwave started in March resulted in formation of lake in April.

This year March was the hottest month in the history of Pakistan. Temperature in Jacobabad reached 51 Celsius against the average of 43.8 Celsius. Nawabshah faced 50.5 Celsius against average of 44.6 and Moenjodaro reached 50 Celsius against its average temperature of 44 Celsius.

Mr Ali Jabir, a senior climate journalist from Associated Press Pakistan emphasized training needs for journalists to improve climate related stories. He explained various climate related terminologies for the participants. Mr Jabir also explained zig-zag technology to convert brick klins into climate smart production units.

Mr Amir Sohail, a journalist from Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa noted that highways construction in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should avoid tree cuttings and ensure timely plantation of trees.

Mr Imran Baloch of Green Rural Development Organization, Hyderabad Sindh stressed upon regular training programs on climate change. He also noted that waterlogging and salinity in Sindh impacted negatively agricultural production and income of poor farmers.

Mr Hamza Yousaf a student of International Islamic University talked about pollution created by plastic bags and emphasized need of community and government actions against the menace.

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