Pakistan to face greater climate impacts, New Climate Report
Press Statement by Resilient Future International (RFI)
A new report by a United Nations body- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights that Pakistan would face greater consequences of climate change in coming decades in rural and urban areas.
The following findings are analyzed in a press statement of Resilient Future International Pvt Ltd, (RFI) an Islamabad based research and training company.
The Sixth IPCC Report ‘Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’ shares the most advanced compendium of current and future climatic impacts in the world. Nearly 1000 authors reviewed 34 thousand scientific reports in 6-7 years prepare thisreport, which was approved by 195 governments worldwide.
It shows that up to 3.6 billion people live in highly vulnerable countries of South Asia, Small Island Developing States, the Arctic, Central and South America, and sub-Saharan Africa. Climatic vulnerability is exacerbated by inequity linked to gender, ethnicity, low income and other forms of marginalization.
Pakistan is already among top ten climate impacted countries. The IPCC report shows that in future, rural and urban areas of Pakistan would face greater impacts of climate change.
The report warns about future locust attacks. Conducive temperature and increased rains in deserts would create favourable conditions for breeding and outbreak of locust. Important to note that recent locust attack in Pakistan, South Asia and Africa had destroyed crops and farmers’ income. Pakistan had lost 2 percent of agricultural production in the fiscal year 2019-20.
Agriculture in Pakistan faces greater disease attacks and crop losses due to floods, droughts and heatwaves. Warmer climate is leading to quicker grain formation phase in drylands areas of Southern Punjab- an irreversible impact of climate change.
The report underscores that agrochemicals has already degraded several parts Pakistan, Nepal, India and China.
The report also cites successful and unsuccessful climate adaptation practices. In Pakistan changes in crop sowing and harvesting time and rural urban migration are among the coping practices. It categorizes plantation of Eucalyptus trees in Pakistan as maladaptation due to their high water uptake. Maladaptation means initiative that causes more harm than benefits for environment.
Aftab Alam Khan CEO, Resilient Future International Pvt Ltd noted that “The new IPCC report reveals that risks of the previous reports are already turning into realities. Our economy faces serious climate consequences. All departments in federal and provincial governments need to take lead. It’s crucial to uplift climate work by integrating agriculture extension, universities, health departments, rural, urban authorities and private sector. We should develop research based medium and long term climate adaptation plans. Inclusive process with urban authorities, universities, private sector, women and men farmers, and civil society organizations would ensure relevant and pragmatic plan.”
“It’s high time to train all sectors on challenges and opportunities of climate change. Health, agriculture, industries, media and IT sectors can contribute towards climate resilient and water smart economy. Universities can lead in research and technologies while private sector can produce climate smart products”.
Pakistan to face much more water issues in future. Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and India together account for 50 percent of global ground water withdrawal. In coming decades water demand for irrigation, industry and household in Asia will increase by 30-40 percent.
In urban areas people’s income, health, lives, properties, energy and transportation systems are adversely affected by heatwaves, floods, drought, storms and sea level rise . Hyderabad is going to be the hottest city in Pakistan, followed by Jacobabad, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur. Karachi may also face sever heat waves.
The report also mentions increasing malnutrition, child stunting and health impacts such as dengue, malaria, intestine infections and waterborne diseases due to climatic changes.