Sindhi version of national climate change policy draft launched

June 15, 2015 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: Speakers representing academia, research institutions, community federal and Sindh government departments and civil society Tuesday emphasized the need to encourage youth of universities to take up the issues of climate change through research, focusing on threats to natural resources due to climatic variations.

They were speaking at the inauguration ceremony of National Climate Change Policy draft in Sindhi language, organized by the Federal Government, Oxfam Novib and Research and Development Foundation (RDF), held at a hotel in Karachi. They advised universities administrations to encourage young cadre to promote research initiative and help the government and policy makers through pointing out weaker points, like coast, desert, forest, water resources, wetlands, mountainous areas where community have various problems and migration is continuous matter because of depleting food sources.

Arif Ahmed Khan, Federal Secretary of Ministry of Climate Change presided over the event, whereas Secretary, Sindh Planning and Development Rehana Memon, Dr Fatah Mari, Chief Economist of Planning and Development, Naim Shah of Chief Meteorologist Karachi, Asim Saqlain of Oxfam, Ghulam Qadir Shah of IUCN, Masood Mahesar, Executive Director RDF, Ashfaq Soomro Programme Head RDF, Nasir Panhwar of Centre of Environment and Development (CEAD), and others spoke on the occasion.

Arif Ahmed Khan lauded the initiative taken by RDF for translating the very first policy draft in Sindhi language, which will be supportive to make the community level people understand. According to him, they have planned to translate this important document in all the Pakistan languages so the people may understand and change as they are vulnerable of these weather variations. He gave history of the causes of increasing temperature due to emissions, saying industrial revolution is the main reason around the world and Pakistan is the most vulnerable, losing its water resources, forests, causing desertification.

He advised the community people to take efforts on their own at local level to avoid the impacts of climate change and floods and disasters. Community people hailing from Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Dadu and Jamshoro also participated n the programme. Dr. Fatah Mari, Chief Economist P&D said in fact policies are important but after formation there are governance issues to implement. Asim Saqlain of Oxfam said they have taken initiatives and this document in Sindhi with RDF is their success story to bring these findings at community level, who are actually vulnerable, facing natural calamities caused by the climatic variations.

He also said they have launched a Grow Campaign with community level organisations to educate the farmers in Punjab and Sindh provinces. Environment expert Nasir Panhwar, who also reviewed the policy draft comprehensively, said Sindh is paying ore prices due to government’s flawed policies and we have lost forests, wetlands due to degradation. The other speakers proposed the government that since the water resources are under threats, they should promote climate resilient crops for sustainability and ensure food availability. They said Pakistan is agriculture dependent country, hence the government and other research institutions, and academia should take part to identify the effects and weaker points.

Earlier, Masood Mahesar of RDF gave an overview of its organizations working in Thar and other areas, which are facing losses in terms of natural calamity, droughts and flood disasters. Speakers also pointed out that it is not only coastal areas but even irrigated areas are also come under such threats, like Karachi and other areas are vulnerable because of receiving warning calls of tsunamis and cyclones.