Sherry unveils country’s first-ever National Adaptation Plan

Plan unanimously approved by federal capital to enhance nation’s resilience against adverse impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.

ISLAMABAD   -  Federal Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination Senator Sherry Rehman Wednesday unveiled the country’s firstever National Adaptation Plan unanimously approved by the federal capital to enhance nation’s resilience against adverse impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. The minister flanked by Additional Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Syed Mujtaba Hussain briefed the media persons over the landmark achievement that remained unaccomplished due to poor interest of the previous regime. She said the country needed adaptation and resilience as after 2022 floods the devastation and scale of the disaster underscored its significance for the future of the nation.

The minister alleged said the adaptation plan had reportedly started in 2019 but she did not find any record of the document in the ministry. The team under the leadership of Additional Secretary Mujtaba Hussain worked extensively to create first ever adaptation plan which was a home grown plan and had been prepared with the input of the line ministries and provincial ministries, she added.

The minister informed that detailed consultations with all the provinces including the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) in the process of preparing the National Adaptation Plan as the ownership of the plan was important. She noted that it was the job of the ministry to prepare projects, policy and planning in the ambit of climate change and environment. However, she said Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had already made their National Adaptation Plan in the region whereas some 40 countries all over the world had submitted their plans to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The minister said the plan was an important document that would be submitted to the UNFCCC. On growing impacts of global warming on the region, she said climate stress was becoming like an emergency owing to the multiplying impacts of climate change.

“We flagged ‘climate justice’ slogan at COP-27 [in Egypt]. Our greenhouse gas emissions are below one percent. We made it acknowledged across the world that Pakistan is in the frontline of global warming and it has been established world over,” Senator Rehman said.

The minister mentioned that currently the situation across the world showed forest fires going rampant which had been the case in Pakistan during the past year due to heatwaves.

“Pakistan is having 53 degrees Celsius and it maintained this high temperature consecutively for three years,” she said. Deliberating on the chapters of the Plan, she said a special chapter on risk and vulnerabilities was made as the country had been repeatedly among the top climate vulnerable countries’ ranking of the German Watch. She said no one could stop heatwaves but the associated risks like drought, hydro-meteorological events, glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) etc.

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