Pakistan: Climate Change Adaptation Project to benefit 185 million population


30 January 2017

Pakistan’s $36 million Climate Change Adaptation Project responding to Glacial Outburst in Northern Pakistan will benefit 185 million population of the country.

The project was approved by Green Climate Fund (GCF) during its 14th Board meeting held in Republic of Korea last year. The project was submitted by Ministry of Climate Change together with UNDP for board’s approval.

According to an official of the ministry, the proposed project will benefit approximately 700,000 people on average directly (5 districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 7 in Gilgit-Baltistan) and about 30 million indirect beneficiaries of whom half are women and girls.

The project thus benefits about 15 per cent of the total population of Pakistan estimated at 185 million as at 2014 (World Bank data). The Indian Board member attempted to reject Pakistan’s proposal citing unsubstantiated technical reasons.

However, the other 23 Board Members who considered the project fit for approval out rightly rejected these claims and approved the project. Pakistan also holds an alternate seat at the Board (with Saudi Arabia) and was able to effectively mitigate the false perceptions that were being propagated by the Indian member. The approved project will impact the lives of thousands of people who are living in constant danger of periodic glacial outbursts in the Northern Pakistan.

The main project outputs are Strengthened sub national institutional capacities to plan and implement climate change resilient development pathways and Community based Early Warning System (EWS) and long term measures are up scaled to increase communities adaptive capacity.

The project will address climate change impacts and Glacial Lake Outbursts Floods (GLOF) risks by preventing loss of lives and community infrastructure based on a holistic approach in all 7 districts of Gilgit-Baltistan and 5 districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province thus contributing to a climate resilient sustainable development in the long term.

The project outcome will strengthen adaptive capacity and reduce exposure to climate risks posed by climate change impacts and GLOF risks through the increased technical capacity of provincial and line departments to integrate CC and GLOF risks into development plans tools and budgets and by expanding the Pakistan Meteorological Department s Early Warning System (EWS) based on hydrological modelling and flood scenarios.

The project will also strengthen sub-national institutional capacities to plan and implement climate change and disaster resilient development pathways as proposed outputs and activities will develop the capabilities of local level institutions and federal level institutions to incorporate climate change adaptation considerations into development plans in GB and KP.

Listing some other initiatives the official said another remarkable achievement of Ministry of Climate Change is launching of Green Pakistan Programme. As is well known forestry and wildlife have been provincial subjects for several decades well before the devolution of the 18th Amendment.

Accordingly the basic outline of Green Pakistan Programme for revival of forest and wildlife resources in Pakistan (GPP) is that this programme will be implemented with the support of all provinces and federating units.

The GPP was approved by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and an allocation of Rs2 billion being made in the current budget. He told this agency that Ministry of Climate Change succeeded to get Climate Change Act approved from cabinet.

Under this Act Climate Change Council will be established in which all chief ministers will be included. This council will be responsible to implement climate change related policies in their respective provinces.

Further, the Ministry of Climate Change portrayed the positive image of Pakistan on the International platform by signing the Paris Agreement in April 2016 which was ratified before COP 22. Pakistan also participated in COP 22 which was held in Morocco this time.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid announced official statement of Pakistan that we have adopted a perspective development plan called Vision 2025 a National Climate Change Policy along with a Framework for its implementation and a National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy.

He also mentioned that Pakistan is first country in the world whose National Assembly passed a unanimous Resolution adopting the SDGs Agenda as its own national development agenda. The Minister also held bilateral meetings with his counterparts of UAE Turkey and Iran. He also attended Women Leaders & the Global Transformation Summit and highlighted important initiatives taken for women empowerment of Pakistan.

Similarly Global change Impact Study Centre which is attached department of Ministry of Climate Change and responsible for research work related to climate change issues made many contributions that includes International National Research Papers research Reports he added.