PARC organized Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Science Conference on 2nd October, 2018 at Islamabad Hotel, Islamabad.There is need to use print and electronic media to create awareness on climate change in the country,Dr. Yusuf Zafar, Chairman, PARC.
Pakistan Agricultural Research Council has organized a “Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Science Conference- Lessons, Achievements and Way Forward” under its HI-AWARE project, a regional project funded by IDRC and DFID. The conference was organized to highlight the achievements of the HI-AWARE project and special emphasis was on the success stories being piloted by PARC at the various pilot sites of the project in different agro-ecologies. In welcome address, Additional Secretary Ministry of National Food security and Research, Mr. Mubarak Ali, highlighted the Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change. He emphasised on sustainable development in agriculture sector to make it resilient to climate change. He also stressed on consistent policies to adapt agriculture sector to climate change and reduce emissions from the sector to highlight its mitigation agenda. He also informed that adaptation to climate change is the priority agenda of the present government along with strong mitigation measures.
The Project In-charge, Dr. Bashir Ahmad, gave overview of the project. He highlighted the objectives of the project, achievements and success stories particularly the development of piloting sites, up-scaling of the pilot activities and publications made by the scientists of the project. Then Dr. Phillippus Wester, Regional Project Coordinator from International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) shared the key messages of the HI-AWARE project. He shared with the audience that even an increase of 1.5 degrees is alarming and glaciers of the HKH region will shrink by 36% at this much increase in temperature by 2100. The Director General of the ICIMOD was represented by the county representative of Pakistan chapter of ICIMOD, Dr. Abdul Wahid Jasra, who read the address of DG ICIMOD to the audience. Dr. David Molden specifically highlighted that the PARC component of the HI-AWARE was most vibrant in the region and appreciated the contributions of PARC team to the joint mutual human cause of minimizing the impacts of climate change.
Dr. Qamar Zaman, Ex. Chairman Pakistan Meteorological Department, highlighted the achievements of Government of Pakistan in tackling climate change including formation of a dedicated Ministry for Climate Change, National Climate Change Policy, National Water Policy, National Forest Policy etc. He also mentioned that adaptations in agriculture and water sector are crucial for sustainable development of the country. Then Ex. Senator Nisar A. Memon acknowledged the contributions of PARC and HI-AWARE project in sensitizing the implications of climate change for water and agriculture sectors in Pakistan. He informed that there are about 7250 glaciers in Pakistan which are strategic assets of the country. We emphasised on protecting the Mother Nature otherwise Nature takes the revenge He focused on governance related issues which are hampering the sustainable development of the country. He said that National Forest Policy and the plan to plant 10 billion trees in next five years will be instrumental in bringing change in the country if implemented in their true spirit. He also stressed on reducing vulnerabilities in the region due to governance issues. He also emphasized on building of institutional capacity and infrastructure to reduce vulnerabilities.
The inaugural session of the conference was close with the vote of thanks from Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Dr. Yusuf Zafar T.I. He also informed audience that up-scaling of PARC tested technologies under HI-AWARE and other projects are underway. He specifically mentioned solar water pumping schemes in Gilgit-Baltistan by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and initiative of 30,000 solar pumping systems by Government of Pakistan. He congratulated the HI-AWARE PARC team in achieving the goals of the project. Dr. Yusuf Zafar also urged to use print and electronic media to create awareness on climate change in the country.
In the technical sessions (3 technical sessions) of the conference scientists presented some of the pressing issues related to climate change. The key speakers in the technical sessions included Dr. Arthur Lutz, Dr. Biemans Hester, Dr. Bashir Ahmad, Mr. Zeeshan Tahir Virk, Dr. Sasika Werners, Dr. Zakir Hussain Dahri, Dr. Muhammad Munir Ahmad, Mr. Debabrat Sukla and Mr. Khalid Jamil. The technical sessions were convened by Ex. Senator Nisar A Memon and Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, CEO LEAD Pakistan.