Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Friday warned that the glacial lakes leading floods had increased five times during the past three years due to massively increasing global warming. The SAPM was addressing as keynote speaker at a seminar in connection with the International Mountain Day on Sustainable Mountain Tourism jointly organized by the Ministry of Climate Change and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) here.
Amin said the average temperature was increasing at a doubled pace as compared to the world in Pakistan due to the geology of the region. However, due to an inclined terrain and topography of the country whatever natural calamity occurred in the North it got shifted to the entire country, he added. The SAPM informed that under the second phase of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF-II) project proper data of melting glaciers was being received and helping out in informed decision for disaster mitigation and adaptation.
The GLOF phenomenon, he said was forced upon the country due to environmental degradation as 70 percent infrastructure used to get damaged due to glacial flooding and hurricanes like extreme weather events.
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He added that glacial melting due to temperature rise could not be halted rather adapted through nature based solutions. “The expansion of national parks in the northern areas alongwith a high altitude corridor linking all national parks at 14,000 feet would allow the nature to be a bulwark to climate change,” the SAPM mentioned.
During the COP-26 international climate change, he said Pakistan informed the world community that loss and damage mechanism was important for countries like Pakistan due to huge economic burden bore by its economy in lieu of damages incurred by GLOF like events.
#UNDPinPakistan, under the GLOF-II project, convened an MoU between @ClimateChangePK & Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission #SUPARCO— to use satellite imagery to get a picture of the current glacial lakes & associated threats of #GLOF incidents. @theGCF pic.twitter.com/Qlg5GNnSbc
— UNDP Pakistan (@UNDP_Pakistan) March 1, 2021
On the occasion, Resident Representative UNDP-Pakistan, Knut Ostby said climate change was real and the solution to cope with it in big scale was through reducing air pollution, fossil fuels consumption and recycling of reusable materials.
He said the UNDP-Pakistan did a scientific analysis of lakes and glaciers to select particular districts in Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) for installing early warning systems, weather monitoring technologies and sustainable agriculture practices under GLOF project.
He suggested that Pakistan needed to workout sufficient financial solutions for supporting nature based solutions and GLOF like projects.
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A panel discussion was also organized at the occasion moderated by WWF-Pakistan official Dr Imran Saqib Khalid, where Canadian Ambassador Wendy Gilmour, SAPM Amin Aslam, UNDP Resident Representative Knut Ostby, Climate Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Sobia Becker, Environmental Specialist at World Bank Rahat Jabeen and Managing Director Hagler Bailly Vaqar Zakaria presented their views during the discussion.