PAKISTAN’S SUSCEPTIBILITY TO THE
THREATS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
As a result of Global Warming, Glaciers located in
Northern mountain ranges of Pakistan, which include Koh Karakaram Range,
Himalya Range and Koh Hindukash Range, are melting at rapid rate which can and
have caused floods in the Indus river and its tributaries. In the long term,
these glaciers when melted completely will give rise to the severe water
scarcity in Pakistan.
GLOBALLY: Melting of Glaciers results in increase of
sea of level which result in disappearance of Islands e.g. it is predicted that
Maldives will completely sink by 2100 AD, thus causing danger to the coastal
Rise in temperature increases heat index which results
into dryness of land, thus creating water level drop which in return give rise
to drought which will further affect overall food productivity of the region.
GLOBALLY: Further rise in global temperature of 1 C
will cause desertification of more than twenty five percent of World’s Land.
Due to deforestation and flooding, erosion of land
fills the dams with the silt deposits thus reducing the dams’ capacity to store
water. This leads to two issues:
Reduction in energy production which declines our
national economic activity.
Decreased capacity to hold water would result in
flooding during monsoon season and on the contrary in the dry season these dams
will be insufficient to cater for the agricultural needs of the country.
Smog forms when smoke combines with fog under
favorable level of humidity. For the past few years Pakistan is suffering from
SMOG especially in and around the big cities like Lahore and Karachi.
Reasons of smog are burning of fossil fuel in the
vehicles and in the industry and burning of crops majorly in Indian Punjab.
Smog is giving rise to various health problems like
allergies, asthma, irritation to eyes, throat and lungs infection and heart
India Water Dispute
Pakistan being a Lower Riparian state is at the
disadvantage when it comes to water sharing. In Indus Water Treaty of 1960, Pakistan
was given three Western Rivers including Jhelum, Indus and Chenab. After Uri
Attack, Indian PM Narindar Moodi gave statement “Water and blood cannot flow
together”. This statement raised concerns among masses in Pakistan about the
future of Indus Water Treaty. Construction of dams and barrages over Western
Rivers has given India capability to dry or flood the lands of Pakistan.
CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION
Pakistan is among the lowest contributors of Green
House Gases emission in the world. However, it is one of the most affected countries
which are prone to climate change.
This vulnerability to climate change poses threats to
food, water and energy security of the country and it can be tackle by adopting
and implementing strategies to mitigate effects of climate change.
Climate change is directly affecting the glacier and
snow melt in the North. For Pakistan, it is predicted that due to melting of
glaciers and irregularity in monsoon rains, for first few decades the flow in
Indus River System will be increased and this will decrease subsequently.
Moreover extreme weather conditions will cause flooding and droughts. Growing
population of the country also demands more water supply and in the coming days
we can face severe water shortage. Following measures must be taken by the
Government to combat the water crisis in the upcoming years:
storage capacity of already existing dams through de-siltation of those dams.
more Underground canals (Karez) in Balochistan and Sindh to save water from
evaporating during extreme heat.
4. Educate and
give subsidy to farmers to install drip irrigation system. This will help to
minimize the water consumption.
harvesting projects must be initiated in major cities to keep underground water
table at optimum level.
law and regulations to inhibit excessive/ unnecessary water pumping.
regulations and take measures to inhibit disposal of industrial and domestic waste
without proper treatment.
AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK
to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2016-17, 42.3 % of the labor force of country is
related to agriculture sector. 19.5 % of GDP comprises of Agriculture sector. Extreme
weather conditions directly affect the yield of crop. Elevated temperatures make
crops grow faster and reduced temperature slows the growth of crops. Both
situations have negative impact on the crop’s productivity. Apart from this,
water scarcity due to climate change and irregular pattern of rains also affect
adversely on the crops. Following measures should be taken by the government to
tackle the issue:
1. Develop such
crops which are resistant to extreme weathers, pests, insects and which are
must be trained to implement advance methods of farming.
forecasting mechanism should be fast and reliable.