16 May, 2012

Pakistan most vulnerable to climate change: UNDP report

UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2012 launched 

Sana Jamal


Islamabad – Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries facing climate risks, according to UNDP’s latest report launched here in capital city on Wednesday. Asia-Pacific region has some of the world’s fastest-growing cities, which must deal with both, the causes and the consequences of climate change, the report states. 


The report titled ‘Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2012-One Planet to Share: Sustaining Human Progress in a Changing Climate’ suggests the region should promote green technologies for more efficient and cleaner processes in energy, agriculture and transport.  The launching ceremony of the publication was chaired by the Pakistani Ministry of Climate Change’s Secretary Muhammad Javed Malik. He reiterated that the recommendations of the report must be translated into concrete actions and must form an integral part of the human development agenda in Pakistan.


“The Asia-Pacific region must continue to grow economically to lift millions out of poverty, but it must also respond to climate change to survive. Growing first and cleaning up later is no longer an option” the report advises. While presenting the findings of the report, Toshihiro Tanaka, Country Director, UNDP said that “Asia-Pacific region including Pakistan needs to walk the tightrope between the pursuit of economic growth and vulnerability to climate change. We witness increasing frequency and impacts of climate related disasters. Disaster risk reduction is a must for any sustainable development strategy to be successful.”

The report also proposes measures such as increasing taxes or reducing subsidies with greater awareness and information to help buyers make greener and safer choices. Local governments can take progressive steps to cooperate by learning from each other’s experiences on the ground, and by adapting innovative financing strategies, the report adds. A presentation on Pakistan’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) was also shared at the launch. The NSDS that would be presented at Rio +20 focuses on integrating economic, social and environmental dimensions into the current development model with a view to make it more sustainable and equitable.

Mr. Timo Pakala, UN Resident Coordinator, in his remarks, congratulated Pakistan for preparing the NSDS and the National Climate Change Policy. The much awaited Pakistan’s National Climate Change Policy which was recently approved by the Federal Cabinet was also presented at the launch. The policy provides a framework to address the issues Pakistan faces vis-à-vis the phenomenon of climate change and suggests ways and means to adapt to and mitigate the ravages posed by climate change.