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LAHORE: “Pakistan ranks amongst the 10 most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change, even though it is not the major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, the threats of water scarcity, food insecurity, biodiversity loss and variable monsoon patterns are very real and impending caveats. Hence, the need to build adaptation and resilience against climate change through nature-based solutions is now crucial more so than ever”.

This was stated by Sohail Ali Naqvi, Head of Freshwater Programme, WWF-Pakistan, on the occasion of the tree plantation activity organized in collaboration with the Irrigation department, Punjab Government at the Field Research Station, Babakwal, Sheikupura, to mark World Water Week 2021.

Sharing his thoughts, the chief guest of the ceremony, Chaudhry Shahid Saleem, Chief Engineer Irrigation Department added that the country is facing a myriad of water challenges and trees are an integral part of maintaining a healthy water cycle. Tree plantation would not only help absorb existing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere but will also aid in offsetting current emissions as well.

Ghulam Zakir Hassan Sial, Director Irrigation Research Institute appreciated WWF-Pakistan’s efforts for combating climate change and hoped that synergies between the two organizations will pave a pathway for preserving the country’s natural resources via innovation and impact creation.

It is reported that the effects of climate change will primarily manifest through water. With the latest IPCC report warning that global temperatures will rise a decade earlier than projected, it is imperative that climate change mitigation and adaptation measures are taken on war-footing.

WWF-Pakistan, under its Freshwater Programme, is striving to revive rivers and wetlands, reduce water pollution and increase access to safe drinking water by promoting water stewardship, security and conservation. In this regard, nature-based solutions such as rangeland management, watershed management, floating treatment wetlands, retention ponds, gabion weirs and check dams are being utilized across the country to deliver measurable positive benefits for the country’s depleting water resources. The programme is also building the capacity of the private and public sector on improving environmental sustainability and livelihoods in Pakistan by supporting sustainable economic growth and development. These interventions aim to create and increase climate ambition and ecosystem functionality in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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