The PRISE team led debate on building pathways to climate resilient economic development in Pakistan at the 20th Sustainable Development Conference, which took place in Islamabad from December 5 to 7. Researchers shared their research findings with key stakeholders including representatives of the Pakistan Agriculture Research Center, Pakistan Water Council, the United Nations, and the Ministry of Climate Change at a session titled ‘ Towards a Resilient Future: Adapting to Climate Change in Pakistan’.
While sharing the research findings, Dr. Imran Khalid, Research Fellow, said that all three PRISE projects in Pakistan (Projects 1, 3 and 7) agree on the following policy recommendations to promote climate-resilient rural economy in Pakistan:
- Enhance women’s access to financial resources;
- Facilitate planned migration and;
- Enhance adaptive capacity of the rural households.
Ms Dur e Shawar, a PRISE funded researcher from the Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, presented her research on the ‘Impact of Human Migration on Climate Change Resilience and Agriculture Productivity: A Case Study of District Jhang’. She said that awareness raising among farmers about climate change impacts and the provision of climate-resistant seed varieties could help promote adaptation at the local level.
Simi Kamal, Sr. Group Head, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund stressed the need to manage population growth, which tends to intensify the impacts of social and climate disasters. She also highlighted that political economy and governance are the main barriers to promoting adaptation. Dr. Maaz Gardezi, Assistant Professor at South Dakota State University, talked about shifting the policy focus on to climate-compatible development, which puts risk at the centre of every policy arena. He also highlighted that limited resources are a major hindrance to effective adaptation. ‘We should look at adaptive capacity as a policy tool’, he added.
General Asghar Nawaz, Former Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, emphasised the need for inter- and intra -departmental coordination and monitoring as disaster management institutions are decentralised. Ambassador. Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairman of the Board of Directors at SDPI, brought to the fore the urgent need for enhancing water storage capacity in Pakistan.
Abu Akif, Secretary of Climate Change, concluded the session on the note that climate change requires common but differentiated responsibilities, especially with regards to water resource conservation.
Image: Agricultural research helps farmers in Vietnam grow more rice and counteract the impacts of climate change on food security.
Photo by USAID, Creative Commons License.