It is of no surprise to assert that Pakistan, one of the global South countries, is extremely vulnerable to the negative repercussions of climate change. This has been evident over the years with natural disasters afflicting extreme damage to the lives of people, property, and the overall economy of Pakistan. Most importantly, the floods of 2010 and 2022 are the most evident testament to climate change-induced disasters. The important question that needs to be taken hold of is what the government of Pakistan and the relevant authorities like the Natural Disaster Management Authority were investing their efforts in as the floods of 2022 struck Pakistan, causing the utmost predicament and plight for the affected people. Check out: Pakistan Flood Mitigation Measures and Disaster Management
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I believe, even now, the people in Pakistan are not fully aware of climate change and its impact, especially on the Global South Developing countries. The main effort lies on the side of the government to promote the dissemination of sustainability-related content on social media and other mediums. If people get more acquainted with the concept that the fight against climate change starts at home, they would be more receptive to bringing about the required change in lifestyle that leads towards sustainable living. Hence, it is rational to be of the opinion that grappling with climate change requires us to first grasp global change and effectively work towards reversing it. One only needs to go to relevant websites to see where you can start when acquiring a sustainable lifestyle. One search on “sustainable lifestyle” and an array of options will come up that do not just list the ways through which you can acquire sustainable living but also delineate the process through which to achieve that. For example, rather than discarding leftover food, make a homemade composting pot that will allow you to prepare fertilizer for your home garden soil. While it is of utmost importance for the climate change-related departments in Pakistan to ramp up their efforts in battling climate change since they can cover any relevant endeavor to a larger extent, benefiting more people. However, sitting around and waiting for NGOs and the government to take action is not a cogent process to speed up the required efforts.
The ND-GAIN Country Index score for Pakistan, covering 25 years shows where Pakistan stands when it comes to exhibiting resilience to climate change. Pakistan ranks 146 with a score of 39 which is, indeed, alarming. This is synonymous with Pakistan still requiring more investment in creating a climate-based adaptation strategy, insinuating the urgent need to step up the efforts to tackle climate change.
What has been exacerbating climate change in Pakistan is the reluctance of Pakistani people to change their attitudes towards their lifestyles: for example, the reliance on fast fashion can be reduced if somebody is willing to make an effort or keep one bag for shopping rather than getting plastic bags whenever you go grocery shopping. If your school or workplace is nearby your house, do not use heavy automobiles since the transport sector is one of the sectors that is contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions; in other words, use bicycles or go on foot. Try going meatless Monday since the chicken industry is a great source of emissions. Realize the fact that Pakistan is an overpopulated country and there are no signs of advancements in the control of the population which is increasingly putting a strain on natural resources. While the above-mentioned efforts should be encouraged among the masses, there is a dire need for the climate change ministry and development ministries to introduce a practical framework for climate change.
To give an example, Pakistan can put a lot of spotlight on the advantages of Nature-Based Solutions which have not been practiced extensively in Pakistan. Although the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami is a commendable effort on the part of the former government of Pakistan, the incumbent government needs to expand on such efforts. A large portion of the disastrous effects of these natural disasters can be impeded by building up more on Nature-Based Solutions, such as the creation of wetlands or afforesting more mangroves on the coastal areas.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) delineates Nature Based Solutions as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously benefitting people and nature.”
In conclusion, while the effort of fighting against climate change rests on the steps undertaken by the government, the general public needs to put forward its best efforts as well to bring about a commendable change.
You might also like to read: Climate Change and Its Impact on Pakistan and Impacts Of Changing Monsoon Season Rains Pattern In Pakistan
This article was contributed by Umaima Ahmed.
I am Umaima Ahmed, a rising Senior at Georgetown University, SFS in Doha, majoring in International Economics. I have a keen interest in sustainability and its practical application, and I am especially passionate about understanding how we can create a more sustainable future for the people of Pakistan and mitigate the effects of climate change. I have actively sought out research opportunities to further explore sustainability, disaster management, and nature based solutions.
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