Safdar Ali Safdar
Gilgit, April 08: The Provincial Minister for Information and Broadcasting Gilgit-Baltistan Sadia Danish has said that Gilgit-Baltistan being a mountainous region is facing enormous challenges from all sides among which climate change is biggest development challenge affecting the people of the region due to extreme weather patterns,temperature change,melting of glaciers,increase in climate induced disasters and outbreak of various diseases. She said to overcome these challenges the GB government will make legislation on climate change adaptation and other necessary measures through the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly. She was addressing the opening ceremony of a two days conference on “Climate Change Adaptation” at Karakorum International University on Tuesday. The conference is being jointly organized by Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan, an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, and the Department of Earth Science, Karakorum International University.
The Information Minister said that Gilgit-Baltistan is prone to natural disasters and having curs experience of facing disasters in near past like the Attabad massive landslide and avalanche in Giyari sector, close to the line of control which caused loses of human lives and infrastructure. Therefore, the leading NGOs have to play a vital role to create awareness about climate change ant its impacts on local communities and encourage the young researchers and students to study on the issues.
“The objectives of this conference are to explore the science of climate change in order to have a shared understanding of the issue, to discuss best practices in climate change adaptation at community and institutional levels and to advocate inclusion of climate change adaptation as a core component of future development” said Dr. Haleem Zaman Magsi, Chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences KIU while sharing the conference objectives in his speech.
Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan’s Chairperson Khadija Jamal Shaban said that in this conference the leading academicians and practitioners from the national and international horizon will share their knowledge and experiences and suggest ways and means for protecting lives and properties of the mountain communities. She said that the conference is being held as part of a project ” Harnessing Capacities in Disaster Risk Reduction in the Hazardous Areas of Pakistan” supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. She urged the provincial government to take initiatives for legislation on protecting Gilgit-Baltistan from the impact of climate change and include this as chapter in the academic curriculum.
Second day of the conference will be held tomorrow.