Islamabad: India unwittingly opposed the “Scaling up of GLOF risk reduction in northern Pakistan” project, focused on the Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral and other mountain areas of Pakistan, citing ‘technical’ reasons. However, the politically motivated and senseless, anti Gilgit-Baltistan and anti-Pakistan, opposition fell flat as the UN body approved the project, effectively rubbishing Indian lobbying efforts.
Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) have been on the rise in the mountain areas of Pakistan, causing destruction of infrastructure and settlements in various valleys.
The approved project, having estimated cost of almost 39 million USD, entails enhancement of precautionary measures and preparedness level for increasing resilience against GLOFs. Early warning systems will be established in several valleys and villages to keep the vulnerable population safer.
Gilgit-Baltistan is the most glaciated region in the world outside the poles. The communities live in small and large valleys, and on river-beds, almost always prone to all kinds of natural disasters.
India’s efforts to block the project that is likely to make the communities more resilient has been condemned by climate activists and researchers, and development practitioners in Gilgit-Baltistan.