The Climate Change, Alternative Energy and Water Resources Institute (CAEWRI), of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council organized one day Stakeholders consultation workshop on Climate Adaptations and their prioritizations in Water, Agriculture and Energy Sectors to Improve livelihood on 10th November 2016 at Karakorum International University (KIU), Gilgit under the PSDP project titled “Himalayan adaptation, water and resilience (HIAWARE) research on glacier and snowpack dependent river Basin for improving livelihoods”.
A diverse group of researchers, practitioners, students, and prominent senior scientists from different institutions like government organizations, NGOs, INGOs, CBOs and VOs have participated in the workshop.
The main objective of workshop was to develop stakeholder-driven and gender inclusive prioritization of climate change adaptation measures in various sectors like agriculture, water and energy and identifying pathways based on the up- and out-scaling of institutional and on-the-ground adaptation innovations that enhance the capacities of the poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to climate change.
Speaking to the inaugural session of workshop Chief Guest, Minister Food and Industries Mr. Muhammad Shafiq said that the economy of Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan is more vulnerable to climate change, because Pakistan is agricultural dependent country and climate change has a great impact on agriculture sector. Minister said, GB is a mountainous region and more vulnerable to climate induced hydro meteorological hazards, like GLOF and Flash Floods. Tackling climate change requires concerted coordinated government action as well as conscious and informed efforts by individuals. He appraised the effort of PARC work in field of climate change adaptation. Further he said more citizen actions required on community enrollment, multi stakeholders association, and non-government and government agencies along with corporate bodies should come forward to work together and extend their knowledge to enhance climate resilience to achieve sustainable livelihood development.
Vice Chancellor Karakorum International University Dr. Muhammad Asif Khan has also addressed the workshop. In his remarks he said, in Pakistan communities are facing climate variability which directly affects their main livelihood, the agriculture sector. Further he said in prioritizing climate change adaptations in the agricultural sector requires long term scientific research which PARC is doing. Further he mentioned that in the Upper Indus Basin people use their own local and indigenous knowledge to cope with climate change. Promoting climate smart agriculture practices can reduce the impact of climate change and enhance the climate change resiliency among the poor farmers. He extended his sincere thanks to PARC for organizing this workshop and bringing together different researchers and stakeholders under one platform for exchange of thoughts, views and ideas on climate change related issues and how to accelerate citizen actions.
Addressing the workshop Chairman PARC Dr. Yusuf Zafar mentioned about some major climate change related concerns for Pakistan, include; increased variability of monsoon, risks of floods and droughts, food and insecurity due to reduced agricultural productivity, energy insecurity, rapid melting of Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) glaciers, and fluctuations in Indus River system flows, climate related disasters, intrusion of saline water in Indus delta, agro- based economical threats, besides low technological and scientific base and limited access to knowledge as well as weak institutional mechanism and low financial resources, to undertake appropriate adaptation measures. Further he said, human induced climate change has already crossed the limit where it has to be stopped, and now it’s time to embrace best technologies in every sectors especially in water and agriculture. During his address he focused on the initiatives taken by PARC in the field of water and agricultural sector. In his address to participants Dr. Bashir Ahamed PI HI-AWARE program has elucidated the project objectives and its scope of work in Pakistan. He said PARC has great ambition to physically implement the climate smart interventions in vulnerable areas of Upper Indus. This will enhance adaptive capacity among communities to cope with climate change. The workshop was also addressed by Dr. Munir Ahmad, director CAEWRI (NARC) on role of PARC in development of agriculture and water sector in Pakistan. He specifically focused on climate smart agriculture practices. Mr. Zeeshan Tahir addressed PARC interventions in Soan Basin. Further Mr. Sultan Ishaq addressed the workshop about the PARC Plans for interventions of climate smart technologies in Hunza River basin, under Hi-AWARE program. During second session of workshop Panel discussion was conducted, which was moderated by Dr. Azeem Khan D.G NARC
During the panel discussion impacts of climate change on agriculture, water and energy sector was discussed. The panelists have also focused on the adaptation measures need to be taken in agriculture, water and energy sector. Climate change impact particular in Gilgit-Baltistan has also been discussed. It was found that erratic rainfall in GB has been increased from last few 8 to 10 years which become a major problem of flash floods and river bank erosion. Irrigation infrastructures are also vulnerable to flash floods. Temperature shocks are also observed in GB, which affect the agriculture sector. Snowfall trend has been changed. Solid precipitation has been shifted from November, December to last week of January and in February. The trend change in snowfall has affected the sowing timing of agriculture dependent communities. More ever pest excessive increase of weeds and pest attack has also been observed. It was discussed that there is great need to focus on climate smart agricultures practices to cope with the challenges of climate change. Technologies like drip irrigation, sprinkle irrigation, tunnel farming, high humidity resilient crops, crop diversification and fruit nurseries are need to develop at community level. Energy security was also discussed. According to Chief Engineer Water and Power department GB said currently WAPDA is working on different hydel projects to increase energy security in GB. He has in Gilgit-Baltistan the demand of electricity is 250 MW but we have installed capacity of 132 MW from 126 power stations which is very much less than demand, he further said many remote villages in GB have their own micro hydel systems. It was also discussed that infrastructure of many hydel power plants are vulnerable to flash floods from main streams. The Panel discussion was summarized by Dr. Azeem Khan D.G Narc and he extended his sincere thanks to all panel participants for attending the workshop.