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Climate change posing multiple challenges for Pakistan

24 April, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Experts on Monday said that South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular were confronting multiple challenges due to climate change and water scarcity issues.

The experts expressed these views at a workshop, 'Climate Change', organised by Individualland Pakistan (IL) in collaboration with Friedrich Naumann Foundation. They urged the governments in the region to take appropriate measures as early as possible.

The experts pointed out that half of the population in Asia was facing different disasters in the shape of earthquake, tsunami, flood and other natural calamities because of the changing climate.

They said the 2010 and 2011 floods in Pakistan were due to change in climate. Low proportion of forest-covered area in Pakistan was the main cause of floods, they said, adding that the country had less than three percent of its area covered under forests. "Deforestation is on the rise. Riverbeds are usually occupied by people. There is no regulatory body to properly monitor the riverbeds. Flood water can be used for the benefit of people, but due to inefficient management, it turns into disaster," the speakers at the conference said.

The participants said that changes in rain and snowfall patterns over the past few years, rising temperatures and ever-expanding human settlements were resulting in changes that were disturbing the natural climatic patterns.

A number of scientists and policy researchers argue that climate changes are natural and have occurred in the past as well, while there are others who say these changes are being caused by human activities like deforestation and industrialisation.

End.

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