ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for Environment, Local Government and Rural Development Syed Wajid Hussain Bukhari disclosed Sunday that Pakistan is facing negative consequences of climate change and without immediate action, global warming is set to reverse decades of social and economic progress across the country. Talking to a group of environmental protection specialist’s here on Sunday, the Minister maintained that climate change would be a significant issue in the forthcoming general elections, adding that future of Pakistan is in nation hands. The time for doubt has passed and it is time for people to rise above politics, if they want the country to progress.
He said the unexpected weather changes from the last few years have greatly affected Pakistan’s economic, social and environmental conditions. Summers are getting hotter and prolonged as compared to previous years resulting in water shortages, he added. Pakistan, he said, has been beset by numerous water related problems in the recent years like a steady decrease in per capita water availability, financial inefficiency of agriculture, increasing need for drinking water, increasing need for sanitation, ascending graphs of competing interests of businesses related to agriculture and industry.
He feared that Pakistan will be one of the most affected countries from global warming, losing millions of tones of its agricultural harvest each year because of climate change. The Minister appealed the civil society to rise above politics and join the Ministry’s hand to further reduce the causes of climate change. Bukhari said that Environment Ministry will soon launch a mega forestry project worth Rs 12 billion, besides 48 ongoing projects on climate change, sanitation and air pollution to achieve a target of six percent forestation area by 2015.-SANA