Kaira for regional cooperation to manage climate change, risks
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Thursday that Pakistan realizes that managing climate change and the accompanying risks were not possible without regional cooperation and coordinated efforts.
Speaking at a meeting on "Engaging SAARC for Disaster Resilience" here he said that disaster risk reduction needs to be a priority for all the countries of the region to ensure uninterrupted economic development and happiness of our people.
He said it was an established fact that recurrent disasters are particularly affecting the developing countries because of their less focus on disaster risk reduction, preparedness, capacity to adapt, lack of resources and technological development. As far as adaptation to climate change is concerned there is a clear understanding and recognition of the need that the developing countries have to work together to adapt to the challenges posed by these disasters due to climate change phenomenon, he added. Therefore, in order to be better prepared we need to strategize climate change adaptation on regional canvas, said Kaira. "We should strive together to equip ourselves with the necessary tools to adapt to such challenges",said the minister.
Timely action,he said, on both the fronts i.e. risks mitigation and adaptation could only prevent the loss of human lives & property and save the economic resources for sustainable development. "Climate change is perhaps the greatest threat that the people living in Himalayan region face",Kaira said adding changing climate is making natural disasters, especially floods, less predictable and more destructive.
He said we have a common natural heritage of mountains, river basins and monsoons and nature now seems to be asking us to pull together our common knowledge and resources to negotiate with common disasters.
He said the meeting on "Engaging SAARC for Disaster Resilience" is great opportunity for member countries to develop a common pool of knowledge and skills, and in the development of national and regional strategies to negotiate a problem that has been costing them dearly in recent years.
The minister hoped that the deliberations at the meeting would greatly help all of us to take a right course of action to protect the poor communities vulnerable to natural disasters in our countries.
Kaira also hoped that the meeting would come up with a workable plan for disaster risk management by adapting a holistic and multi-stakeholder approach.
By doing so the regional countries would certainly contribute positively towards saving our poor and vulnerable people from future disasters and augment the national level efforts being made by all member states for implementation of regional obligations especially under SAARC Comprehensive Framework on Disaster Management. On behalf of the Pakistani Government,he expressed strong political resolve and commitment to extend all possible support and facilitation for smooth execution of the regional level plans to help realizing our common goal of building resilience of South Asia towards natural disasters.