Islamabad (9th November)……….. The Climate Change, Alternative Energy and Water Resources Institute (CAEWRI), of PARC organized community consultation workshop on climate change adaptation in Sost valley of Upper Hunza under the PSDP project titled “Himalayan adaptation, water and resilience (HIAWARE) research on glacier and snowpack dependent river basin for improving livelihoods”.
The workshop was to identify the climate related issues faced by local community and people’s perception on climate adaptations using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools. The main objective of the workshop was to provide an overview of the HI-AWARE project to the community and to intimate about PARC’s future plans for the area.
Chairman PARC Dr. Yusuf Zafar T.I. said that climate change is no not more a myth and there is an urgent need of adaptation in agriculture, energy and water sectors. Communities in mountainous areas are more dependent on agro pastoral activities and climate change is in fact impacting every component of mountain ecosystem and livelihoods.
Director General NARC, Dr. Azeem Khan said that climate change has impacted almost every sector of Pakistan’s economy because of its high vulnerability due to geographical location, greater dependence on climate-sensitive sectors, knowledge and technological gaps and low adaptation capacity. Water resources of Pakistan are under immense pressure due to climate change owing to dependence on glaciers and snowmelt in Upper Indus Basin of Pakistan.
Co-PI HI-AWARE elucidated the project scope, objectives and possible climate smart interventions to be introduced and implemented in future. He said the project is adopting a comparative and cross-scalar approach, with research and pilot adaptation intervention sites representing a range of climates, hydrological conditions and socioeconomic contexts. In future it will actively engage relevant stakeholders in research, piloting and demonstration process.
The Director CAEWRI, NARC briefed about PARC’s effort in the development of agriculture and water sectors. Open comments and recommendations were also taken from communities. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tool was used to identify major climate related issues in community, prioritizing problems and appraising strategies to solve them. Many female and male members of community shared their issues related to climate change with HI-AWARE team and PARC management. They also appraised PARC’s efforts and concerns in uplifting the livelihoods of climate vulnerable communities.
During the open discussion, impact of climate change on people livelihoods was highlighted. Change in climatic pattern has caused extreme weather events like flash floods, erratic rainfall and river bank erosion. The village representatives said that the impact of climate change is more evident like melting of glaciers, seasonal changes in crop cultivation, sudden temperature shocks, erratic rainfall during harvesting time and climate induced flesh flooding. At the end of workshop chairman Gojal Rural Support Organization (GRSO) addressed the workshop and thanked PARC for its initiatives in wake of climate change. Further he said that communities of Gojal Upper Hunza are more resilient towards climate change and the workshop will not only bring awareness among them but also initiate the serious dialogues and actions towards climate change adaptation in every sector especially in agriculture and water.
Dr. Sher Ahmad (D.G. MARC) and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist Hi-AWARE Program also exchanged their knowledge and experiences to the workshop participants.
(Dr. Bashir Ahmad)
Edited by: (Faisal Sohail Fateh)
SSO/ Managing Editor, PJAR