ISLAMABAD: (31st October, 2017)…… The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ICIMOD organized a conference in collaboration with Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) on “Mountain Specific Innovative Solutions for potential scaling up in Pakistan”. This conference was held at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad. The objectives of the conference specifically aims to improve understanding of mountain – specific vulnerabilities and resilience building in context of climate and socio economic changes and suggest strategic actions for mainstreaming and scaling up of innovative solutions.
Dr. Yusuf Zafar T.I., Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) in his inaugural address on the respective topic, extensively highlighted the current status of Pakistan’s agricultural industry, its challenges and presented an extensive way-forward for the improvement of agricultural goals. Dr. Yusuf Zafar T.I. said that the Hindu Kush Himalayan region has been undergoing transformative change over the past few decades, particularly with the introduction and improvement of infrastructure (physical and electronic communications), human mobility, and greater integration of the local economies with the national and persistent problems increasingly diversified rural livelihoods, and unattended use of natural resources. He further stated that due to increased climate variability and climate change have further accentuated these changes, creating new challenges compounding vulnerability in the region while also opening up unexpected opportunities and climate change is equally impacting adversely on availability of water for domestic and agriculture uses and aggravating the risks related natural hazards.
The guest speakers included Ms. Margaret Adamson, Australian High Commission, Pakistan delivered talk on this occasion that assessment conducted by ICIMOD and other organisations indicate firstly, that mountains are more sensitive to climate Change and secondly mountain communities in Hindu Kush Himalayan countries, and in particular those located remotely are most vulnerable to climate change impacts. He explained that there is increased frequency and duration of extreme climatic events, natural disaster, flash floods, landslides and accelerating soil erosion with consequent decline in soil fertility and crop yields and irrigation infrastructures are equally at risk as a result of water induced disasters.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken said that Strategic actions are required for mainstreaming and scaling up of innovative solutions in mountain areas. Rapidly increasingly effects of climate and other changes like human mobility / demographic changes, rapid urbanization, production & consumption trends have added to the complexities affecting mountain livelihoods. Therefore, resilience of mountain communities is a need of the day which cross-thematic integration and inter disciplinary approaches to understand the context and achieve resilience outcomes across its three dimensions of recovery, improved adaptive capacity and transformative change.
Mr. Bernard Francos, Head of Cooperation and Minister Counselor, European Union Delegation to Pakistan in his address highlighted that the conference intends to highlight the growing impacts of climate change, threatening the safety, survival and resilience of mountain communities that call for an immediate and broader spectrum of climate change adaptation strategies and actions to be included in regional disaster risk reductions policies. Besides, this conference will provide organizations with an opportunity to present their project finding and policymakers to frame sustainable climate change adaptation policies on the basis of specific knowledge. He further added that this conference will be a source of motivation for younger researchers to further conduct scientific research towards identifying most sustainable adaptations strategies for Gilgit Baltistan.
Director (PR&P) PARC
Edited by: Muhammad Fiaz Joyia
Director (SI&P), NARC