BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: An International conference on mountain and climate change was kicked off on Thursday in Karakoram International University.
The conference was organized by KIU in collaboration with WWF Pakistan, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Integrated Mountain Area Research Center (IMARC), EV-K2-CNR; NORHED, Department of Agriculture Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), Forests, Wildlife and Environment Department GB, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) and Mountain Agriculture Research Center (MARC) of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC).
The two-day conference “International Conference on Mountains and Climate Change – Resources, Challenges and Opportunities for Better Life and Livelihoods” will be followed by a field visit to highlight the impacts of climate change in the region. Chief Minister Gilgit Hafiz Hafiz ur Rehman will be the chief guest of the conference, read a press release issued from KIU on Wednesday.
Pakistan is facing losses worth billions of dollars due to climate change. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2012 developed by German Watch Institute, Pakistan is ranked number three after Haiti and the Philippines in the list of top ten countries most affected by this scientific phenomenon, therefore climate change adaptation and mitigation, and decisive policy-making is essential to save the nation from further damages both of lives and property.
International experts from Kathmandu University, Nepal; Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway; ICIMOD; Politecnico di Milano, Italy; College of Environmental Protection Velenje Trg mladosti Velenje, Slovenia, EU; EV-K2-CNR; and Institute for Ecosystem Study, Italy will discuss various aspects of climate change to sensitize masses on the pressing issue.
National experts from KIU, WWF Pakistan, AKRSP, University of Agriculture, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), National University of Science and Technology (NUST), government departments and other educational institutions will also highlight how climate change is impacting lives, livelihoods and fragile ecosystems in Pakistan especially mountain communities who stand on the frontline of climate change.
The conference aims to raise awareness on climate change in Pakistan so that mountain communities can adapt to and mitigate this disastrous phenomenon and the government can take immediate steps to provide local communities the necessary support.