- Participants strongly recommend protection of NARC, other such institutions for nation building
The land issue of National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) soundly echoed at the international climate change conference during which the experts advised the government to let the centre exist at its current place for ensuring food security and environment protection.
The three-day Policy Conference on ‘Action for Adaptation: Bringing climate change science to policy makers’ has been organised by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in collaboration with Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and WWF Pakistan.
Over one hundred researchers, policy-makers, journalists, students and practitioners working on climate change issue have been participating in the conference to come out with a practicable and workable solution for adaptation of climate change.
During the first session of the conference, the government was recommended to protect NARC and other such national institutions which have been contributing in nation-building and has been of great national importance.
The government was also recommended to provide adequate funds and investment for research and development to cope with the challenges of climate change. Protection of environment was another recommendation made on the occasion, and government was advised to focus its policies for protecting existing forests and trees and in addition new plants should be planted for betterment of future.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Minister for Women Development and Social Welfare AJ&K, Ms. Farzana Yaqoob highlighted the importance of NARC for food security and for developing country’s economy on sustainable grounds.
She highlighted the importance of creating awareness on the climate change issue and also suggested for utilizing social media for this purpose.
Former Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Nisar A. Memon said that the climates change has not only affected the mountainous regions of Pakistan but had also impacted the plains of the country.
He underlined the importance of making public plans for adapting to climate change for better future. He however lamented that there have been law but these lack implementation.
He said that those violating laws should be punished and it would definitely help implement the policies with better results.
Speaking on the occasion, Minster for Forest, Wildlife and Environment GB, Haji Muhammad Wakeel said that his government has initiated a process to introduce new policy for the protection of the forests adding that they also aim to plant hundreds of thousands of plants during the current season.
Chairman PARC Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad said that investment on the agriculture sector were the lowest in Pakistan compared to the regional countries. He said that we have had technologies but we need to take advantage of these technologies.
He raised the concern over the summary of Capital Development Authority (CDA) seeking approval for developing housing society at NARC. He said that this would prove disastrous for the country as it would not only aggravate the food security situation but would also drastically affect the environment.
He was of the view that the nations that do not take care of their institutions do not exist for long, adding that the NARC has not only contributed a lot for the development of agriculture sector of the country but also contributed in the development of other countries.
DG ICIMOD David Molden in his welcome address informed the participants about the workings of ICIMOD. He was of the view that although climate change brings about a challenge, it also provides new opportunities in terms of water, food, energy and bio-diversity.
He said that about four billion people have been depending on mountains for their daily livelihood, so special attention needs to be given to adapt to climate change.
He said that a number of glaciers were shrinking, although there are some evidences of growing of some glaciers.
He said that there is a risk of disaster due to climate change and we have to get ready to cope with it.