KARACHI: Renowned green journalist Afia Soomro on Sunday said that the next 12 years are crucial regarding the tackling of climate change in Pakistan yet no one is prepared for it.
She was addressing volunteers of a two-day training session regarding climate change adaptation for resilient action, organised by Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC) in a local hotel.
Talking about the challenges present in the local environment, Afia said that Pakistan ranks among the top ten countries in the vulnerability index for the past ten years which is an alarming situation. “We need to focus on sensitising the young minds from schools and take it further towards university level for implementation of climate-smart techniques,” she said.
Shahzad Qureshi of Urban Forest talked about the need for massive plantation drive in Karachi. He said that the green belt of Karachi needs to be increased to reduce the impacts of climate change, including the heat wave.
Pakistan Red Crescent National Chairman Dr Saeed Elahi talked about the organisation’s climate change adaptation programme. He said that PRC has started a nationwide campaign for training volunteers to address the challenges imposed by climate change in Pakistan.
In this regard, volunteers are trained at the provincial level to become the champions of climate change who will then be responsible for creating awareness in their respective communities. He appreciated the volunteers for their contribution in making PRC the largest humanitarian organisation in Pakistan.
Sindh PRC Provincial Secretary Kanwar Waseem briefed that climate change is impacting the coastal areas of Sindh which will eventually lead to natural disasters in the future. “We are already experiencing droughts, heat wave and floods in Sindh which will increase if we don’t prepare ourselves today. This is why PRCS has adopted a national strategy for climate change under its subject of disaster risk reduction,” he said.
The two-day training course focused on teaching volunteers from different universities about the challenges of climate change specific to the coastal areas including Karachi and Badin. The participants were trained on how to be more environmentally ethical and responsible. It aimed at developing an action plan for local adaptation to Sindh specific climate change issues. The training included 40 volunteers from different universities in the province.