Infrastructure to be rebuilt to withstand threat of weather change: Ahsan Iqbal

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The world is experiencing the worst impact of climate change as Pakistan has minimal carbon footprint but among the most vulnerable countries affected by climate change that we need to proactively mitigate the risks and cannot afford to wait till full calamity hits the country.

Minister for Planning and Development Professor Ahsan Iqbal said this while addressing via zoom link at the “National conference – Integrating climate smart agriculture and water, Energy and Food Nexus for Sustainable Development and Food Security under changing climate” conducted under the auspices of Dawood University of Engineering, Karachi.

The Minster stated that the foremost challenge that climate change poses for the country is Food security.

Pakistan as the fifth most populous country in the world and need to cater the food security of the 220 million people.

The new pattern of weather calls for transition from the old Agricultural methods for cultivation of crops and to employ modern and sustainable Agricultural mechanisms.

“We need to re-engineer and rebuild our infrastructure that can withstand the future threats from weather change’ ” he added.

The Minister noted that Pakistan is endowed with natural water resources; However, the phenomena of melting glaciers is posing a serious threat to our water resources and weather conditions. Planners, engineers and scientists have to look at water resources through strategic lens to reserve more water and its efficient use in the hour when less rain would be expected.

Pakistan is among countries that have lowest water use efficiency. We must adopt water conservation techniques, he remarked.

Professor Iqbal further said that we have to crack the code in desalination technology and the moment an economical solution is implemented in desalination technology , the sea water can be utilized for production of food, high yield in agriculture and bring fertility in the deserts along the coastlines.

He further stated that another challenge is contamination of ground water industry is polluting our drainage and same water is further being provided to farmlands contaminating food crops. It is a challenge how we re-treat our drainage water in all major cities.

Minister urged that the academicians should focus on the solutions of problems crop up in dealing with the impending challenges while our faculty must undertake research to garner workable solutions. Each research by the faculty members should be judged on the impact, it has on the development of the country.

“Our focus should be research in the universities by utilizing our scarce resources to seek solutions” he stressed.

The Minister assured that the Government extend its full support for innovative solutions for the challenges accrued by climate change and open to receive innovative solutions and ideas from the academia and researchers.