2016 has seen its share of heatwaves, cyclone seasons and massive floods that have struck their wrath and not just affected the environment but also taken many victims.
Germanwatch, a nonprofit organization that collects social and economic data, recently released its latest Global Climate Risk Index 2017. The report revealed a list of countries that witnessed the worst of extreme weather events and are also at risk in the coming year as well.
Though Pakistan didn’t make the list of the 10 most affected countries in the Short Term Risk Index and is spared the trouble of taking desperate actions against possible disasters, however it did rank 7th in the Long Term Climate Risk Index.
According to one of the authors behind the index,
“As can be seen in our Climate Risk Index this year, Pakistan continues to be most affected by extreme weather events. Last year, Pakistan was especially affected by a severe heat wave in June 2015 that killed more than 1,600 people.”
Moreover, the massive destruction caused by annual floods in Pakistan amounts to huge losses suffered by farmers and other stakeholders. Every year the media reports devastating conditions alongside the Punjab plains and we see government representatives running around making false promises to ward off these floods next year but nothing seems to change.
Highlighting the environmental issues faced by Pakistan, Syed Muhammad Abubakar, a highly acclaimed writer and winner of three AGAHI awards, reports that Pakistan has been given a dire warning to focus on adaptation plans.
Serious steps need to be implemented alongside steady projects like the Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project, Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Initiative and the South Punjab Forest Company to cope with the loss of forest cover in the country.
Though the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) is making efforts at controlling certain outcomes of climatic changes but an overall shift in the government policies and social mindset is required to prepare for the worst scenarios.
Failure to adopt long-term policy to ensure that extreme weather conditions are effectively combated will result in disastrous outcomes.