Some early lessons from Pakistan floods
The first lesson for Pakistan is that, though a flood of this magnitude might have been a once-in-a-century event in the past, it will, unfortunately, become more frequent in the years to come. Hence, it is essential to put in place appropriate measures to prepare the country and the people to be ready to face such events in the future through adaptation to climate change. This problem is not just Pakistan’s, but of every country in South Asia, particularly because of shared rivers and ecosystems, such as the Indus River between India and Pakistan, and the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers between Nepal, India and Bangladesh. All these common problems will require much better cooperation between the neighbouring countries as no country can deal with this problem on its own.
At the global level, there is also much that can be done and needs to be done on a priority basis. The first issue is linked with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where the developing countries have been advocating for creating a fund to cover the losses and damages caused by human-induced climate change. Unfortunately, this demand, which was put forward by Pakistan on behalf of the developing countries at the annual climate summit COP26 last year, did not get accepted by the developed countries. It has now been put forward again for the agenda of the upcoming COP27, scheduled for November this year. It still has to be adopted at the beginning of the COP by all the other countries – we should all lobby very hard to ensure that.
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