Speakers stress for innovative solutions to tackle climate crisis

ISLAMABAD:Speakers at a seminar held here to mark World Habitat Day stressed the need for urgent action and greater investments for innovative solutions to tackle the climate crisis and drive a green and inclusive pandemic recovery.

The seminar was organized by UN-Habitat Pakistan in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan Council for Research on Water Resources, Water and Sanitation Agency, National Disaster Risk Management Authority, Shehersaaz and TMA Nowshera.

The seminar was held to kick start celebration of Urban October activities– World Habitat Day on the theme “Mind the Gap. Leave No One and No Place Behind”, shedding light on the widening inequalities with respect to climate change impacts and sharing cost-effective technologies for provision of clean water to every segment of the society and addressing growing inequalities exacerbated by the 2022 floods crises in Pakistan.

The event commenced with a message from Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General in which it was highlighted that “we need more urgent action and greater investments for innovative solutions to address inequalities to tackle the climate crisis and drive a green and inclusive pandemic recovery.”

Executive Director, UN Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, in her video message, emphasized on raising awareness about innovations that inspire all of us to push for immediate action.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Muhammad Ashraf Chairman PCRWR remarked that adequate shelter was the right of all living beings. “If we leave any segment of life behind there will be an aftermath for all in the form of urban flooding and heatwaves. Therefore, there is a need to bridge the gap through ecosystem preservation,” he added.

UN-Habitat Programme Manager, Pakistan, Jawed Ali Khan reiterated the need on bridging the widening gap for leaving no place and no one behind. It is worth mentioning here that UN-Habitat interventions include the Adaptation Fund project on urban flooding and drought management in Nowshera and Rawalpindi, development of the project for the protection of coastal communities from the impact of sea-level rise in Karachi, Sindh as well as an ongoing project in 76 Katchi Abadis in Karachi for uplifting the poor and vulnerable communities through climate-friendly intervention and provision of basic urban services like safe and clean drinking water and sanitation etc.

Almas Shakoor, Executive Director Shehersaaz emphasized that community engagement for bridging the gap was mandatory. Dr Hifza Rasheed, Secretary PCRWR and Dr Naveed Iqbal, Director PCRWR explained water treatment technology for provision of clean water in flood-affected areas and nature-based solutions for flood management.