Environment and Climate Change

2. Environment & Climate Change 

Pakistan is the 6th largest nation in the world, in terms of size of the population. The country has abundant natural resources and a wide variety of ecological regions; from Hindu Kush and Himalayas in the west, Indus plains in the east to coastal zones in the south – which all come with a bulk of natural capital including flourishing livestock and fishing industry, forest products and most importantly, agriculture.

These natural resources are facing numerous challenges now, the most critical one being aridity since the country predominantly relies on its agrarian economy. One of the most pressing issues is the increasing population, from 32.5 million in 1947 to 180 million in 2012, which means more strain on resources including housing, food and employment. At the same time, the increased human power is not being fully utilized for sustainable production. Pakistan, at this stage, cannot simply “grow out” of its environmental problems and a lot of work is needed to reverse the negative externalities that are eroding the natural resources.

There is a scientific consensus through extensive research done by scientists that the Climate is changing. Many would agree that Climate Change could be the greatest threat to human beings, because it is affecting the ecosystem, and challenging the survival of several species on Earth, including human beings. With the advent of Industrial Revolution in 1950, Carbon emission increased by a great percentage, and it soon became out of control when the correlation was discovered between the Carbon levels and increased temperature. Consumerism adds up to the problem, because more material is being produced to meet the demands, or the demand is created.

Agriculture is the largest sector in the Pakistan economy and accounts for 24% of gross domestic product (GDP). Our country could be an emerging industrial nations, but our manufacturing and carbon emission is still very less compared to the other countries in the world. Unfortunately, Pakistan ranks amongst top 5 countries that are getting drastically affected by the changing climate. One of the reason being that the population of the country is ever increasing, and to meet the needs of the people, more land is utilized to provide accommodation for people. Another reason is that, as a nation, we have far threatening issues like terrorism and political instability, and due to lack of awareness, no strategies are designed to reduce the effect of the changing climate.

RDO has taken environment & climate change as thematic areas for the organization with the purpose to provide support & contribute to communities in building their resilience to cope with impacts of climate change. There are numbers of initiatives RDO has identified to work across the sectors and kept the environment and climate change as mainstreamed areas so that in every interventions community will get the awareness, technological knowledge and local adaptation measure which can help them in building culture of adaptation. Meanwhile, RDO’s efforts will also continue for standalone programs and projects focusing on environment& climate change.