Receding glaciers

Editorial June 24, 2024


Pakistan is home to over 13,032 glaciers, spanning the majestic Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Himalayan mountain ranges. This northern region holds the largest reservoir of glaciers outside the polar regions. These scenic marvels are vital for the sustenance of local communities and the overall ecosystem. However, with the alarming pace of climate change, Pakistan’s glaciers and the habitats surrounding them are in peril.

Recent reports indicate that approximately 10,000 of these glaciers are receding with far-reaching impacts, ranging from rising sea levels to increased frequency of natural disasters like floods and landslides. In response to this crisis, multifaceted interventions by the government and the larger community are essential. First and foremost, raising awareness about the severity of climate change and its impacts on glaciers is crucial. Education and community engagement can foster a deeper understanding and proactive response to this crisis. Second, implementing sustainable water management practices is necessary to ensure availability of water for agriculture, drinking and hydropower. Third is enhancing disaster preparedness and response mechanisms. Projects like UNDP’s GLOF-II are instrumental in building community resilience. However, expanding such initiatives to cover more vulnerable areas and integrating modern technology for early warning systems can further reduce the risk of catastrophic events. Fourth, international cooperation and support are indispensable. Climate change is a global issue, and its impacts transcend borders. Collaborating with international organisations and neighbouring countries for knowledge, resources and technology sharing can bolster Pakistan’s efforts to combat local challenges posed by melting glaciers.

Lastly, investing in research and development is paramount to understand the complex dynamics of glacier melt and its long-term implications. Pakistan has the ability to navigate this perilous path and secure a resilient future, but it depends on the actions and sincerity of those heading the charge.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ