Climate change is the biggest threat the planet faces today, and developing countries will suffer more due to their vulnerability.
Pakistan is among the top countries that will be adversely affected by climate change, as stated by the German Watch Institute. This year, floods impacted our eastern rivers, and devastated the entire country, especially Punjab which is already undergoing deforestation. As the number of trees decreases due to deforestation, rainfall will reduce.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Syed Muhammad Abu Bakar, an environmentalist, said, “Deforestation leads to rising emissions, thus warming the atmosphere, which further leads to melting of glaciers at a fast pace. As a result, in monsoon season, water level increases to such an extent that rivers are flooded. Punjab has been a regular victim. This trend requires urgent mitigation, and the government should allocate sufficient resources for a sustainable future. ”
Areas like Lahore, Central and South Punjab and Northern areas of the country, which are becoming barren or deforested at a very fast rate, will be further destroyed by heavy rainfall because if water percolates into the ground, it will lead to soil erosion and floods again in the future.
Ali Dehlavi, Project Manager, Climate Change Adaptation (CCAP), told The Express Tribune that the August 2014 floods in Punjab are a reminder of much needed public investments to guard Pakistan against hazards that adversely affect agricultural production.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2014.