Emerging Global Climate Change Impacts are Major Threats for the World: Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council


Islamabad: Dr. Muhammad Afzal, Chairman, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has said that the emerging global climate change impacts are likely to accelerate the process of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought and particularly affecting livelihoods of our dryland communities. He expressed this while addressing in a National Consultative Workshop on Review of National Agriculture Policy Documents in context of Sustainable Land Management, NAP and UNCCD, organized by Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP) of Ministry of Environment here today. Dr. Muhammad Afzal was the Chief Guest of the Workshop.

National and Provincial level policy makers, planners and experts participated and shared their views on the study conducted by the SLMP for its further refinement before sharing it with the concerned Ministry and provinces for integration of SLM into agriculture policy.

Chairman PARC further said that diverse group of participants of this workshop, reflects that the concept of sustainable land management is gaining recognition at policy and planning level discussions to address land degradation and desertification issues of Pakistan. He pointed out that 68% of Pakistan’s population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agriculture sector contributes 24% to the GDP, employs 48% of the labour force and contributes to 70% of the foreign exchange earnings. He said that in the past the focus of agriculture polices in Pakistan has been on irrigated lands and unfortunately, the drylands of this country and rain-fed agriculture remained almost neglected. He was of the view that the vast potential of harnessing rainwater and hill torrents for agriculture, range and livestock management has not been utilized properly. He urged to extend all possible support for the cross-sectoral sustainable land management program that is in the best interest of our socio-eco development.

Dr. Amjad Tahir Virk, National Project Coordinator, SLMP highlighted the objectives of workshop and hoped that this important workshop would providing best opportunities to review the National Agriculture policy Document and share recommendations with the key stakeholders and get their feedback for its further refinement.

Syed Mehmood Nasir, Inspector General (Forest) said in his address that in a country like Pakistan, where more than 80% land area falls in arid and semi-arid drylands, the issue of land degradation and desertification still remains one of the major environmental challenges because of the heavy dependence of the dryland communities on these resources for their livelihoods.

Ms. Munazza Naqvi, Program Officer, UNDP also shared her views and said that there was a great need of such review for more comprehensive policy and then further strategies, planning and implementation in a right direction. Dr. Abdul Salam, Ex-Chairman Pakistan Prices Commission and Dr. M. Mohsin Iqbal, also shared their views on related issues.

The workshop recommendations would be forwarded to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the provinces for incorporating them into their national and provincial policies.

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