A woman checks her damaged house in the aftermath of floods in Charsadda District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, 28 August 2022. EFE-EPA/FILE/ARSHAD ARBAB

Pakistan approves national plan for climate change resilience.

Islamabad, July 26 (EFE).- Pakistan on Wednesday approved a national plan to reduce vulnerabilities and build resilience to climate change in the country.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the impact of climate change was a national security issue critical to the future of the people of the highly vulnerable country.

Triggered by heavy monsoon rains, unprecedented floods wreaked havoc in the country last year, killing over 1,700 people with more than 33 million displaced.

Pakistan officially began creating in 2021 the plan supported by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and funded by the Green Climate Fund with $2.7 million.

“The federal cabinet approved the National Adaptation Plan 2023 on the recommendation of the Ministry of Climate Change,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The statement said under the plan, the government, with other partners, would take measures to protect vulnerable communities from the adverse effects of climate change.

The plan includes setting up early warning mechanisms and ensuring effective emergency response measures.

Sharif tweeted that climate change had redefined every human experience, especially in Pakistan.

“In the long journey to build resilience, our government is proud to pass our country’s National Adaptation Plan, which will give Pakistan the essential tools to adapt to the risks of climate stress,” he said.

He said the issue of climate change had become a national security concern, critical to the future of Pakistan.

“As the last year’s devastating floods showed, climate change is a development, economic, human and national security issue critical to the future of our people.”

Due to the 2021 floods, one-third of the country’s area was under the water, causing a loss of about $30 billion.

“All the more reason to invest in climate adaptation to build our core capacities to fully cope with the challenge,” Sharif said.

The UNEP said Pakistan would use the planning process and its outcomes to enhance the adaptation elements of the Nationally Determined Contributions, a central aspect of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

According to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 150 people have lost their lives while 233 others suffered injuries due to monsoon rains in the country since June 25 this year.

The NDMA said 12 people, including seven children, died, and ten others were injured due to rain-related incidents in the country on Tuesday only.

The fifth largest populous country is responsible for less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, as per the government.

However, it is among the top 10 climate-vulnerable countries. EFE