Pre-COP23 Consultative Dialogue (Loss & Damage)

Jul 26 2017 | 04:06:14
Pakistan is vulnerable to natural and human-induced hazards, including hydro-meteorological disasters in the country mostly induced by the Climate Change phenomenon, which have not only become more unpredictable but their frequency has increased manifold. This was stated by the Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lt. Gen. Omar Mahmood Hayat at an event organized by the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change (M/oCC). The Event, titled “Framing Pakistan’s Agenda: Pre-COP23 Consultative Dialogue”, brought together representatives from the Ministry of Climate Change and related government departments as well as practitioners and experts in the field of climate change from the civil society, academia, and media, in order to frame Pakistan’s agenda for the UNFCCC’s annual international Climate Change Conference (COP23) which is going to be held later this year at Bonn, Germany from November 6 –17. This was the second of a series of six Consultative Dialogues between government and civil society, each addressing a specific climate change-related theme.The Chairman welcomed the initiative of the CSCCC in organizing the important event and praised its contribution towards framing Pakistan’s agenda ahead of the COP23, stating that climate induced disasters pose a major threat to sustainable development in Pakistan. He said that we are at the threshold of a changing climate, which makes us more vulnerable to natural disasters.The Chairman expressed the NDMA’s resolve to overcome challenges and strengthen national adaptive capacity by working at subnational and national levels to build resilience using organized and systematic approaches to protect vulnerable communities and ecosystems, and described the numerous programs and interventions that have been undertaken by the NDMA to address the issues.Providing welcoming remarks, Ms. Aisha Khan, Chief Executive of CSCCC, thanked all the participants for attending the event, and highlighted the impact of loss and damage at the local level and stressed on the need to develop national consensus on way forward. Providing an overview of Pakistan’s position with regards to Loss & Damage, the main theme of the consultative dialogue, DG Environment and Climate Change Mr. Irfan Tariq gave a historical overview of the past and present developments on Loss & Damage at the Conference of Parties over the years. Mr. Irfan Tariq said that developed countries have traditionally attempted to dilute the importance of the subject of loss and damage during negotiations, but the subject has inevitably taken an increasingly more important position in recent times due its inherent and undeniable importance.During his presentation on Loss & Damage, Engr. Ahmed Kamal, Chairman Federal Flood Commission and Chief Engineering Adviser delivered an elaborate presentation on the scientific angle of disasters including facts and figures, policy frameworks, incurred and projected impacts and internal mechanisms of loss and damage in Pakistan, among others.  During the discussion session which was moderated by Gen. Asghar Nawaz, former Chairman NDMA, participants provided their detailed inputs on loss and damage issues in which the current development and disaster risk reductions agenda of Pakistan in light of impacts on climate were discussed, along with various recommendations and suggestions for Pakistan’s negotiating stance at the COP23. Delivering the review of the proceedings and providing closing remarks, Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Federal Secretary Ministry of Climate Change, further expressed his resolve to work with and taking into account the inputs of civil society and other experts present in today’s meeting on Loss & Damage in the future policy and strategy for addressing climate change and framing Pakistan’s agenda at the COP23.