Pakistan Climate Change, Population and Health
What LEAD does: Operational in Pakistan since 1995. Promotes equitable social development that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Involved in multi-sectoral activities including: Capacity Building Networking between professionals Community development Research (policy oriented and action)
‘Population, Health & Climate Change’ This paper is informed by LEAD’S mission to advocate social development and capacity building It deals with the impacts of climate change on: Health (with a specific focus on natural disasters and the spread of diseases from these natural disasters and reproduction health) Population (with a specific focus on population displacement and migration) And concludes by: Analyzing the extent to which climate change has been streamlined in the Pakistani government’s policy Highlighting the current efforts towards raising awareness with regards to climate change.
Climate Change & Pakistan: Overview Effects: Pakistan has been significantly affected by climate change as can be seen by the loss in biodiversity, crop failure, droughts and most notably by the excessive flooding (Roberts and Stout 2010) Risk: Assigned a rank of 16 in the 2010-2011 Climate Change Vulnerability Index (published by Maplecroft) Action: The country’s government is still in the process of developing a coherent policy framework addressing climate change.
Climate Change & Pakistan: Health Recent studies have confirmed the link between climate change and the health of the population (Nerlander, 2009). Example 1: 2010 Floods which Greatly affected the health of the flood affectees. Led to the spread of contagious diseases such as cholera, malaria and skin infections. Example 2: Alteration in the distribution of disease vectors (Chan, 2009) Led to the spread of dengue virus throughout Pakistan Other examples: Food insecurity, unsafe drinking water and sanitation problems. Climate change therefore has the potential to threaten life itself.
Climate Change & Pakistan: Action Various stakeholders are now involved in interventions regarding climate change’s effect on health and population. These efforts are carried out by the following: Institutional affiliations with the government International Donor Community Civil Society in Pakistan These interventions can either take: Direct action Indirect Action The type of action taken can include: Research Capacity building initiatives
Climate Change & Pakistan: Action- Policy Engagement & Governance Legal efforts: 1983: First ever ordinance towards the protection of the environment, in the country, passed. 1992: participated in Rio Earth Summit. Marked as a watershed moment in the country’s history of environmental legislation 1997: Pakistan Environmental Protection Act passed. 2005: Ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Institutionalized Efforts: Certain initiatives have been taken by the Government of Pakistan to monitor the effects of climate change. Notable government institutions involved in the process include Global Change Impact Studies Center (GCISC), Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Pakistan Planning Commission Task Force on Climate Change (PCP), The National Space Agency of Pakistan (SUPARCO), The Pakistan Council on Water Resources (PCRWR) Efforts still lack urgency
RESEARCH INITIATIVES Climate Change & Pakistan: Action- Policy Engagement & Governance While some researches recognize the health impacts of climate change, others can have a positive impact in mitigating its negative consequences. Examples: GCISC: Carries research activities which converge on agriculture, climatology, water resources, environment, and trans-boundary pollution. Organization’s research, however, only indirectly deals with the effects of climate change on health. EPA: Recognizes the negative impacts of climate change on the health of individuals. Its ‘Brief of Environmental Concerns in Pakistan’ explicitly linked pollution to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. EPA’s other reports have also shown how climate change’s effects on human health will harm the health system of the country and affect the poor population. MED: Publishes press releases focusing on its research on climate change. PCP: Published a report which provided guidelines to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change on food, water and energy; the report was later used as a backdrop to the first ever climate change policy of Pakistan. SUPARCO: Carries out several researches to assess the behavior and distribution of green house gas particles in the atmosphere. Examples include a study with the long term trends in Ozone Layer above Pakistan from 1974-2004. PCWCR: Conducted important researches on the desertification impact of climate change in the Cholistan desert.
CAPACITY BUILDING/TRAINING • AIMS: Research on climate change and health must be followed by capacity building or training exercises to equip stakeholders with necessary skills to address and mitigate climate change. • EXAMPLES: • Establishment of a National Policy Framework: First ever national policy framework for climate change mitigation has been prepared and sent to the national cabinet for approval. Human health is a matter of prime concern in the first draft. The draft also consists of an action plan that will be formulated to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, It has not been implemented yet. • IMPACT: Until now, therefore, no substantial efforts have been made by the Government of Pakistan in this regard. Climate Change & Pakistan: Action- Policy Engagement & Governance
Climate Change & Pakistan: Action– Donors and International Orgs Donors and International Orgs hold a prominent status in the development sector of Pakistan. There has been an increased focus on climate change and environmental issues since the 1990’s. Aims: Achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) Disaster Reduction Poverty – this has gained increased prominence in donor policy since 2005. Institutionalized Efforts: A number of donor organizations have been actively involved in research and capacity development on climate change issues in Pakistan. Notable organizations involved in the process include European Commission (EC), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Department for International Development (DFID), Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Asian Development Bank (ABD), LEAD and Oxfam
RESEARCH INITIATIVES Climate Change & Pakistan: Action– Donors and International Orgs The donor community and international organizations have contributed immensely to bringing up the issue of climate change in Pakistan. Worth noting that studies only about health impacts of climate change in Pakistan are rare. WWF: Blogs about research on climate change and its impacts in Pakistan. Examples include the 2010 October post “Pakistan Floods; A Case Study of A Climate Disaster” which argued for the need to slow climate change. By showing this link, the article also predicted a health care disaster in the aftermath. IUCN-Pakistan: Produces research briefs on the various impacts on climate change on biodiversity, agriculture and water resources in Pakistan. Some of its researches deals with the health impact of climate change along with numerous other impacts. Examples include ‘Community Perceptions of Climate Change in the Shigar Valley Skardu” ADB: Sponsors publications on the effects of climate change on health. Examples include “Accounting for Health Impacts of Climate Change” (2011) which was a collaborative effort with CIDA. Oxfam GB: Conducts extensive community based research in the coastal areas of Sindh to highlight impacts of climate change in the area.
CAPACITY BUILDING/TRAINING • EXAMPLES: • WWF-Pakistan: Engages in a number of projects aimed at helping communities adapt to climate change. Examples include ‘Better Management Practices in Thirsty Crops’ • Oxfam GB: Helps communities in the coastal areas of Sindh adapt to climate change; the work here deals with securing livelihoods of poor communities. • GEF: Has initiated a number of small scale community based capacity building projects,. he projects provide civil society and organizations grants to carry projects which help curb climate change through community change • UNDP and UNEP : Helps he Pakistani government meet the requirements of international treatises on climate change. Its capacity building initiatives at are also based on environmental governance amongst other concerns. • LEAD-Pakistan: Forte is capacity building and has worked extensively to build institutional capacity to address the effects of climate change. Main objective is to equip LEAD Partners and networks with the skills to understand and address climate change impacts. • A renewed focus on the health impacts of climate change can provide a new impetus to these international organizations’ climate change policy Climate Change & Pakistan: Action– Donors and International Orgs
Climate Change & Pakistan: Action– Civil Society and NGO’s Approximately 300 intermediary organizations are involved in the development sector in Pakistan. Since the 1990’s, there has been a marked increase in the number of local organizations working on climate change and environmental issues. Partnerships: Numerous grass roots or community based organizations: many non profits work with them to initiate and implement development interventions. International Organizations and lending institutions: NGO’s are largely dependent on them for the initiation and continuation of their projects. Aims: Carry out various capacity development initiatives to address or mitigate the health impacts of climate change.
CAPACITY BUILDING / TRAINING: • PPAF:Works with the poorest, most vulnerable communities in the country. Has also emerged as an important stakeholder for addressing the environmental concerns facing the country today. In this context, the organization has initiated a Sindh Coastal Areas Network (SCAN) in collaboration with Fresh Water action Network South Asia (FANSA). It has also put forward an urgent drive to devise a comprehensive climate change policy for Pakistan considering the devastation brought about by cyclones, floods and rainfall in the country. • Other local organizations: Work on climate change and its impacts among the most vulnerable segments of the population. These organizations are funded by international donor organizations. There is an urgent need to allow the awareness of climate change impacts to percolate the grass roots and this can be achieved through civil society organizations working with communities. • Suggested aims: However, considering the increasing threat posed by climate change as manifested in the 2010 and 2011 floods and the recent outbreak of Dengue virus in different parts of the country, it is imperative that apart from monitoring of climate change impacts and mitigation of its impacts on food security, water resources and bio diversity, health impacts of climate change must be given their due importance Climate Change & Pakistan: Action– Civil Society and NGO’s