ISLAMABAD, Mar 19 7:42pm (APP): Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Friday said with the impending climate change crisis, all states should cooperate with each other to avoid any water-related catastrophe and conflict.
Addressing virtually the United Nations General Assembly high level session on water related goals and targets, the SAPM narrated Pakistan’s vision on addressing water issues arising due to climate change to be coped with in a holistic manner.
Amin said, “Water is a natural resource that is vital for the sustenance of life. It is also at the core of sustainable development, and pivotal for poverty eradication and economic growth.”
He added that it was a matter of serious concern that close to 2.5 billion people, more than a third of the world population lived in water-scarce regions.
“By 2050, more than half of the world’s population will be at risk due to water stress. Desertification alone would threaten the livelihoods of nearly one billion people in about 100 countries. Intense water scarcity may displace as many as 700 million people by 2030, the PM aide on Climate Change warned. Over the last 20 years, he said the overwhelming majority of disasters, almost 90 percent, were caused by floods, storms, droughts, heat waves, and other weather-related events.
While highlighting Pakistan’s vulnerability due to climate change, the SAPM said, ” Out of the ten major humanitarian disasters that my country faced, eight were climate induced.”
Worldwide, more than 286 rivers and about 600 aquifers cross sovereign borders, and 40 percent of the world population lived within shared river basins, he added. Amin underscored that without effective transboundary water cooperation, inclusive sustainable development was severely curtailed, and the potential for threats to peace and security had increased.
“These factors together make sustainable water management one of the most formidable challenges of our times. Cooperation at all levels is required to confront and overcome this situation,” he added.
As a lower-riparian country, he said whose economic mainstay was agriculture, we attach immense importance to the issue of water scarcity. As a signatory of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty between Pakistan and India, we believed in transboundary water cooperation as a pillar for sustainable water management, Amin said.
“Our engagement and commitment with water related goals including SDG 6 is longstanding and unwavering. We also look forward to the implementation of the SDG-6 acceleration framework,” he noted.
Amin categorically stated that clearly, transboundary water related disputes could pose threats to peace and security in many regions, including my own region. “We must therefore ensure that international agreements and treaties are fully implemented by all parties. We must address the issue in a timely and holistic manner,” he stated.
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