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KARACHI: The country lacks reliable data on the impact of climate change and there is a need for an in-depth study on the subject.

This issue was raised at a recent discussion held at the Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research that was attended, among others, by some foreign scientists.

“Pakistan is ranked the seventh most vulnerable country when it comes to climate change. Unfo­rtunately, we do not have any reliable data on the impact of climate change and our understanding of the subject is rudimentary,” said Prof M. Iqbal Chaudhary, director of the Karachi University’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences.

He urged the government to conduct an in-depth study about how climate change was affecting the country and its future. Such a research project was critical for formulating a strategy to deal with the effects of climate change.

“Adapting to climate change is vital for developing countries like Pakistan but lack of awareness is one of the major barriers. The other area to focus upon is environmental degradation and deforestation which is posing a real threat to the ecosystem,” he said, adding that forests were important to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Dr Chaudhary also linked issues such as reduction in natural resources, scarcity of food and water shortage to climate change in Pakistan.

Changing weather patterns in Karachi were also discussed and concern was expressed over the reduction in the rainfall the city received this year.

Participants agreed that while extreme weather events, including drought, heavy rainfall, irregular floods and increased glacier melting, were affecting many parts of the world, developing countries faced a greater challenge, mainly due to their poor economies.

What had aggravated the situation was human interference in nature and environmental degradation, they said.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2018