GILGIT-Baltistan (GB) is home to spectacular landscapes, thousands of glaciers, three mighty mountain ranges, a number of lakes and innumerable wild species. Approximately half of the area of GB consists of mountains, glaciers and lakes. There are no industries and coal power plants in the region. GB’s share in the emission of greenhouse gases is almost zero, but it is badly affected by the climate change phenomenon.

Various studies indicate that temperature in Pakistan has increased up to 0.76 degree Celsius during the last five decades, while it has risen up to 1.5°C in the mountainous areas during the same time period. According to a report by the Global Circulation Models, average temperature in Pakistan will increase from 2.5°C to 2.8°C by 2050, and it will rise more in the hilly areas.

Due to the rise in temperature, glaciers are melting rapidly, leading to floods and causing heavy loss to people, land, orchards and infrastructure. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB) have estimated that Pakistan has to face $3.8 billion loss yearly due to climate change.

Deforestation is also a contributing factor in terms of climate change. Thousands of trees are chopped every year by the locals and particularly by the timber mafia. This wood is transported to other parts of the country for sale, and the mafia earns huge amounts.

Deforestation is not only playing a role in global warming, but is also causing soil erosion. It has also increased incidents of land-sliding and avalanche. The Karakoram Highway (KKH), which connects GB to the rest of the country, remains closed due to land-sliding. This blockage not only causes difficulties to travellers, but also creates a shortage of essential goods in the region. The government should take concrete steps to mitigate the effects of climate change. The local authorities should conduct awareness drives in the region to educate the masses about the same.

Asim Iqbal

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2021



Under pressure
Updated 25 Jan, 2022

Under pressure

It is fairly obvious that PM is cognisant of the trouble that his government is in from a political and economic perspective.
25 Jan, 2022

Ukraine tensions

TENSIONS between Nato and Russia over Ukraine have reached a critical pass, and there are genuine fears of a fresh...
25 Jan, 2022

Defeating polio

WITH Pakistan in the decisive stage of the battle against polio, every vaccination campaign is of significance as it...
24 Jan, 2022

Anti-extremism policy

HAD there been more far-sighted policymaking on the part of the state and an understanding of how religious ...
Government’s silence
Updated 24 Jan, 2022

Government’s silence

A MAJOR trial is underway in London during which Pakistan has repeatedly been mentioned as the place where payment...
24 Jan, 2022

Cutting mangroves

FOR Karachi, the mangrove cover along its coastline is a thin line of defence against potential oceanic and climatic...