ISLAMABAD: Experts have emphasised the need for employing latest data and research to ensure sustainable use of water and land resources in order to tackle the serious challenges of water shortage, climate change as well as food security in Pakistan.

They expressed these views at the inauguration of liaison office of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Pakistan in Islamabad.

According to a statement, Dr Rachael McDonnell, Deputy Director General, IWMI, who inaugurated the liaison office, gave a presentation on climate change impacts on water resources availability in Pakistan.

She said that IWMI uses research for development approach to implement three strategic programmes that are Water, Food and Ecosystems; Water, Climate Change and Resilience; and Water, Growth and Inclusion, to support the Pakistan government’s efforts to meet its targets under the Sustainable Development Goals.

In his remarks, Country Representative — Pakistan and Regional Representative — Central Asia, IWMI, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, said, “IWMI Pakistan is working on projects related to improving water governance at federal and provincial levels, to help Pakistan adapt to the changing climate. By ensuring the availability of better water data and its use within the provinces, it will improve demand-driven sharing of water between competing uses.”

He further said, “We have field offices in Okara, Rahim Yar Khan and DI Khan, and this liaison office in Islamabad will improve coordination with stakeholders and address the growing water challenge.”

On the occasion, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr. Ghulam Mohammad Ali termed the IWMI role very significant in water resources management and PARC’s collaboration for sustainable irrigation development in Pakistan.

Talking on the occasion, Florence Rolle, Country Representative Pakistan shared an overview of living Indus initiative in Pakistan.

Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Humayun Javed; Chairman Federal Flood Comission, Ministry of Water Resources Engr. Ahmed Kamal and Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Dr. Mazhar Hayat gave their presentations on the implementation of various policies related to food security, water and climate change.

In the technical session, Dr Mohammad Ashraf, Chairman, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) informed the participants regarding the ongoing water situation in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2022

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