Since UN conference on environment and development in 1992 followed by Rio conference 2012, sustainable development has been overstretching goal of international community. Despite the fact that many countries making efforts to strengthen their development framework for adoption and mitigation of climate change impacts but still there are continuing concerns about ecological dangers supported by strong scientific evidences. Global greenhouse emission is increasing rapidly according to an estimate 31gt GHG emitted globally which is equivalent to 8139 coal power station.
Due to melting of glaciers and ice sheets global sea level increased by 3.1MM per year since 1993. Highest average temperature of the century 0.94 Celsius recorded in 2016. Growing natural disasters caused a global economic loss of $306 billion which was nearly double the cost of 2016. As per world resource institute, electricity and heat is the major source of greenhouse gas emissions which is 31% of total. Similarly different sectors of global economy like agriculture contribute 11%, transportation 15%, forestry 6% and manufacturing activities produce 12% of GHG. China, United States, European Union, India, Russian Federation, and Japan are the major carbon dioxide emitters.
Pakistan’s carbon emissions was 189.19mt in 2017 which is lower than India and Bangladesh but it ranked among top ten countries most effected by climate change impacts during the last two decades. This is the fact that most developing or underdeveloped countries of the world are emitting nominal amount of carbon but most likely to suffer from its impacts.
It is challenging for developing countries like Pakistan to mitigate the climate change impacts as it already spending 8% of its development budget in climate related issues which is indeed a burden on the economy of Pakistan. Institutional capacity development could be jumping pad to attain the climate resilience, especially education sector can play central role for building the necessary human capacities for green transition, resilient development and low emissions.
Long term and programmatic efforts are required to integrate climate change adoption and mitigation tools and techniques in curriculum of schools, colleges and universities. There is need of extraordinary levels of knowledge, skills and awareness among state organs and individuals at all level. In medium and long term the recent generations would be serving in public offices and climate adoption/mitigation could be incorporated in policies related to transportation, forestry, energy, city planning and all other sectors. A three tire capacity development strategy need to be adopted at institutional, systemic and individual levels.
Initially institutionally capacity development means to strengthen the functional and technical capacities of institutions that are offering learning activities like teacher training institutes, universities, faith based organizations, social and development sector, media and civil society groups. secondly, creation of enabling environment at policy level for delivering quality learning opportunities to society as a whole and finally imparting knowledge among individuals to create climate responsible behaviors are key initiative for medium and long term sustainability.
Newly established government of Pakistan already allocated a huge amount of 802 million for climate change issues and almost 48% of this allocation goes to green Pakistan program and remaining amount allocated for revival of wildlife and WASH sectors. It is fact that afforestation is the right way to mitigate climate change impacts but in Pakistan according to a report every year 42000 hectares or 2.1% of forests destroyed due to fire and cut wood for cooking and heating.
Here I assume that through hundred million tree drive only deforested or optimistically speaking double of this area would be covered in next five years under green Pakistan program but to ensure green environment Pakistan need 20% of its total area covered by forests. So it is the right time to make sure the sustainability of green Pakistan project by integrating capacity building of human resource in collaboration with ministry of education and other stakeholders.
About Author: Raja Sauood Majeed (M. Phil in Development Studies) is a development expert and practitioner for last 10 years. Having expertise on development sector He has worked with several National and International Development Sector organizations.