Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS) Islamabad organized a round-table with Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman HEC, on February 19, 2019 at CISS conference room. Dr. Tariq Banuri delivered a lecture on Climate Change and its Implications for National Security. The lecture was followed by lively interactive session. Before the commencement of the lecture, Amb. Ali Sarwar Naqvi, Executive Director CISS, welcomed the honorable guest and highlighted center’s research activities.
Dr. Banuri commended CISS effort to organize a round-table on the significant issue of climate change. He described the evolutionary stages of earth’s history, human life and the industrial revolution which is a major cause of climate change. He emphasized that there is a dire need to understand the difference between environmental issues and climate change. He said that climate change is a developmental problem in a broader sense and humans need to learn to live with it. He also stressed that humans need to accept the blame for causing climate change. He noted that Pakistan is ranked as 8th most affected country in the world by climate change, according to Global Climate Risk Index (2018) of German Watch.
Dr. Banuri also spoke about the effects of climate change on state’s national goals/objectives. He emphasized that climate change directly affects national goals such as economic development, eradication of poverty, security and sovereignty. The climate change has / can cause water scarcity, food insecurity, floods, draughts, mass migrations etc. He pointed out that water insecurity would be a major cause of conflict in local, regional, and international disputes in the near future.
Dr. Banuri divided Pakistan’s efforts, in policy terms, in three sections. He categorized them as conscious policy making, unstated policy orientation and unconscious policy implementations. He said that the Pakistani government worked on policy frameworks such as NCCP-2012, FICCP-2103 and PCCA- 2017 in an uncoordinated manner. Consequently, different departments and institutions, working on climate change, are only focusing on securing foreign funding for achieving goals pertaining to their work. He however acknowledged that the government has worked on some significant initiatives such as the billion-tree tsunami in KPK, establishing NDMA system, Meteorological Department and PITB Public Health etc which has contributed to state’s ability to mitigate effects of climate change.
While concluding his discussion, Dr. Banuri said that, apart from serious efforts on climate change policy framework, Pakistan also needs to focus on exporting country’s success stories like billion-tree tsunami and establishment of NDMA etc and help other states, likely to be affected by climate change, to replicate these in their countries.