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Science and Environment

Encroaching sea levels endanger Pakistan’s Indus Delta

By Amar Guriro KARACHI, Pakistan, July 6 (News Lens Pakistan) -- From its start in the Himalayas, the Indus River flows almost 2,000 miles to the Arabian Sea, ensuring there is fertile land for farmers along the way and sustenance for Pakistan's wildlife. The river is in trouble, though. Its 17 major creeks, which in the past helped push seawater back, have almost dried up, allowing the Arabian Sea to flow upstream, poisoning the Indus River Delta with salt water and fouling farmland. Meanwhile, sea levels are rising, swamping entire villages along the river and threatening a way of life for thousands of families.  "There were many villages in our area, which are now completely submerged and the residents had moved somewhere el...

July 6, 2015 at 3:25 pm | News Desk

EU climate chief criticises UK wind farm policy

The UK's decision to stop subsidising new onshore wind farms will make it harder to meet renewable energy targets, the EU's climate chief says. Miguel Arias Canete said the EU had already calculated that the UK was not on track to meet legally binding goals. Asked by EA if the wind decision would make the task harder he replied: "Of course". His officials have expressed bemusement at the decision to end subsidies for onshore wind energy a year early. They said onshore wind was by far the cheapest way to hit the target of 15% of all energy from renewables from 2020. 'Mind-boggling' The SNP estimate the change will cost bill payers up to three billion pounds. After a media briefing on climate policy at the European Commission, one ...

June 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm | News Desk

Is Karachi experiencing climate change?

KARACHI: Is Karachi experiencing climate change? Where is all this heat coming from? How can the heat kill people in hundreds? Baffled Karachiites are wondering what is happening to the weather patterns in their city but the recent heat wave may not have come as unannounced as some of us think. Scientists have warned for some time now that heat waves will become more frequent and intense due to climate change, yet the government is yet to recognise this impending threat. Death toll from the ongoing heat wave across Karachi, which was amplified by high humidity, load-shedding and low water consumption as people are fasting, has now risen to above 700. Currently, hundreds of patients suffering from heat stroke and heat exhaustion are...

June 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm | News Desk

Pakistan: Provinces Pledge To Join The Federal Government In The Fight Against Climate Change

Under an agreement reached among provinces and federal government at a high-level national meeting on National Climate Change Policy Implementation Committee (NCCPIC), each of Pakistan's five provinces will create its own committee to take action on climate change policy and report back by May 5 on how they intend to take action on both reducing climate-changing emissions and supporting adaptation to climate change impacts. It was also agreed during the meeting that climate change sections also would be established in the federal planning commission and provincial planning and development (P&D) departments for smooth coordination among the federal and provincial governments on climate change and climate funding. “Such plans will be ...

June 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm | News Desk

Anti-erosion effort stops Pakistani farmers abandoning mountain fields

Saleem Shaikh Along with dozens of other farmers in the western Himalayan village of Namli Mera, Muhammad Naeem had been planning to give up agriculture and move to a nearby city. Resigned to opening a roadside coffee stall or working as a labourer in an auto shop, Naeem decided two years ago to abandon his potato fields after losing much of his three hectares of terraced farmland to soil erosion and landslides – problems that have become more frequent due to intense rainfall in the area. Namli Mera, located on the northern border of Ayubia National Park some 80 km from Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad, was once famous for its sparkling natural springs. But in recent years the village has become better known for its uns...

September 18, 2014 at 2:16 am | News Desk

Climate-Resilient watershed management Protects lives and livelihoods of Pakistan’s mountain farmers

Saleem Shaikh It has been a renewal of life and livelihood for Muhammad Naeem, a vegetable grower in north Pakistan’s Namli Mera village who was about to give it all up and move to the city after shrinking water supply and pollution had made farming unviable. But the mountain stream has revived, the water quality improved and he is able to irrigate his four-acre plot with ease thanks to an innovative watershed management programme that has saved many farmers like him. “Water supply from a centuries old natural sparkling spring in our area was shrinking, getting turbid and polluted because of rising deforestation in our mountain village. I realised that farming was no more viable and was thinking of abandoning it to migrate to ...

August 12, 2014 at 3:16 am | News Desk