Resilience to climate change: Process to formulate National Adaptation Plan has begun, NA told

The National Assembly was informed on Thursday that a process has been started to prepare a National Adaptation Plan for building resilience to climate change.

During a question hour’s session of the National Assembly, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman told the House that the aim is to reduce vulnerabilities to climate impacts by creating comprehensive medium- and long-term plans including the integration of adaptation measures into national policy.

The Minister for Climate Change said Pakistan has been using nature-based solutions and ecosystem system-based adaptation in its national efforts to build climate resilience.

Sherry Rehman said that Pakistan Climate Resilient Urban Policy Framework is being formulated which will take into account opportunities and challenges in achieving green and resilient urban development.

The Minister for Climate Change regretted that Pakistan is facing the brunt of the climate crisis despite its small carbon footprint.

Responding to another question, she said a biggest Initiative of Living Indus has been envisaged after consultations with the provinces in order to protect the Indus River from environmental degradation.

Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Zeb Jaffar also informed the National Assembly that the project for establishment of 100 smart classrooms in the universities has been entered into final stage and expected to be functional by the end of 2022.

She said the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has launched Digital Learning and Skill Enrichment Initiative to provide an opportunity to the students and faculty members of all the private and public sector universities to apply online and get unlimited access to over 1,200 courses.

While supporting the mandate to develop e-Academia, she said the HEC has established the national video conferencing network for higher education sector and provided world-class purpose-built video conferencing facility at all the universities.

Responding to a calling attention notice, Parliamentary Secretary for Power Division Rana Iradat Sharif Khan said mosques are exempted from TV fee in electricity bills. He, however, said if a mosque is being charged TV fee, it should forward an application to the relevant department in order to get its consumer category changed to mosque.

Minister for National Food Security Tariq Bashir Cheema responding to the remarks of GhousBux Khan Mahar of the Grand Democratic Alliance assured free of cost seeds will be provided to the farmers of the flood ravaged areas.

He said his ministry has transferred Rs5 billion to the National Disaster Management Authority for procurement of seeds and Rs4 billion more will be provided for this purpose. “It is our effort to revive the flood hit areas and uplift the agriculture sector,” he said.

Earlier, the House also held discussion on the situation arising out of the recent floods in the country.

The members suggested the government construct new dams, plant more trees, remove encroachments along waterways and upgrade drainage system to avert floods devastation in future. They said maximum relief should be extended to the flood victims.

Mahar, while highlighting the problems faced by the flood affected people, said all the political parties should stand together to address the current challenges including the one posed by the floods.

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