Ministry of Climate Change, UNDP to combat desertification in Pakistan

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RAWALPINDI: Out of a total of 79.6 million hectares, 62m hectares of Pakistan’s total land are vulnerable to desertification, informed Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Wednesday.

At a seminar by the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) on ‘Combating Desertification in Pakistan’, Mr Aslam said the country is facing global warming and desertification, which is a major challenge to sustainable development.

Sustainable Land Management Programme (SLMP) is a joint programme which is being carried out by the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Climate Change.

To combat desertification, the climate change ministry is approaching this issue with a climate-smart approach.

Mr Aslam further highlighted that various steps are being taken by the Ministry to tackle challenges posed by changing climatic conditions. The government has already decided to plant at least 10 billion trees across the country, and plastic bags have been banned in the capital to make it a plastic-free zone, he further added.

Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi Vice-Chancellor Dr Qamaruz Zaman, as addressed the seminar and spoke about the university’s role for an improved climate, as such collaborative activities must be strengthened and taken forward to fight desertification.

SLMP-II National Programme Coordinator Hamid Marwat told the audience about SLMP approaches and interventions for better land management in Pakistan. The implementation of the programme will bring considerable financial benefits for poor dryland communities through the sustainable management of the land resources he added.