Pakistan has made only a small contribution to climate change through carbon emissions. And yet, it counts among the dozen or so nations considered most vulnerable to its damaging effects. These include rising temperatures, recurring cycles of floods and droughts and resulting disruption in food production. What can Pakistan do to minimize these impacts?
Pakistan is working with both sources and sinks of carbon. Among the sources, the nation is focusing on increasing production of clean, renewable energy that does not produce carbon emissions. At the same time, there is a reforestation effort underway in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province to plant a billion trees to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Reforestation project in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province is part of the Green Growth Initiative launched in February 2014 in Peshawar by Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan whose party governs the province.
The initiative aims to boost local economic development in a way that uses natural resources sustainably, with a focus on increasing clean energy uptake and forest cover, according to a report in Christian Science Monitor.
The KP government has turned forest restoration into a business model by outsourcing nurseries to the private sector, including widows, poor women, and young people, according to the paper. It reports that the government buys saplings to plant while providing green jobs for the community. "At the same time, illegal logging has been almost eliminated in the province following strict disciplinary action against some officials who were involved. Other measures include hiring local people to guard forests and banning wood transportation", the Christian Science Monitor reports.
Pakistan has installed about 300 megawatts of wind-energy capacity through six projects working in the Sindh province, according to a Bloomberg report. That may grow to 800 MW by year-end as eight projects in the same region get commissioned, says Alternative Energy Board chief Syed Aqeel Husain Jafri. The Quaid e Azam solar park in Punjab province will add another 300 megawatts of capacity to the existing 100 megawatts by March or April, he said. Chinese firm Zonergy Co Ltd. will set up 900 megawatts in this 1-gigawatt solar park.
In addition, there are multiple hydroelectric projects and nuclear energy power plants under-construction to add tens of thousand megawatts of clean energy to the national grid over the next several years. The biggest of these projects are Neelum-Jhelum, Diamer-Bhasha, Dasu, K2 and K3.
Liquified Natural Gas:
Some of the oil-fired power plants are planned to be switched to imported liquified natural gas (LNG) to produce 3600 MW of electricity. LNG burns cleaner and produces lower carbon emissions than oil or coal. LNG imports will also support CNG for running vehicles. In addition, the government needs to plan to make gas cylinders available for cooking in rural areas to help reduce wood burning which contributes to deforestation and carbon emission and particulate pollution.
Pakistan faces a significant threat from global warming in terms of rising temperatures, recurring cycles of floods and droughts and potential disruption in crop production. The nation is just beginning to take appropriate actions such as renewable energy and reforestation projects to deal with this threat. Greater thought and more focus is needed to execute the plans to reduce carbon emissions as a priority.
Climate Change Worsens Poverty in India
India's Rising Population and Depleting Resources
Recurring Droughts and Flooding in Pakistan
An Indian Farmer Commits Suicide Every 30 Minutes
Growing Water Scarcity in Pakistan
Pakistan's Energy Crisis
Culture of Tax Evasion and Aid Dependence
Climate Change in South Asia
US Senate Report on Avoiding Water Wars in Central and South Asia
#Pakistan entrepreneur to bring #solar power to millions of off-grid homes. #renewableenergy #climatechange @Acumen https://medium.com/acumen-ideas/risky-business-3116c40826a1#.wgmurmbco …
... in 2011, a request came in from the UNDP Pakistan. Over the years, the family had provided tents to the United Nations, American Red Cross and other aid organizations, but this request was for hundreds of solar lanterns. On these occasions, Usman would usually fly to China for sourcing, but he started to think about how to build a solar business within Pakistan. ..
Usman managed to get his parents on board, and they fronted him $300,000 to get Nizam Energy up and running in 2012. Nine months passed, however, and he hadn’t made a sale. “Every day, my family would ask me ‘Did you sell anything?’” he said. “It was probably the most humiliating experience of my life and definitely a big attack on my ego. I was starting to think I was invincible. The hospitality and recycling business had become so big so fast; I figured I’d have the same luck. I was wrong.”
Still, Usman stuck to his guns, relentless in his belief that solar was a viable solution to Pakistan’s energy problems. Of the country’s 181 million people, more than 30 percent lack access to energy, many of whom live in remote villages far from the reach of the grid. Even those with access are left to pay a hefty price for scanty, unreliable service, creating a financial burden for its citizens. Pakistan has long relied on expensive imported fuels, but energy companies have struggled to keep up with demand, falling deeper and deeper into debt. With the country’s exceptional sunshine, solar has the potential to become an affordable, long-term alternative to the grid and bring millions out of the dark while powering the country’s economy.
Usman was at a loss, but then an idea came to him. It was a gamble but, with only two months’ worth of operations left in the bank, the company had nothing to lose. Usman decided Nizam Energy would use the little money they had left and open up three stores in Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad. “We figured if we were going down, we might as well go out with a blast,” he said. “We put every last cent into building these outlets and then prayed for magic.”
That summer, Lahore suffered some of the worst blackouts in its history. For 10, sometimes 12, hours a day, the electricity would go out throughout the city. Everywhere, that is, except Nizam’s solar-powered outlet. There was no marketing needed. The power of solar had sold itself. In that first month, Nizam made $100,000 and sales only continued to explode. In a matter of three months, the company brought in nearly $1 million. Usman’s bet had paid off.
Soon enough, Usman and his team became Pakistan’s go-to guys for solar energy. Lahore’s University of Engineering and Technology hired Nizam to install a 36-kilowatt solar system, and Pakistan’s biggest banks enlisted the company to power dozens of branches across the country. Nizam even captured the attention of the Chief Minister of Punjab, who called on Usman to propose a solar policy for the province. Usman’s luck had returned. Nizam brought in $6 million in its second year and $10 million the following year.
In 2015, Usman and his team began to take what they had learned on the grid to develop a low-cost suite of products, ranging from 10 to 100 watts, for Pakistan’s remote, underserved communities. Usman and his team sought out local sales agents to hire and partnered with nonprofits and microfinance organizations to tackle issues of distribution and provide last-mile customers with direct sales to offer them easy, affordable payment options. Nizam’s goal is to provide clean, reliable energy to one million people in the next five years. It’s ambitious but, in Usman’s mind, totally achievable.
Marshall Islands sue #Britain, #India and #Pakistan over #nuclear weapons. http://gu.com/p/4g9km/stw
The tiny Marshall Islands will seek to persuade the UN’s highest court to take up a lawsuit against India, Pakistan and Britain, which it accuses of failing to halt the nuclear arms race.
The international court of justice – founded in 1945 to rule on legal disputes between nations – announced late on Friday dates for separate hearings for the three cases between March 7 and March 16.
In the cases brought against India and Pakistan, the court will examine whether the tribunal based in The Hague is competent to hear the lawsuits.
The hearing involving Britain will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
A decision will be made at a later date as to whether the cases can proceed.
In 2014, the Marshall Islands – a Pacific Ocean territory with 55,000 people – accused nine countries of “not fulfilling their obligations with respect to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament”.
They included China, Britain, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
The government, based in the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro, said by not stopping the nuclear arms race, the countries continued to breach their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – even if the treaty has not been signed by countries such as India and Pakistan.
The Marshall Islands had decided to sue the world’s nuclear heavyweights as “it has a particular awareness of the dire consequences of nuclear weapons”, it said.
Between 1946 and 1958 the United States conducted repeated nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, Majuro’s representatives said in papers filed in court.
In March 2014 the Marshall Islands marked 60 years since the devastating hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll that laid waste the island and exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout.
Building the atom bomb: the full story of the Nevada Test Site
The 15-megatonne test on 1 March, 1954 was part of the intense cold war nuclear arms race and 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Bikini Islanders have lived in exile since they were moved for the first weapons tests in 1946.
When US government scientists declared Bikini safe for resettlement some residents were allowed to return in the early 1970s. But they were removed again in 1978 after ingesting high levels of radiation from eating local foods grown on the former test site.
The Marshall Islands nuclear claims tribunal had awarded more than US$2bn in personal injury and land damage claims arising form the nuclear tests, but stopped paying after a US$150m US compensation fund was exhausted.
Eight of the nine countries originally targeted in the lawsuits have officially admitted to possessing a nuclear weapon. Israel has never acknowledged having one, though observers believe it is the sole nuclear-armed nation in the Middle East.
"Climate Change" is the new mantra but more important for developing countries with limited resources is to look at Energy Efficiency or specifically GDP vs Energy use. In other words total energy consumption per unit GDP. According to, Global Energy Statistics Yearbook 26 July 2015, the world average Energy Intensity is 212.9 TOE/1 Million GDP. A lower number = higher efficiency. Bangladesh is most efficient in South Asia at 97.9, India at 189.5 and Pakistan at 236.1. China is 231.3 and the US is 221.7 for reference.
Leon P: ""Climate Change" is the new mantra but more important for developing countries with limited resources is to look at Energy Efficiency or specifically GDP vs Energy use. In other words total energy consumption per unit GDP. According to, Global Energy Statistics Yearbook 26 July 2015, the world average Energy Intensity is 212.9 TOE/1 Million GDP. A lower number = higher efficiency. Bangladesh is most efficient in South Asia at 97.9, India at 189.5 and Pakistan at 236.1. China is 231.3 and the US is 221.7 for reference."
The World Bank data in terms of GDP per unit of energy use (constant 2011 PPP $ per kg of oil equivalent) shows as follows:
Bangladesh $12.7 per Kg of oil
United Kingdom 12.2
United States 7.4
#Russia to Spend Billions on #Gas Pipeline in #Pakistan. #Putin http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/russia-to-spend-billions-on-gas-pipeline-in-pakistan/3193228.html …
Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Pakistan in the next few months to begin a gas pipeline project.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked Putin to visit.
Mobin Saulat heads Inter State Gas Systems, the Pakistani company that would build the pipeline. He says Putin may visit Pakistan before June.
He says Russia is interested in the project because 200 million people live in Pakistan, and investing in the country could help Russia gain influence in other South Asian nations.
When Pakistani officials and energy experts visited Moscow recently, they met with the heads of three large Russian energy companies for the first time in more than 20 years. He says that shows Russia’s interest in Pakistani energy issues.
Saulat says he believes the pipeline is the first of many investments Russia will make in Pakistan.
Experts say both countries may have strategic and political reasons to work together on the gas pipeline project.
Pakistan has tried to form new partnerships to reduce its dependence on the United States and China.
Russia will spend about two to $2.5 billion dollars on the project. That is almost 85 percent of the cost.
The 1,100-kilometer-long pipeline will be able to transport 34 million cubic meters of gas per day throughout Pakistan from Karachi to Lahore. The first part of the project is expected to be finished in two years. The last two parts are set to be completed in 2019.
#Tarbela 4th and 5th extension projects to add 2820 MW to system: #Pakistan Minister - #renewables #cleanenergy http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/SpecialReport/322877-Tarbela-4th-and-5th-extension-projects-to-add-2820#.VslI0rLSEZc.twitter …
Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali has stated that Tarbela 4th and 5th extension power projects will add 2820 Mega Watt (MW) low cost hydel electricity to the national grid system.
Addressing the APP in Islamabad, the minister expressed that both projects in Tarbela would improve the current generation capacity of 3478 MW to 6298 MW. At the same time, 49 per cent work on Tarbela 4th generation extension project has been completed and the project would begin supplying 1410 MW to the national grid system in July 2017.
Furthermore, the 5th extension power project would also add another 1410 MW to the system, the minister added.
With regard to the 4th extension power project, the minister expressed that the project was expected to complete in 2018, but on the direct orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the project will be operational by June 2017.
The World Bank has offered financial assistance to the total cost of the project which is $ 929 million.
On the other hand, the layout and design plan for the 5th extension power project had already been completed at a cost of $ 2.9 million. “It will complete in a 39-month period once work starts on it. The project would be commissioned in March 2020,” he added.
“By the end of December 2017, the remaining three units having capacity to generate 242 MW each would start supplying electricity to national grid,” Abid Sher Ali added.
In Pakistan, there has been an enormous increase in the demand of energy as a result of industrial development and population growth, compared to the enhancements in energy production. Therefore the supply of energy is falling behind the actual demand.
For years, the matter of balancing Pakistan’s supply against the demand for electricity has remained a largely unresolved matter. The country faces big challenges in altering its networks that are responsible for the supply of electricity. Electricity generation in Pakistan has shrunk by up to 50% in the recent years, primarily because Pakistan’s energy infrastructure is not well developed; rather, it is considered to be under- developed and poorly managed.
Pakistan needs around 15,000 to 20,000 MW electricity per day, however, currently it is able to produce only 11,500 MW per day hence there is a shortfall of about 4000 to 9000 MW per day.
Over the years, there is a greater need of energy because there is a notable increase in population. According to the economic survey of Pakistan 2010-11, the total population of Pakistan is 177.1 million against the 173.5 million in last year. Population growth rate is 2.1 % and in the list of most populous countries, Pakistan is at 6th number. At the same time, Pakistan has higher-than-average population growth rate n South Asia.
Energy crisis has, more or less, plagued all sectors of Pakistan’s machinery ranging from economy to industry, agriculture to social life, inflation to poverty and it is hampering national progress in a drastic manner. Nonetheless, menace of energy crisis can be overwhelmed by government working towards effective policies and its implementation. Simultaneously, it is also the responsibility of the people to utilize the available energy wisely to play our role for the progress of our nation.
Pakistan has recently negotiated a good bargain with Qatar for importing $16 billion worth of liquified natural gas (LNG).
Pakistan will import as much as 20 million tons of the super-chilled gas annually from various sources including Qatar, enough to fuel about two-thirds of Pakistan’s power plants. Gas shortage has idled half the nation’s generators. A 75 percent drop in LNG prices since 2014 has dramatically reduced the cost of the South Asian country’s energy needs, according to a Bloomberg report.
LNG arriving in Pakistan from Qatar will fetch 13.37% of the preceding three-month average price of a Brent barrel (considering the present Brent price as a proxy, that would equate to $167.5 per 1000 cubic meters), according to a report in Azerbaijan's Trend News. It translates to $4.50 per million BTUs.
#Pakistan saves trees, cuts risk by micro hydro electrcity for northern villages. #climatechange http://www.trust.org/item/20160314070911-3jowc/?source=shtw … via @TR_Foundation
In this picturesque village, perched above the gushing turquoise waters of the Hunza river, and with a view of the 8,000-metre Rakaposhi mountain, in Pakistan's Karakoram range, women once had to walk for miles to collect firewood each day.
For the last eight years, however, hydropower has supplied the village's energy needs, and life has gotten much easier, said Mehreen, who has an electric stove, electric oven and electric lights, fitted with energy-saving bulbs.
"With the availability of electricity we have been relieved of such burdensome work," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "The initiative holds great meaning in our lives."
The village's community-run micro hydropower station - built in 2008 by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme with backing from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund - produces about 190 kilowatts of electricity an hour.
That's enough to supply power to 144 homes in Ahmedabad and nearly 110 in the nearby villages of Sultanabad and Faizabad.
Such small-scale hydropower plants are proving a key way to provide power in remote, off-grid areas of power-short Pakistan, while at the same time helping protect the environment.
MORE TREES, LESS RISK
Besides making life easier for people in the villages, in Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan province, hydropower has slowed deforestation - rampant in many mountain areas of Pakistan - and cut landslide risks as more trees are left standing to hold the soil, local people say.
"Now no one chops down trees to harvest fuelwood," said Ghulam Raza, an environmentalist who works in the area with a range of non-governmental organisations. As a result, natural forests in the mountains nearby "are coming back to life," he said.
Social development activist Ghulam Sarwar, who works for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, said hydropower has changed Ahmedabad from a village that "lived in darkness" to one where children can now study by electric light at night, and no longer miss school to help their families collect firewood.
"Now our children don't skip school. They find enough time at home to study and finish their schoolwork even after sunset," said Ali Gohar, a member of the community committee that maintains the hydropower plant.
Community leaders say if they can find the funding, they intend to expand the project and provide electricity to an additional 1,400 households in nearby Karimabad and Altit villages.
Shahana Khan, a development projects manager for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, said small-scale hydropower is a natural for mountain villages with access to rivers, and is a good way of ensuring access to clean energy.
A key, she said, is that such facilities "are owned, run and maintained by the communities."
Pakistan could generate around 100,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity, through both large and small hydropower projects, according to a 2006 report by the Pakistan Alternative Energy Development Board.
Sixty percent of that could come at spots identified in the river-rich, mountainous northwest of the country, it said.
Three Gorges Corp (TGC), #China's leading #hydropower company, to invest in #Pakistan http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/?p=500670 via @ePakistanToday
A consortium, led by China’s Three Gorges Corp, the world’s largest hydropower producer, plans to invest in Pakistan, building both state-owned and private hydropower stations.
” We want to take an active part in the expected auction of the state-owned hydropower stations in the brotherly country,” said Wang Shaofeng, executive vice-president of China Three Gorges International Corporation, the Beijing-based unit of CTG.
There are several large hydropower projects in Pakistan with a total installed capacity of about 3,000 MW, Wang said in an interview with China Daily.
“These could be our top choices for acquisition, but we will also consider acquiring small and newly built private hydropower projects,” said the senior executive, who has previously worked in Pakistan for more than a decade.
The projects that the group has in Pakistan are worth $9 billion. It has signed an agreement with Pakistan for a series of projects that can increase the figure to $50 billion.
The Chinese company chose Pakistan as the first stop of its overseas investment due to close ties between China and Pakistan, a country that faces great challenges in meeting its energy demand. Wang said the 1,100-MW Kohala hydropower station, the group’s biggest project in Pakistan at the moment, is expected to start construction this year and will be completed in six years.
The Chinese company also plans to set up a facility jointly with Dongfang Electric Corporation in Pakistan to support the local market as well as other neighbouring countries.
The company is also preparing to bid for a contract to build and operate an 8,000-MW power station in Brazil.
When bidding opens for the hydropower dam on the Tapajos River, the Chinese consortium will be a strong contender. Wang said his group’s participation in the project would involve capital investment.
The Tapajos dam will become one of the world’s 10 largest hydropower projects after completion, he said.
The builder of the world’s largest dam has also set up a Hong Kong-based company named Hydro Global Investment Ltd with the Portuguese power company EDP – Energias de Portugal – as a platform to explore business opportunities of small and medium-sized hydropower projects in the region.
“When we are doing global projects, we are looking at the long-term development and investment, so we are very careful in selecting the projects and conducting them,” Wang said.
The executive said the biggest challenge the company faces right now is to deal with the exchange rate fluctuations to prevent risk and increase profit in overseas countries.
China itself has embarked on an ambitious plan of dam building to combat air pollution. The Three Gorges Power Plant, the world’s largest hydropower project, has generated more than 800 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity since its first turbine was connected to the grid in 2003.
The world’s largest energy consumer possesses more than half the large-scale hydroelectric plants on earth – that is more than all the plants in Brazil, the United States and Canada combined.
Overreacting to #Terrorism? #BrusselsAttacks #Obama #Trump #Cruz2016 #Islamophobia http://nyti.ms/1XPfJOn
Are terrorists more of a threat than slippery bathtubs?
President Obama, er, slipped into hot water when The Atlantic reportedthat he frequently suggests to his staff that fear of terrorism is overblown, with Americans more likely to die from falls in tubs than from attacks by terrorists.
The timing was awkward, coming right before the Brussels bombings, but Obama is roughly right on his facts: 464 people drowned in America in tubs, sometimes after falls, in 2013, while 17 were killed here by terrorists in 2014 (the most recent years for which I could get figures). Of course, that’s not an argument for relaxing vigilance, for at some point terrorists will graduate from explosives to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons that could be far more devastating than even 9/11. But it is an argument for addressing global challenges a little more rationally.
The basic problem is this: The human brain evolved so that we systematically misjudge risks and how to respond to them.
Our visceral fear of terrorism has repeatedly led us to adopt policies that are expensive and counterproductive, such as the invasion of Iraq. We have ramped up the intelligence community so much that there are now seven times as many Americans with security clearances (4.5 million) as live in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Donald Trump responded to the Brussels attacks with crowd-pleasing calls for torture or barring Muslims that even Republican security experts agree are preposterous.
On the same day as the attacks, a paper by James E. Hansen and other climate experts was released arguing that carbon emissions are transforming our world far more quickly than expected, in ways that may inundate coastal cities and cause storms more horrendous than any in modern history. The response? A yawn.
Hansen is an eminent former NASA scientist, but he’s also an outlier in his timing forecasts, and I’m not qualified to judge whether he’s correct. Yet whatever the disagreement about the timeline, there is scientific consensus that emissions on our watch are transforming our globe for 10,000 years to come. As an important analysis in Nature Climate Change put it, “The next few decades offer a brief window of opportunity to minimize large-scale and potentially catastrophic climate change that will extend longer than the entire history of human civilization thus far.”
To put it another way, this year’s election choices may shape coastlines 10,000 years from now. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have both mocked the idea of human-caused climate change, with Trump suggesting that it is a hoax invented by China to harm the American economy (he now says that last point was a joke).
The upshot is that Brussels survived this week’s terrorist attacks, but it may not survive climate change (much of the city is less than 100 feet above sea level).
Doesn’t it seem prudent to invest in efforts to avert not only shoe bombers but also the drowning of the world’s low-lying countries?
Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, says that the kind of threats that we evolved to deal with are those that are imminent rather than gradual, and those that involve a deliberate bad actor, especially one transgressing our moral code. Explaining our lack of concern for global warming, he noted,“Climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, not flags.”
In short, our brains are perfectly evolved for the Pleistocene, but are not as well suited for the risks we face today. If only climate change caused sharp increases in snake populations, then we’d be on top of the problem!
Yet even if our brains sometimes mislead us, they also crown us with the capacity to recognize our flaws and rectify mistakes. So maybe we can adjust for our weaknesses in risk assessment — so that we confront the possible destruction of our planet as if it were every bit as ominous and urgent a threat as, say, a passing garter snake.
Global #renewableenergy Boom: From 2009 to 2015, #solar panels costs dropped 61%, #windturbines price down 14% http://nyti.ms/1pYYAqz
Last year, for the first time, renewables accounted for a majority of new electricity-generating capacity added around the world, according to a recent United Nations report. More than half the $286 billion invested in wind, solar and other renewables occurred in emerging markets like China, India and Brazil — also for the first time. Excluding large hydroelectric plants, 10.3 percent of all electricity generated globally in 2015 came from renewables, roughly double the amount in 2007, according to the report.
The average global cost of generating electricity from solar panels fell 61 percent between 2009 and 2015 and 14 percent for land-based wind turbines. In sunny parts of the world like India and Dubai, developers of solar farms have recently offered to sell electricity for less than half the global average price. In November, the accounting firm KPMG predicted that by 2020 solar energy in India could be 10 percent cheaper than electricity generated by burning coal.
These are all hopeful signs. They suggest that reductions in carbon emissions can be achieved more quickly and more cheaply than widely believed. And they provide hope that nations will be able to achieve the ambitious goals they set for themselves at last December’s climate summit meeting in Paris — to keep warming below the threshold beyond which the world will be locked into a future of devastating consequences, including rising sea levels, severe droughts and flooding, widespread food and water shortages and more destructive storms.
Replacing coal-fired plants or avoiding new ones will have major health benefits as well, especially in heavily polluted cities in China and India where ground-level pollutants like soot and smog make the simple act of breathing a major undertaking. Those benefits will be even greater as gasoline-powered cars are replaced with electric vehicles that draw power from wind and solar farms.
Poo-powered biogas pumps help #Pakistan farmers grow richer, greener. #renewables http://reut.rs/1OuV42D via @ReutersIndia
For farmer Mujahid Abbasi, switching the power source for his irrigation pump from diesel to biogas has brought economic and health gains.
The 43-year-old from Fateh Jhang village, some 26 miles (42 km) from Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad, has benefited from a pilot project led by the Punjab provincial government to provide biogas equipment at a subsidised rate.
Abbasi uses dung from his 30 buffalo to produce nearly 40 cubic metres of gas per day, which powers his irrigation pump for six hours and his family’s cooking stove.
The father of five says cutting out diesel has saved him around $10-$12 daily over the past 13 months.
He has used the money to plant seasonal vegetables on five additional hectares that had lain fallow for several years due to a lack of funds.
Turning a lever to start his groundwater pump, Abbasi recalls how the 20-horse power engine used to consume around 13 litres of diesel each day. But he has not bought diesel since he installed the biogas-run pump in March 2015.
“This is a brilliant saving,” he said. “This means additional income of $1,150 for me annually. It has helped improve our family’s economic well-being.”
Close to 20 other farmers in his area have followed suit and are also running their irrigation pumps on biogas, thanks to the government-backed project.
Vegetable farmer Naeem Raza Shah uses slurry left over from the biogas production process to fertilise his 19 hectares, cutting out chemical fertiliser which previously cost him around $850 per year.
“The organic fertiliser from the biogas plant is an economic blessing for me,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
SUBSIDIES FOR SMALL FARMERS
Abbasi and Raza are among nearly 17,000 beneficiaries of the $67 million programme that aims to convert 100,000 irrigation pumps from diesel to biogas by the end of 2017 across Punjab province.
According to Punjab Agriculture Minister Farrukh Javed, the initiative aims to reduce dependence on diesel and boost farm productivity by improving access to irrigation water and promoting the use of bio-fertiliser, while fighting groundwater contamination from chemical inputs.
The government is paying half of the conversion cost for diesel-powered pumps, which ranges from 200,000 to 400,000 rupees ($1,912-$3,824) per tube well.
The subsidies are weighted in favour of farmers with less land, who usually have lower incomes and would struggle to afford the pump conversion without additional financial support.
The programme is expected to avoid the use of 288 million litres of diesel, worth 30 billion rupees each year.
It will help cut the diesel import bill and boost farmers’ profits, while reducing environmental pollution. It is expected to shrink the sector’s carbon footprint by more than 5 percent.
Agriculture accounts for nearly 39 percent of Pakistan’s annual carbon emissions, which are increasing at a rate of 6 percent per year.
According to a 2010 census by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, farmers operate 1.1 million irrigation pumps across the country to exploit groundwater, more than 70 percent of them in Punjab. Of these, 900,000 are run on diesel.
Meanwhile, in Punjab alone, there are 32 million cattle and buffalo, which produce 117 million tonnes of dung annually - enough to produce around 6 billion cubic metres of biogas.
“The government should encourage the private sector to join its efforts to capitalise on the untapped opportunity the biogas sector offers in view of the millions of tonnes of unused dung from 180 million head of cattle across the country,” said Arif Allauddin, former head of Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board.
#Pakistan's plan for tackling deforestation: Plant a billion trees. #ClimateChange
It's a rough life in Pakistan, even for a tree.
The country's hills were once home to endless stretches of pine and fir, but these days Pakistan's forest cover is somewhere below 2 percent. In the United States, that number is roughly 33 percent and in India 23 percent.
In an ambitious plan to counter this deforestation, which ecologists say is a major cause of deadly landslides, the government of a province along Pakistan's restive border with Afghanistan says it is a quarter of the way to a goal announced last year: planting 1 billion saplings. The so-called Billion Tree Tsunami campaign was recognized by the Bonn Challenge, a global partnership of forestry ministries to regain green cover.
Landslides killed 140 this April alone and destroyed hundreds of villages in northern Pakistan. Trees' roots help to keep soil in its place. Without them, hillsides more easily erode, and heavy mountain rain can bring whole slopes down — trees, boulders and all.
“The KP government has committed to not only reversing the high rate of deforestation but also shifting the current philosophy of treating forests as ‘revenue’ machines towards preserving them as valued ‘natural capital,’” Malik Amin, an environmentalist who advises the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, explained to thethirdpole.net.
"Timber mafias," as well as Afghan refugees and local themselves, have chopped down immense swaths of forest. Many in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (once known as Northwest Frontier Province) don't have electricity, or don't get it regularly, and use wood fires for lighting, cooking and warmth. The so-called mafia refers to those who cut trees without a permit, and allegations that politicians engage in that business are common in Pakistan.
Biogas Brings Heat, Light to #Pakistani Village. Saves Trees. Cuts Air #Pollution. Improves Health http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/biogas-brings-heat-and-light-to-pakistans-rural-poor/ … via @sharethis
Nabela Zainab no longer chokes and coughs when she cooks a meal, thanks to the new biogas-fueled two-burner stove in her kitchen.
Zainab, 38, from Faisalabad, a town 360 kilometers from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, is among the beneficiaries of a flagship pilot biogas project to free poor households and farmers of their dependence on wood, cattle dung and diesel fuel for cooking needs and running irrigation pumps.
She got the biogas unit, worth 400 dollars, at a 50 percent subsidised rate from the NGO Rural Support Programme Network under the latter’s five-year Pakistan Domestic Biogas Programme (PDBP).
In the past, Zainab had to collect wood from a distant forest three times a week and carry it home balanced on her head.
“Getting rid of that routine is a life-changing experience,” she told IPS.
The four-cubic-meter biogas plant requires the dung of three buffalos every day to meet the energy needs of a four-member family, including cooking, heating, washing and bathing for 24 hours.
It saves nearly 160 kg of fuelwood a day, worth 20 to 25 dollars every month for a four-member family.
The wife of a smallholder vegetable farmer, Zainab says she has suffered from a cough and sore eyes for the last 20 years. “We have no access to piped natural gas in our village. The rising cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was not feasible either for us poor. However, we had no choice but to continue burning buffalo dung cakes or fuelwood,” she said.
Last January, cattle farmer Amir Nawaz installed a biogas plant of eight-cubic-meter capacity at a cost of 700 dollars under the PDBP. He got subsidy of nearly 300 dollars.
“I am now saving nearly 60 dollars a month that I used to spend on LPG,” he told IPS.
His plant is fueled by the dung of his six buffalos — enough to meet household gas needs for cooking and heating.
Nawaz also uses biogas to power wall-mounted lamps in his house at night, saving another 15 dollars a month.
“Above all, this has helped our children do schoolwork and for me to finish up the household chores in the evening hours,” Nawaz’s wife, Shaista Bano, said with a smile.
As many as 5,360 biogas plants of varying sizes have been installed in 12 districts of Punjab province over five years (2009-2015), ridding nearly 43,000 people of exposure to smoke from wood and kerosene.
Nearby, 500 large biogas plants of the 25-cubic-meter capacity each have also been introduced in all 12 districts of Punjab province under the PBDP, namely: Faisalabad, Sargodha, Khushab, Jhang, Chniot, Toba Tek Singh, Shekhapura, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Pakpatan, Nankana Sahib and Okara.
Such plants provide gas for a family of 10 for cooking, heating and running irrigation pumps for six hours daily.
Rab Nawaz bought one of these large plants for 1,700 dollars. PBDP provided him a subsidy of 400 dollars as part of its biogas promotion in the area.
“I use the dung of 18 buffalos to produce nearly 40 cubic meters of gas every day to run my diesel-turned-biogas-run irrigation pump for six hours and cooking stove for three times a day,” he told IPS, while shoveling out his cattle pen in Sargodha.
The father of three says that after eliminating diesel — which is damaging to the environment and health, as well as expensive — he saves 10-12 dollars daily.
As a part of sustainability of the biogas programme, 50 local biogas construction companies have been set up. International technical experts trained nearly 450 people in construction, maintenance and repair of the biogas units.
Initiated in 2009 by the non-governmental organization National Rural Support Programme – Pakistan (NRSP-Pakistan), PBDP was financed by the Netherlands Embassy in Pakistan and technical support was extended by Winrock International and SNV (Netherlands-based nongovernmental development organisations).
BBC News - #India climate: What do drowning rhinos and drought tell us? #Pakistan #climatechange
A river, swollen by raging monsoon floodwaters, had torn down a bridge on the main road between Mumbai and Goa.
More than 30 people are thought to have died when the great stone structure crashed into the torrent, taking with it two buses and a number of cars.
Some of the bodies were swept more than 60 miles downriver in two days.
Rescue workers search the flooded River Savitri after an old bridge collapsed in Mahad, western Maharashtra state, India, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016.
In the heart-wrenchingly brutal calculus of the newsroom, this isn't a major story. But zoom out, and you begin to see the outlines of a much bigger and more worrying picture.
India, indeed the whole South Asia region, has been riding a rollercoaster of extreme weather.
The summer monsoon is the most productive rain system in the world, and this year the region is experiencing a strong one. The floods it caused have affected more than 8.5 million people; more than a million are living in temporary shelters; some 300 people have been killed.
Though what really caught people's interest was the three baby rhinos rescued from the waters in the north Indian state of Assam.
The fact that 17 adult rhinos drowned got rather less attention.
But the important point is that the region is awash with water. Just a few months ago, it was a very different story. The previous two monsoons were unusually weak. The result was a terrible drought in northern India, and parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh.
And it was exacerbated by another extreme weather event - record heat.
India experienced its highest temperature ever this summer, a blistering 51C.
Rivers ran dry; water holes evaporated; reservoirs became dusty plains. And, once again, the statistics were staggering.
More than 300 million people were affected by water shortages - the equivalent of the entire population of the US. A city of half a million people was left completely dry. It had to rely on supplies brought in by train.
As if that weren't bad enough, in spite of the drought, the country was hit by a series of unseasonal rain and hailstorms. They caused such terrible damage to crops that some farmers were driven to suicide.
All these examples of extreme weather were widely reported, rightly so. What tended not to be discussed was the underlying cause.
We are all interested in weather; few of us want to be told - once again - that our lifestyles are disrupting the global climate. Yet the truth is that many climatologists believe the monsoon, always fickle, is becoming even more erratic as a result of global warming.
The picture in the last couple of years is complicated by the fact that the world has been experiencing a particularly strong El Nino, the periodic weather variation caused by warming of the sea in the Pacific.
But a series of long-term studies have shown the number of extreme rainfall events in South Asia increasing while low-to-moderate events are decreasing. And increasingly erratic and extreme weather is precisely what scientists expect climate change will bring.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted "rainfall patterns in peninsular India will become more and more erratic, with a possible decrease in overall rainfall, but an increase in extreme weather events".
Indian pedestrians and a cyclist wade through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rain showers in Mumbai on June 21, 2016
#USAID, #Pakistan banks partner for $88 million small-scale #renewable energy projects financing https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/153912-USAID-banks-partner-for-88mln-energy-sectors-financing …
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Friday partnered with five banks to lend an estimated $88 million for the development of clean energy sector in Pakistan.
The US Consul General Karachi Grace Shelton presided over the signing of a partnership agreement between the USAID and Habib Bank Limited, MCB Bank Limited, Faysal Bank Limited, Meezan Bank Limited and JS Bank Limited.
Under the 15-year partnership, the U.S. government agency agreed to settle half of the total bad loans. Approximately, $88 million in financing will be available to support the development of the clean energy sector.
Partner banks will be able to provide debt financing to small-scale clean energy projects undertaken by developers, companies or households. The loan is for purchasing energy equipment.
"The U.S. Government is excited to partner with some of Pakistan's leading private commercial banks and support the banks' efforts in promoting clean energy," said William Hammink, USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan-Pakistan Affairs. "Under the program, small scale clean energy projects will be able to access long-term, Pakistani rupee financing.”
Hammink said the facility is expected to significantly improve access to financing for the smaller scale projects and encourage private investment in clean energy.
Working with other US agencies, as well as donors and international development partners, USAID has focused its program over the last year on five areas essential to Pakistan’s stability and long-term development and reflective of Pakistani priorities: energy, economic growth, stabilisation, education and health.
Over the last year, USAID has streamlined the number of projects from approximately 150 to less than 70 and has also chosen to implement over half of all funding through local organisations in Pakistan – both government and non-government.
India and China account for more than half of the world’s premature deaths due to air pollution, a new report said.
Noting that India’s lives lost to the tiny particulate matter is “approaching” China’s numbers, the ‘State of Global Air 2017’ report said that among the 10 most populous countries and the European Union (EU), Bangladesh and India have the highest exposure to PM2.5, the “steepest” rise since 2010.
Globally, there was 60 per cent rise in ozone attributable deaths, with a striking 67 per cent of this increase occurring in India.
The ‘State of Global Air 2017’ is the first of a new series of annual reports and accompanying interactive website, designed by Health Effects Institute in cooperation with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and University of British Columbia.
In 2015, long-term exposure to PM2.5 contributed to 4.2 million deaths and to a loss of 103 million years of healthy life. China and India together accounted for 52 per cent of the total global deaths attributable to PM2.5.
It found that increasing exposure and a growing and aging population have meant that India now rivals China for among the highest air pollution health burdens in the world, with both countries facing some 1.1 million early deaths due to it in 2015.
According to the report, while 11,08,100 deaths were attributed to PM2.5 exposure in China in 2015, in India, it was 10,90,400.
Around 92 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas with “unhealthy” air.
Bangladesh and India, have experienced the steepest rise in air pollution levels since 2010 and now have the highest PM2.5 concentrations among the countries.
Among the world’s 10 most populous countries and the EU, the biggest increase (14 per cent to 25 per cent) in seasonal average population-weighted concentrations of ozone over the last 25 years were experienced in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Brazil.
China, India, Bangladesh, and Japan increases in exposure, combined with increases in population growth and aging, resulted in net increases in attributable mortality.
Meanwhile, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India had PM2.5 attributable Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) rates that were 5 to 10 times the lowest rates, which were found in the US and Japan.
Contract to build Dasu Dam with 4,325 MW power and 1,410 million cubic meter water storage awarded to a Chinese firm.
Here's a China Daily report:
China has contracted to build a hydroelectric power project in Pakistan, with the first phase of investment reaching $2.5 billion.
China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd has agreed to invest more than $1.72 billion for the construction of the main works of the 5,400MW Dasu hydropower project in the country, cooperating with the local water and power development authority, the company said on Thursday.
According to Deng Yinqi, vice president of CGGC, a member company of the China Energy Engineering Corporation, the construction of the hydropower project is a significant milestone in Chinese construction going global.
Deng said: "CGGC has been involved with Pakistani construction works for years and the company is committed to continuously contributing to the local economy."
According to CGGC, the power project, situated in remote mountainous terrain in the Upper Indus valley in the district of Kohistan, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northern Pakistan, is one of the most challenging hydroelectric power projects ever undertaken.
On completion it should be capable of generating 12 billion kilowatt hours annually, the company said.
The Chinese operator said the project would provide more than 8,000 jobs to local residents while helping the Pakistan government modernize and expand the energy sector of the country, shifting from thermal generated electricity to clean, low-cost high reward hydroelectricity.
The project, consisting of the main dam, affiliated facilities, a powerhouse, a residential complex and transmission lines, will also help boost the development of local industry, agriculture and tourism.
Chinese companies have branched out beyond their borders in recent years to become the biggest builders of hydropower projects worldwide, exporting its hydroelectric power know-how to developing countries.
Hydroelectricp projects require huge investment involving complex issues, especially when investing in projects overseas.
On the other hand, China's investment in clean energy would help reduce pollution, said Joseph Jacobelli, a senior analyst with Asia utilities and infrastructure research at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Pakistan’s Unheralded Fight Against Climate Change
BY MICHAEL KUGELMAN
Small steps by Pakistan are helping to create resilience in the face of climate change, an issue the Indus Waters Treaty did not anticipate, and which endangers it.
In 2013, Pakistan launched a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and an accompanying implementation framework. It proposes the development of renewables, the imposition of a carbon tax, and the implementation of “green fiscal reforms” to reduce emissions.
Hold on, one might say. Pakistan has introduced scores of promising laws and policies that fail to get implemented. And yet the NCCP is different – thanks to the efforts of Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, a judge with the high court of Lahore. In 2015, in a ruling with few precedents anywhere in the world, he ordered Islamabad to do more to enforce the climate change adaptation measures articulated in the NCCP. His ruling also established a new climate change commission to oversee the process. Subsequent orders issued by Shah laid out a detailed timetable for commission meetings and the fulfillment of expected deliverables.
Accompanying the NCCP has been a series of government efforts to incentivise both producers and consumers to embrace renewables. Islamabad has announced generous upfront tariffs to solar and small hydro power producers. It has approved new measures that facilitate the installation of rooftop solar panels for private use, and that enable solar-powered homeowners to receive credits on future energy bills if they allow their excess solar power to be supplied to the national grid. The State Bank of Pakistan and Alternative Energy Development Board have announced a new mortgage financing option that enables homeowners to borrow up to $50,000 against their mortgage to pay for the installation of rooftop solar panels. Meanwhile, the provincial government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has announced a plan to provide solar power to nearly 6,000 off-grid households – while footing 90% of the bill.
To be sure, this progress is more modest than robust, and formidable obstacles stand in the way of deeper and sustained climate change mitigation efforts. Climate change – as in many other countries – is not viewed by Islamabad as a priority relative to more immediate policy concerns. Solar and wind energy costs are prohibitively high. Additionally, Pakistan’s 18th constitutional amendment, which was ratified in 2010 and devolves more power and resources to the provinces, axed the national environment ministry and transferred authority over environment regulation to provincial authorities woefully unfamiliar with environmental policy. On top of all this, Pakistan’s rapid urbanisation – and the increase in heavy industrialisation and exhaust-belching automobiles that this entails – ensures relentless environmental stress.
And yet, it would be a travesty if the very real progress Pakistan has made in climate change mitigation were to go to waste. This progress can be safeguarded and enhanced by introducing additional measures – civil society and media-led awareness-building campaigns about the climate change threat; more regulation of renewable energy markets to attract more investors and bring costs down (middlemen often take advantage of an unregulated environment to sell renewable products at sky-high prices); climate change-blunting correctives such as stringent new laws against deforestation; and the recruitment of international donors to sponsor capacity-building training programs that help provincial officials better learn how to oversee environmental policy.
Poor #Farmers -- Unlike Rich -- Face Uphill Battle With #Pakistan's Climate Extremes. #ClimateChange #Agriculture
Three years ago he stopped growing rice on the farm in Bakrani, a village a few miles from Larkana, in southern Pakistan's Sindh province. The crop was too labor-intensive, and took too long to get to harvest, he said.
Now he squeezes out a living for his family cultivating vegetables that grow more quickly and require less water.
"In view of the rapidly changing weather and upheaval in it, growing a six-month rice crop that requires huge irrigation and care was not a viable option compared to growing vegetables," he said.
Land, money, education
Richer farmers, with more land, money and education, meanwhile, are finding the switch easier. That reality suggests Pakistan may face a future where an uncertain climate forces the poor - who cultivate over 80 percent of the country's agricultural land - out of farming unless they get help, experts say.
Failing small farms could undermine government efforts to achieve sustainable agriculture and food security, and to eradicate poverty, hunger and malnutrition, experts warn.
"Providing the poor farmers with required technical, financial and institutional support ... is key," said Khuda Bakhsh, an agriculture scientist at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Vehari, in Punjab province.
In Bakrani, Assadullah, after abandoning rice, is growing traditional varieties of cauliflower, spinach, green chilli, cabbage, tomatoes and onion. He says that in his village many farmers with larger plots of land are adopting water conservation technologies, such as drip irrigation.
He would like to join them, but the installation costs "up to $700 per hectare" are too high, he says.
But 80 kilometers (50 miles) east, in Khairpur, 38-year-old Nawaz Somroo is using lasers to grow more cotton on his father's more than 80 hectares of land.
Unlike the self-trained Assadullah, Somroo is a graduate in agricultural science from Faisalabad Agriculture University, one of the Pakistan's top agricultural schools.
With his education and access to more money, Somroo has been able to adopt improved cotton varieties with higher yields. He uses the latest laser technology to make his fields level, which helps him reduce water consumption by nearly 60 percent.
Somroo said that until 2012 his father cultivated a traditional cotton variety. But at the university, Somroo learned about a seed variety bio-engineered to be pest resistant and introduced it on the family farm. Yields jumped by about a third.
But resource-poor farmers could be encouraged to stay in farming through things like on-farm demonstrations, help diversifying crops and adjusting the timing of cultivation, and better access to new crop varieties and water management techniques, he said.
Credit schemes for small-scale farmers and subsidised access to technology could also help, he noted.
He said a recent CIMMYT study showed that farmers who adapted to changing weather had achieved 8-13 percent better food security than those who did not, and poverty was 3-6 percent lower.
Programs to help
Pakistani provincial agriculture departments have launched a few programs to boost farmers' ability to cope with climate change.
Starting this year, a three-year World Bank-funded effort is underway to help 16,000 small-scale farmers in Sindh province adapt their livestock and vegetable farming, said Sohail Anwar Siyal, the Sindh provincial agriculture minister.
The $88 million scheme aims to improve the productivity and market access of small- and medium-scale farmers by improving their knowledge and access to technology.
Late last year, Punjab's chief minister also launched programs to help farmers with everything from new financial support to a distribution of more than 5 million smartphones.
#China and #Pakistan sign US$50 billion MoU for #Indus River Cascade. #Bhasha #Dasu #Patan #Thakot Dams. #CPEC http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2017/05/china-and-pakistan-sign-mou-for-us-50-billion-earmarked-for-indus-river-cascade.html China and Pakistan signed a US$50 billion memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 13 to develop and complete the Indus River Cascade, according to information from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The MoU was one of several signed related to improving and developing Pakistan’s infrastructure.
Yousuf Naseem Khokhar, Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) secretary for Water and Power, and Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan, Sun Weidong, signed the MoU under the CPEC agreement during the Diamer-Bhasha Project Conference hosted by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) in Beijing, China.
Under the MoU, China’s NEA would oversee building and funding the five hydropower projects that have an estimated total installed generation capacity of 22,320 MW and according to WAPDA, the Indus River has a potential of producing 40,000 MW.
The Indus River Cascade begins from Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan and runs through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, both located in the northwestern portion of Pakistan. Overall, Pakistan has identified a potential of 60,000 MW from hydropower projects.
The planned cascade includes the 4,500-MW Diamer-Basha project, which is already being constructed and four additional projects being developed: 2,400-MW Patan; 4,000-MW Thakot; 7,100-MW Bunji; and 4,320-MW Dasu.
In April, WAPDA awarded a pair of contracts to perform resettlement works associated with construction of the two-stage Dasu hydropower project to China's Zhongmei Engineering Group, worth about $18.56 million combined. The work includes the resettlement of Barseen, Kaigah, Khoshe, Logro, Nasirabad and Uchar.
WAPDA said the resettlement package includes utilities, roads and other amenities including schools, livestock accommodations and recreational areas.
In February, WAPDA announced it finalized the main contracts for civil works for stage-1 of the Dasu project, which is 2,160 MW. The Dasu hydropower stage-I project is estimated to cost about $4.2 billion and is located on the Indus River in the Kohsitan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Its location is about 240 km upstream of the 3,480-MW Tarbela hydropower complex and 74 km downstream from the Diamer-Basha site.
According to CPEC information, funding the Indus River Cascade represents China’s second-largest investment in Pakistan following $57 billion already committed to several infrastructure improvements under the CPEC.
Indian media on Bunji and Bhasha dams in Gilgit Baltistan:
China To Invest $27 Billion In Construction Of Two Mega Dams In Pakistan-Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan
China and Pakistan have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of two mega dams in Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state that remains under latter’s illegal occupation. The MoU was signed during the visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Beijing for participation in the recently concluded Belt and Road Initiative.
The two dams, called Bunji and Diamer-Bhasha hydroelectricity projects, will have the capacity of generating 7,100MW and 4,500MW of electricity respectively. China will fund the construction of the two dams, investing $27 billion in the process, a report authored by Brahma Chellaney in the Times of India has noted.
According to Chellaney, India does not have a single dam measuring even one-third of Bunji in power generation capacity. The total installed hydropower capacity in India’s part of the state does not equal even Diamer-Bhasha, the smaller of the two dams.
The two dams are part of Pakistan’s North Indus River Cascade, which involves construction of five big water reservoirs with an estimated cost of $50 billion. These dams, together, will have the potential of generating approximately 40,000MW of hydroelectricity. Under the MoU, China’s National Energy Administration would oversee the financing and funding of these projects.
#Pakistan to quadruple #carbon emissions in 15 years despite feeling pain of #climatechange - The Ecologist #energy
At the same time, as Pakistan has developed, its carbon emissions have grown. Between 1994 and 2015, the country’s carbon emissions grew 123 percent.
And as the country continues to push forward with economic development, under its Vision 2025 strategy and the CPEC, the prime minister recently reiterated the goal of becoming one of the top 20 economies of the world by 2025.
To achieve this economic growth, there will be a focus on the energy and transport sectors, which already account for a sizeable amount of Pakistan's emissions.
In a recent statement, Pakistan’s minister for climate change stated that given the projected economic growth trajectory, emissions in Pakistan were expected to increase from 405 metric tons carbon dioxide to more than 1,603 metric tons of CO2 in the next 15 years - that means increasing by almost four times.
And although this will still not make Pakistan a big emitter, especially in comparison to its neighbours India and China, it will still have significant environmental impacts, as well as implications for Pakistan’s position as a country that has historically painted itself as a sufferer of the impacts of climate change, and not a contributor.
From an energy perspective, Pakistan’s development plans do include investment in renewables under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, such as the $ 1.6 billion hydropower project in Karot, the $ 1.2 billion solar power park in Bahawalpur and the $ 260 million 100-megawatt wind farm in Jhimpir.
However, these are dwarfed by the huge investments in coal energy at the same time. As a country with a growing population, which faces an energy crisis, the government is justified in investing in energy, but at what future cost?
Recent reports also suggest that the price per unit of renewable energy in Pakistan is much higher than that of its neighbours, despite being tax free.
There are also a number of other hurdles, such as Pakistan’s rapid urbanization - more than half of the country will be living in urban areas by 2025, according to UN estimates. Karachi, the port city, is already the 7th largest megacity in the world.
Not only do urban areas consume a lot of energy, they are also responsible for producing the most emissions - UNHABITAT put the total emissions from carbon from cities at 60 percent, while putting the global consumption at 78 percent.
While Pakistan surges forward with its economic development plans, which is not only encouraging but much needed, it has two options: either to continue in its current role as a vulnerable country, and position itself through its policies as such, or to think 20 years into the future, when it will have a larger economy and a larger population, and create a balance in its policies between curbing emissions growth and adaptation needs.
Given the frequency and rate at which climate change is impacting Pakistan, it will always be a vulnerable country. However, experts are optimistic about Pakistan catching up to its neighbours, India and China, in terms of economic development, albeit with external assistance.
This also means that emissions are set to rise, and Pakistan’s current planning and policies are not fully addressing the implications this may have.
Green #Pakistan Program. #Pakistan to plant 100 million saplings in monsoon season. #climatechange - Vatican Radio
Pakistani government on Sunday approved a monsoon campaign which aims to plant more than 100 million saplings across the nation. Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid accorded the approval of what is called the Green Pakistan Programme at a meeting in which targets suggested by various government entities and non-governmental organizations were evaluated and discussed.
Spokesman for the Ministry of Climate Change, Mohammad Saleem later told media that a ceremony would be held in August to launch a full-fledged monsoon plantation campaign sponsored by the federal minister for Climate Change. He explained that the various entities have already made preparations for kicking off the monsoon plantation with enough stocks of saplings in nurseries in various parts of the country.
Trees mitigate impact of flood
Saleem explained that the government was committed to boosting the country’s forest cover in order to mitigate the impact of floods in the most effective way. In this task all provincial and federal government organizations, educational institutes, corporate sector, the NGOs and media were being approached and engaged.
According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forests hold back flood water by nearly 72 hours. Forests reduce intensity of the deluge water, lower chances of deaths and damages to roads, building infrastructures, bridges as well as standing crops from being washed away or wiped out, the spokesman for the Ministry for Climate Change explained. He said the 4-month long monsoon season was the best time for the growth of the country’s forest cover as the wet season provided the much needed rain water for the saplings to grow fast and take a strong grip on the soil.
#Pakistan plants 1 billionth tree in #KPK to help reverse deforestation. #ImranKhan #PTI #ClimateChange https://upi.com/6618374t via @upi
A plan to plant 1 billion trees in Pakistan to help offset deforestation was achieved this month, Pakistani provincial leader Imran Khan said.
Khan, a former cricket star, began the Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project in 2015 to reverse the trend of heavy deforestation in the region. The initiative's goal was to hit the 1 billion tree mark by the end of 2017, and organizers met it nearly five months ahead of schedule.
"If you plant trees, we have discovered, by the river banks it sustains the rivers. But most importantly, the glaciers that are melting in the mountains, and one of the biggest reasons is because there has been a massive deforestation. So, this billion tree is very significant for our future," Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told Voice of America.
The trees were planted in Pakistan's northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Inger Anderson, director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, praised the Billion Tree Tsunami organizers for making efforts to reverse deforestation in Pakistan.
"IUCN congratulates the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on reaching this momentous milestone," Anderson said. "The Billion Tree Tsunami initiative is a true conservation success story, one that further demonstrates Pakistan's leadership role in the international restoration effort and continued commitment to the Bonn Challenge."
The Bonn Challenge is an effort to restore 350 hectares of deforested land by 2030. The Pakistani effort currently accounts for 350,000 restores hectares of land.
Since 1990, the planet has lost 1.3 million square kilometers of forests, according to World Bank data. The regions that have seen the heaviest losses are Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, nearly 1 million square kilometers of forest was destroyed between 1990 and 2015.
#Pakistan’s new #climate strategy hailed as a game changer. #climatechange #CCFF
Pakistan has unveiled a strategy called ‘Climate Change Financing Framework’ (CCFF) to mainstream climate change into planning and budget systems. This strategy will make the country’s existing climate change policy more effective, guide future climate action and help access global climate funds, officials said.
Pakistan is the fourth country after Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh to adopt the comprehensive climate change financing approach.
The Government of Pakistan together with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released two key documents to improve how climate change can be integrated into its budget and public financial management.
Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan formally launched the Report in Islamabad on Monday.
“This framework [is a] milestone in bringing climate change in mainstream of planning and finance system that can help in effectively addressing climate change challenges” the minister said. The budgeting of climate change is formally now part of Pakistan’s budget policy.
“There is more need to create awareness on climate change issue since we are living under glaciers and have serious threats.”
Pakistan is among the top ten countries most affected by climate change although our contribution in carbon emission is only 0.08 per cent, he added.
‘Will reduce risks’
The country director of UNDP Pakistan, Ignacio Artaza, congratulated Pakistan in successfully developing the financing framework.
“Effective implementation of CCFF will reduce risks and the economic, social and human costs of climate change to Pakistan,” he said.
Pakistan ranks seventh among the most affected countries by climate change according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2017.
The South Asian country has witnessed catastrophic floods, heatwaves, droughts in the last few years.
“Pakistan is among the top ten countries globally affected by climate change”, which is why climate financing initiative will prove an important tool in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, said Neil Buhne, UNDP Resident Representative.
Hailing Pakistan’s accomplishment on launching the landmark climate initiative, Buhne said: “CCFFs have been developed, with UNDP support and assistance from the United Kingdom and Sweden, in Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Pakistan to budget and plan better to adapt to climate change.”
The Climate Change Financing Framework provides a strategic framework that reviews financing gaps and outlines key governance, planning and budget system reforms. It provides a road map to integrate climate change by linking policy frameworks with budgeting, and ensuring transparent allocations and effective use of public resources.
The second report, known as Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR), provides an overview of the landscape of current climate policy and budget spending in the country.
The Report results found that Pakistan’s climate expenditure compares well with other countries with the four provinces and the Federal Government spending a national average of around 8 per cent of total expenditures on activities related to climate change.
“This is a considerable achievement as Pakistan is one of very few countries that have undertaken CPEIRs that comprehensively cover all provinces as well as the federal level” noted Neil Buhne.
Work on Tarbela 5th extension adding 1,410MW to national grid to begin this year
The construction work on Tarbela 5th extension hydropower project on River Indus in Swabi district will start in 2018-19 fiscal year, Daily Times learnt on Monday.
While talking to Daily Times, the official spokesperson of WAPDA, Abid Rana, said that the project would be completed in four years at a cost of Rs.82,361.6 million. “It will have generation capacity of 1,410 megawatts (MW), with its three units each contributing 470MWs. The annual energy generation of the project would be 1,810 Gigawatts hours (GWh). Its benefits are estimated at US$ 134 million per year,” he said, adding, “It is a huge quantum of electricity and will definitely bridge the gap between the demand and supply. This project will also affect the tariffs as at present the overall energy mix has high thermal share and with increase of hydel ratio the tariffs will get stable and it will lead to a decrease in the cost of generation.”
According to an official of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), the PC-I (planning commission I) of the project had been approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), in a meeting held in December 2016. Two loan agreements amounting to USD 390 and 300 million have been signed with World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), respectively, for the purpose. After completing all formalities, World Bank and AIIB loans became effective from August 11, 2017, whereas the loan closing date for both loans would be June 30, 2022.
The objective of the project is to facilitate a sustainable expansion of Pakistan’s electricity generation capacity without affecting the capacity for irrigation release. The total installed capacity of Tarbela Dam, after completion of the 5th Extension, will rise to 6,298 MW. The project would also benefit in further development of Pakistan’s hydropower potential along the Indus River Cascade which has been a cornerstone of the World Bank Strategy and Pakistan’s energy policy to reduce load-shedding, cost of electricity production, and improve financial sustainability.
Regarding progress of the project, the WAPDA official said the process of procurement and recruitment for consultancy services was underway and a Request for Proposal (RFP) had been issued to shortlisted consultants. The official said technical evaluations of the proposals received so far were being done currently.
Tarbela Dam was completed in 1974. It was designed to store water from Indus River for irrigation, flood control, and the generation of hydroelectric power. Almost 14 power generation units were installed at three tunnels during various stages with a cumulative installed capacity of 3,478MW, whereas the other two tunnels were for irrigation purposes only. The Tarbela 4th extension was made in October 2013 with a cost of $795.8 million and after the success of the project the 5th extension was planned which got approved by the Government of Pakistan.
Pakistan, China to build green economic belts under CPEC
BEIJING: China will establish cross-border “green economic belts” partnerships with Pakistan and the other countries that involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Three belts will be created using poplar trees, under a plan released by the China Green Foundation at the Belt and Road International Forum on Public Cooperation for Ecological Remediation, which was held in Wuwei, Gansu province.
It was announced that the belts’ initiative will start in Northwest China and connect countries in Central and West Asia, such as Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkey. That is line concept of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to promote healthy environment, better living of the people.
"Under the plan, a cooperative partnership will be established to encourage more exchanges of experience in developing a green economy in different countries," said Chen Shuxian, chairman of the foundation.
Poplar trees now cover about 648,000 hectares worldwide, according to the foundation. Most of them are located in 17 countries involved in the BRI. China holds 61 percent of the world's total poplar tree forests, which provide important economic value to people. For example, the poplar forest covering an area of 31,840 hectares in Hotan, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, generates annual income of 672 million yuan ($98 million), according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
In Inner Mongolia's Ejin Banner, residents developed a tourism industry themed on poplar tree forests, which attracted more than 1.1 million tourists from home and abroad in 2015 and which has generated 1.4 billion yuan annually.
"We want to encourage more countries to improve their ecosystems through planting poplar trees. And we welcome international enterprises, both in the private and public sectors, to support the partnership through donations," said Chen Lian, vice-chairwoman of the foundation. "In return, this cross-border cooperative will bring them more business opportunities."
During the forum, the foundation also announced the launch of an international ecological restoration fund, drawn from donations worldwide to promote a green economy in countries involved in the BRI.
"Like many countries, China has been confronted with the negative impact of a deteriorating environment. It has made remarkable achievements in ecological remediation, including combating desertification and working to restore and expand forests," said Liu Zhenmin, undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs of the United Nations.
He said the BRI focuses on a common development, with its goal of achieving win-win cooperation in line with the 2030 Agenda.
Through the forum and the cooperative mechanism, he said, China can better share its experience with civic organizations and collaborate to advance ecological remediation in other countries.
Record hydro generation for WAPDA
The hydroelectric power stations owned and operated by the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) generated the highest-ever electricity during the peak hours earlier this week, the hydro generation crossing the 7500MW mark for the first time in Pakistan.
According to the generation details, WAPDA provided as much as 7571MW and 7513MW of electricity to the National Grid during peak hours on September 16 and 17 respectively. This quantum of hydropower share registered an increase of about 1000MW if compared with that of previous years. This increased share of electricity in the National Grid is the result of power generation commencement from Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project and Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project.
In accordance with outflows from Tarbela Dam and availability of water in River Neelum, two units of Tarbela 4th Extension and one unit of Neelum Jhelum are providing electricity to the system.
The statistics from the 17th show that during the peak hours Tarbela generated 3461MW, Tarbela 4th Extension 770MW, Ghazi Barotha 1450MW, Mangla 920MW, Warsak 185MW, and Neelum Jhelum 243MW while other hydro power stations cumulatively shared 484MW to the National Grid.
WAPDA owns as many as 19 hydropower stations with cumulative generation capacity of 6902MW. In addition to these 19 stations, WAPDA completed three hydropower projects in 2018 namely Tarbela 4th Extension, Neelum Jhelum and Golen Gol with total installed capacity of 2487MW. These projects are in their defect liability period and generating electricity in accordance with the prescribed standard operating procedure (SOP). The electricity generated by these projects is also being injected to the system.
Drones to help #Pakistan plant #trees. National Rural Support Program (NRSP) will support country’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project using smart #drones to tackle #deforestation problem in hard-to-reach areas. #climatechange #environment #carbon http://bit.ly/2HNGs18
Pakistan has announced plans to use drone technology for its ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ project to fight climate change.
As part of the country’s strategy to use drone technology to plant millions of trees and strengthen the ‘Clean Green Pakistan Movement’, the Ministry of Climate Change signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) on Thursday.
Under the new agreement, the NRSP will support country’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project using smart drones to tackle Pakistan’s major deforestation problem by planting trees economically and more efficiently as compared to hand planting.
The new technology can also help to plant trees in hard-to-reach areas that have no roads or inaccessible terrain, as there is no heavy machinery involved.
The agreement was signed by Irfan Tariq, director-general in charge of environment in the Climate ministry, and Rashid Bajwa, CEO of NRSP.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam witnessed the signing.
Additionally, a Rs100 million (Dh2.65 million) ‘Challenge Fund for Climate Smart Projects’ will be launched, to encourage youth engagement in climate-smart activities.
“Funding will be based on innovative ideas that have already been tested and have shown demonstrable impact on communities,” Aslam said.
He also said Prime Minister Imran Khan would be launching the Spring 2019 Tree Plantation Campaign on February 9.
Pakistani environmentalists welcomed the drone plantation plan but some were sceptical about prospects of success . They urged proper monitoring and management.
Talking to Gulf News, Umer Saeed, the Executive Director at Mohammad Ali Saeed Foundation that has planted more than 34,000 all over Pakistan, said, “Drone plantation is a great idea if properly managed and implemented.”
“Drones can plant trees in unreachable areas, but the real challenge is to ensure maintenance in those areas,” Saeed said. “Planting trees is not hard. The crucial part of the forestation project is the post-plantation monitoring and management.”
He also urged that government to “ensure that only native plants are planted” for social, economical and ecological benefits.
Mome Saleem, programme coordinator Ecology at Heinrich Boll Stiftung Pakistan, echoed similar views.
She termed the drone use a “good initiative but remarked, “The most important factor will be the seed survival rate. Planting with drones is faster but we must ensure sustainability.”
Drones are touted as useful flying farmhands as they are faster, effective and precise.
The use of drones is increasing in developing countries as Philippines recently announced to test crop-spraying drones on vegetable farms while India is piloting a similar project on cotton farms.
Pakistan can also benefit from the technology to “achieve the goal of massive tree plantation in the country with limited human resources” Imran Khalid, an Islamabad-based environmentalist, told Gulf News.
He also added, “drone technology can be very useful in terms of monitoring the plantation and ensuring the maximisation of success rate.”
The use of new technologies can help Pakistan improve its forest cover that is less than 3 per cent of its land area due to decades of tree felling.
The initiative will also boost country’s response to climate change as the South Asian country ranks seventh on the list of the countries mostly likely to be affected by global warming.
#SouthKorea firm eyes to set up electric vehicle charging infrastructure in #Pakistan in the wake of an ambitious #ElectricVehicle (EV) policy being introduced by the Ministry of #ClimateChange https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/518834-south-korean-battery-maker-eyes-to-set-up-charging-infrastructure-in-pakistan
Songuo, a South Korean battery manufacturer, has offered to set up a (battery) charging infrastructure across Pakistan in the wake of an ambitious electric vehicle (EV) policy being introduced by the Ministry of Climate Change, a statement said on Wednesday.
A delegation of Songuo expressed the company’s interest in building a charging network during a meeting with Federal Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam at his office.
Commending the offer, the minister said the EV policy was ready and would be presented to the federal cabinet in a week’s time.
“After approval from the competent forum, the policy will open new horizons of opportunities in the fields of transportation and environment on top of creating scores of green jobs,” the minister said. He said initially Pakistan would need a swappable solution for such vehicles until proper charging infrastructure was developed.
“Pakistan welcomes all companies and offers equal opportunities for everyone to invest in EV market of Pakistan,” the climate minister said. Making it clear the policy would only benefit the local players, the minister said the country’s market was ripe for investment in EV and time was high for the leading companies to bring in their manufacturing facilities.
Songuo officials briefed the minister regarding their product line and business model. They also informed him that their company was in negotiations with local companies for joint ventures in order to manufacture sophisticated batteries locally and then export them after meeting local demand.
They also apprised the minister the company was in partnership with some of the leading global automakers and was manufacturing finest quality batteries.
The federal minister said the swappable batteries were the suitable option for Pakistani market especially for three-wheelers and slow-moving vehicles until charging infrastructure was established.
The company officials also offered to help Pakistani government in establishing standards for this newly developed technology. In another meeting, ambassador of Qatar, who called the climate minister, appreciated government of Pakistan’s policy of banning single-use plastic bags in Islamabad.
He said one-time-use plastic bags were the major threat to global environment especially for the aquatic ecosystem. He also pledged to support the government’s green initiatives at international for a, particularly at United Nations next month.
The minister apprised the ambassador about Pakistan’s initiative of Ecosystem Restoration Fund. The Qatar envoy appreciated all the green initiatives of the government and pledged support on the behalf of his government.
"The week before I arrived in Jacobabad, the city had reached a scorching 51.1°C (124°F. If the planet continues warming at an accelerated rate, it won’t just be the people of Jacobabad who know what it’s like" #Jacobabad #Pakistan #Heat #ClimateChange
It’s just after 7 in the morning in the Pakistani city of Jacobabad, and donkey-cart driver Ahsan Khosoo is already drenched in sweat. For the past two hours, the 24-year-old laborer has been hauling jugs of drinking water to local residences. When the water invariably spills from the blue jerricans, it hits the pavement with an audible hiss and turns to steam. It’s hot, he agrees, but that’s not an excuse to stop. The heat will only increase as the day wears on, and what choice does he have? “Even if it were so hot as if the land were on fire, we would keep working.” He pauses to douse his head with a bucket of water.
Jacobabad may well be the hottest city in Pakistan, in Asia and possibly in the world. Khosoo shakes his head in resignation. “Climate change. It’s the problem of our area. Gradually the temperatures are rising, and next year it will increase even more.”
The week before I arrived in Jacobabad, the city had reached a scorching 51.1°C (124°F). Similar temperatures in Sahiwal, in a neighboring province, combined with a power outage, had killed eight babies in a hospital ICU when the air-conditioning cut out. Summer in Sindh province is no joke. People die.
To avoid the heat, tractor drivers in this largely agricultural area till the fields at night and farmers take breaks from noon to 3, but if life stopped every time the temperature surpassed 40°C (104°F), nothing would ever get done. “Even when it’s 52°C to 53°C, we work,” says Mai Latifan Khatoom, a young woman working in a nearby field.
The straw has to be gathered, the seeds winnowed, the fields burned, the soil turned, and there are only so many hours in the day. She has passed out a few times from the heat, and often gets dizzy, but “if we miss one day, the work doesn’t get done and we don’t get paid.”
If the planet continues warming at an accelerated rate, it won’t be just the people of Jacobabad who live through 50°C summers. Everyone will. Heat waves blistered countries across the northern hemisphere this summer. In July, all-time heat records were topped in Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Wildfires raged in the Arctic, and Greenland’s ice sheet melted at a record rate. Globally, July was the hottest month ever recorded.
Climate scientists caution that no spike in weather activity can be directly attributable to climate change. Instead, they say, we should be looking at patterns over time. But globally, 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. I asked Camilo Mora, a climate scientist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who in 2017 published an alarming study about the link between climate change and increased incidences of deadly heat waves, if this was the new normal for Europe. He laughed. The new normal, he says, is likely to be far worse. It’s likely to look something like Jacobabad.
#Pakistan’s #Honey Production Up 70% Thanks to #ImranKhan's Billion #trees Project. About 400 tons, about 2% of demand, still imported every year. Tree planting will cut Pak import bill by half in the next 4-5 years. #beekeeping #environment #forests https://propakistani.pk/2020/04/20/pakistans-honey-production-increases-by-70-thanks-to-billion-tree-project/
The production of honey in the country has increased by seventy percent thanks to the plantation of hundreds of thousands of trees under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Billion Tree project.
The honey production initiative in Changa Manga was started in 2016 when the beehives were auctioned for Rs. 729,000. Now, they cost more than Rs. 1.3 million.
According to the Forest Department’s officials, the complete implementation of the project may increase the amount of auction money from Changa Manga to Rs. 10 million.
Shahid Tabassum, a Forest officer, mentioned that 85 percent of the trees have been planted in the past few years which has led to a remarkable increase in bees.
As for now, there are hundreds of beehives in the Changa Manga forest, he said, highlighting the increase in income from the honey auction.
In the financial year 2016-17, the honey was auctioned for Rs 729,000 and in 2017-18 for Rs1.15 million. Similarly, in 2018-19, the honey was auctioned for Rs 1.252 million, while during the current financial year the auction fetched Rs 1.3 million.
Locals of the forest describe how ruthless deforestation and in the past year and reduction in the green cover reduced the number of beehives quite significantly as honey bees found little to no place to make hives.
Also, the flowers which honey bees use to collect nectar became toxic due to spray of the pesticides, resulting in the deaths of thousands of bees.
This declined the production of natural honey by a significant margin, prompting people to consume processed varieties.
The forest officer informed that there are four types of honey bees currently found in Pakistan; Domna, Pahari, small and European. The first three kinds are local bees while European specie (Apis Mellifera) has been exported from Australia.
The best is the European bee because it produces more honey than others.
Tabassum revealed that a honeybee flies 3.5 million times and travels 50 thousand kilometers to produce half a kilogram of honey.
“Honeybees lay 15,000 eggs a day and 2.5 million in one season. They remember the flower scents while moving around and return with its help after accumulating honey in their stomachs.”
He maintained that about 400 tonnes of honey is imported to Pakistan every year. This is only two percent of the total demand.
Tabassum was hopeful that the tree plantation project will cut Pakistan’s import bill by half in the next four, five years.
Faced with climate change, Pakistani honey producers search for ‘plan bee’https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1432421/pakistan
Mehmood has tried to take various measures to improve his production. He has moved many of his boxes to Faisalabad to give the bees a more hospitable environment. Indeed, in the winter months that bring with them many new diseases that bees are susceptible to, Mehmood struggles to move his hives to the Punjab province. In summer, he tries to relocate them to places like Swat, Kalam, Chitral and Shandoor. He has also tried to place his beehives in fields of Arugula to help the bees survive the harsh cold and feed their offspring. Finally, he says, he has invested in modern medicine to heal bees hit by cold-related illnesses. But things have still remained tough.
“Previously we were generating honey for six seasons. Now it’s been limited to only two seasons,” said Noor Hasan, 55, who has worked as a bee specialist at the Tarnab Agriculture Research Institute since 1982.
Tarnab Farm in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is home to Pakistan’s biggest honey market, which exports about 4,000 tons of the commodity, worth nearly Rs 2.8 billion, to Arab countries every year. Berry and Acacia, commonly known as Palosa, are the most popular types of honey available in the market and commonly used by diabetics.
Pakistan used to export around Rs.15 billion worth of honey until 2004, which had sharply reduced to Rs.3 billion currently, according to Gul Badshah, senior vice president of the Bee Keepers, Exporters and Traders Honey Association.
At the moment Pakistan is only exporting honey to Gulf countries; European markets will remain at bay until Pakistan starts following international standards in honey production, Dr. Hussain Ali, a senior research scientist at Tarnab Farm, said: “And that can be achieved once we train our beekeepers and take precautionary measures to produce quality honey.”
Ali said Tarnab Farm was conducting research on the behavior, physiology and diseases of bees and how climate change was affecting them. He said deforestation was one of the major causes of reduction of honey in the country.
“That’s why we have lost some flavor of honey recently. Today we are seeing shortage of wild trees due to spraying on the fields, cutting of trees and urbanization. That’s why the business isn’t progressing,” Ali said.
Honey business owners are optimistic that the government’s Billion Tree Tsunami scheme might help. The reforestation project has added 350,000 hectares of trees both by planting and natural regeneration, in an effort to fight the effects of climate change.
“Apart from the environment, this [reforestation] would be beneficial for the honey production where bees would work in modest temperature and be able to roam around more and more trees,” Mehmood said, adding that another step the government could take to help the honey business was training farmers about climate change and viral diseases prone to bees.
#Pakistan's #coronavirus-idled workers hired to plant billions of trees across the country to deal with #climatechange threats. Officials say move will create over 60,000 jobs as gov't aims to help those who lost jobs due to #Covid_19 #lockdown. @AJENews https://aje.io/ptgpt
When construction worker Abdul Rahman lost his job to Pakistan's coronavirus lockdown, his choices looked stark - resort to begging on the streets or let his family go hungry.
But the government has now given him a better option: Join tens of thousands of other out-of-work labourers in planting billions of trees across the country to deal with climate change threats.
Since Pakistan locked down on March 23 to try to stem the spread of COVID-19, unemployed day labourers have been given new jobs as "jungle workers", planting saplings as part of the country's 10 Billion Tree Tsunami programme.
Such "green stimulus" efforts are an example of how funds that aim to help families and keep the economy running during pandemic shutdowns could also help nations prepare for the next big threat: climate change.
"Due to coronavirus, all the cities have shut down and there is no work. Most of us daily wagers couldn't earn a living," Rahman, a resident of Rawalpindi district in Punjab province, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
He now makes 500 rupees ($3) a day planting trees - about half of what he might have made on a good day, but enough to get by.
"All of us now have a way of earning daily wages again to feed our families," he said.
The ambitious five-year tree-planting programme, which Prime Minister Imran Khan launched in 2018, aims to counter rising temperatures, flooding, droughts and other extreme weather conditions in the country that scientists link to climate change.
The Global Climate Risk Index 2020, issued by think-tank Germanwatch, ranked Pakistan fifth on a list of countries most affected by planetary heating over the last 20 years - even though the South Asian nation contributes only a fraction of global greenhouse gases.
As the coronavirus pandemic struck Pakistan, the 10 Billion Trees campaign was initially halted as part of social distancing orders put in place to slow the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 14,880 people in Pakistan, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
But earlier this month, the prime minister granted an exemption to allow the forestry agency to restart the programme and create more than 63,600 jobs, according to government officials.
A recent assessment by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics found that, due to the lockdown, up to 19 million people could be laid off, almost 70 perfect of them in the Punjab province.
Abdul Muqeet Khan, chief conservator of forests for Rawalpindi district, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the planting project is in "full swing".
While much of Pakistan is under coronavirus lockdown, local police and district authorities have been told trucks carrying trees should be allowed to travel and villagers permitted to leave their homes to work with the project. The work, which pays between 500 rupees and 800 rupees per day, includes setting up nurseries, planting saplings, and serving as forest protection guards or forest firefighters. The program is expected to create over 63,600 jobs. The workers will maintain social distance.
#Pakistan hired 63,000 people, unemployed by #COVID19, to plant 10 billion #trees while wearing masks & maintaining #SocialDistancing. Starts with 15,000 acres near #Islamabad to expand to #forest land throughout the country to fight #ClimateChange via @ https://www.upworthy.com/pakistan-hires-63000-people-to-plant-10-billion-trees?xrs=RebelMouse_tw#81b65
If there is a bright spot to the COVID-19 epidemic, it's the positive environmental impact that social distancing has had on the planet. There has been a steep drop in worldwide pollution and wildlife is returning to places that were once dominated by human activity.
The pandemic has also inspired many world leaders to champion a green recovery.
Pakistan has found a great way to help its laborers who've lost their jobs due to the health crisis by hiring them to plant saplings as part of the country's 10 Billion Trees program. The five-year project was launched by Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan to counter the droughts, flooding, and rise in temperatures in the country caused by climate change.
Pakistan ranks fifth on a list of countries most affected by planetary heating over the past two decades by the Global Climate Risk Index 2020.
The country has been on lockdown since March 23, but the prime minster granted an exception for the 63,000 laborers it has hired for the program. The workers will be paid between 500 to 8000 rupees a day — about half of what a laborer would usually make —but it's enough to get by.
The work is a lifeline for the unemployed laborers but it will only put a small dent in Pakistan's unemployment rate. A recent assessment by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics found that up to 19 million people could be laid off due to COVID-19.
Even though the work takes place in isolated areas, laborers still have to abide by social distancing rules. They must remain six feet apart from one another and wear masks.
Much of the planting is being done on 15,000 acres near the state capital of Islamabad as well as other pieces of state-owned forest land throughout the country.
"This tragic crisis provided an opportunity and we grabbed it," Malik Amin Aslam, climate change advisor to the prime minister, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The United States should look into similar programs to help its unemployed citizens as well as the planet. During the Great Depression, president President Franklin Roosevelt mobilized the U.S. Forest Service, the Works Progress Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps to create a shelterbelt of trees that ran in a 100-mile-wide zone from North Dakota to the Texas panhandle.
The goal was to provide a natural barrier against the dust storms that ravaged the middle of the country during the Dust Bowl
Over seven years, 30,233 shelter belts were planted, stretching over 18,600 square miles, and containing over 220 million trees. It also provided much needed employment for thousands of workers who's livelihoods had been destroyed by the Dust Bowl and stock market crash.
In every great tragedy holds the seed of opportunity. The U.S. should follow Pakistan's lead and use that seed to plant a better future.
World's rarest #dolphins rebounding in #Pakistan. Government's rigorous conservation program has educated local communities, rescued stranded #Indus river dolphins, and increased their numbers to 1,987 , up from 132 in 1972. #wildlife #Sindh https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/06/rare-indus-dolphins-rebounding-pakistan/ via @NatGeo
Locally known as bhulan in the Urdu and Sindhi languages, the Indus dolphin “has been in the Indus for thousands of years, and is a mark of the Harappa civilization,” says Mir Akhtar Talpur, a field officer for Sindh Wildlife Department, a government agency.
The Bronze Age civilization, which blossomed in the Indus River valley, is known for its urban planning and advanced drainage systems. Modern peoples of the Sindh and Punjab Provinces are considered the Harappa’s direct descendants, and value the dolphin as part of their heritage.
Fishermen in these provinces tell an origin story for the species. In the legend, when a woman offers butter and milk to a mystic patron of the river, the waters part and she safely crosses to the other side. But once, she fails to make an acceptable offering—and the river spirit transforms her into a dolphin.
SUKKUR, PAKISTANIn a secluded pocket of Pakistan’s Lab-e-Mehran park, the smooth waters of the Indus River break into circular ripples, and the head of a pale gray dolphin appears. The animal lingers briefly before diving back into the water, its dorsal fin gleaming in the sun.
This quiet riverside park in the southern city of Sukkur, popular with families out for a stroll, is also home to the endangered Indus River dolphin, one of only four freshwater dolphin species left on Earth.
But a dam at the western end of the park restricts their ability to travel freely during the monsoon season, a crucial part of their life cycle.
It’s a similar story throughout Pakistan: Widespread construction of diversion dams called barrages have effectively destroyed the species’ habitat. The barrages were built in the mid-20th century to control flooding and provide irrigation, and in some cases have been repurposed for power plants. Now, they’ve not only cut off the dolphins’ ability to migrate; their diversions also can lead to dangerously low water levels. (Explore our beautiful graphic of the Indus River, a lifeline for millions.)
Once, the Indus dolphin swam across the Indus River and all of its tributaries, from the Indus delta near the Arabian Sea to the snowcapped Himalaya. Today, the 200-pound cetacean only occupies 20 percent of its original range.
The remaining Indus dolphins are concentrated mostly in the Pakistani province of Sindh, in a 410-mile stretch of river between the Guddu and Kotri dams. Engro, an energy company that works with the thermal power plant connected to Guddu dam, did not respond to requests for comment about the dam’s impacts on the species.
Beyond dams, water pollution and industrial waste dumped into the Indus pose the gravest long-term threat to the dolphins. Studies have found DDT and other pesticides in the animals’ tissue, according to Uzma Khan, Asia coordinator for WWF’s River Dolphins Initiative.
However, a rigorous government conservation program has educated local communities, rescued stranded dolphins, and is steadily increasing their numbers, Khan says. There are now 1,987 Indus dolphins in Pakistan, according to the most recent WWF survey, up from 132 animals in 1972. Another small population of at least seven animals live in India’s Beas River, an Indus tributary.
“If you go downstream from the Guddu [barrage], and you keep sailing, there comes a point where you see dolphins everywhere around you,” Khan says. “It’s overwhelming because they’re everywhere.”
At the same time, she says, “it’s a situation which can be challenging, because all these dolphins are just in one stretch of the Indus River.”
#UN #SDGs: #Pakistan has achieved ‘Climate Action’ goal 10 years ahead of the deadline, a recognition of Pakistan’s commitment to fighting #climatechange, but also an endorsement of the success of #ImranKhan govt's initiatives. #ClimateAction #PTI | https://tribune.com.pk/article/97098/how-successful-has-pakistans-climate-change-fight-been
According to the Sustainable Development Report 2020, an annual global assessment of countries’ progress towards achieving the United Nations led Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Pakistan has achieved the ‘Climate Action’ SDG ten years ahead of the deadline. This is not only a recognition of Pakistan’s renewed commitment to fighting climate change, but also an endorsement of the success of numerous environmental protection initiatives launched by the government.
Traditionally, climate change has not been a key agenda item in Pakistan’s public discourse which over time has resulted in a gross underestimation of the gravity of the situation. Therefore, it is important to begin by recognising that climate change is a very real threat to Pakistan’s long-term prosperity and survival. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan was the 5th most affected country by the impact of climate change during the twenty-year period from 1999-2018. The Index used a weighted score, based on climate change mediated death toll and loss to the economy (in purchasing power parity terms), to calculate a Climate Risk Index (CRI) score which was then used to rank countries.
With rising Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and a dwindling forest cover, Pakistan’s annual mean temperature is estimated to rise by three to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Already, cities such as Turbat and Nawabshah are witnessing record high temperatures, confirming the worst fears of climate change scientists. The rising temperatures will over time result in rapid melting of the glaciers that feed Pakistan’s rivers, as well as in a projected 60 cm rise in the sea level by the year 2100. Coupled with a high variability in precipitation, these changes are expected to lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods, droughts and tropical storms, jeopardising Pakistan’s agriculture, economy, water and food security, as well as the health of the country’s inhabitants.
Despite the seriousness of the threat, Pakistan’s fight against climate change did not really take off until 2013. The origins of the new-found fervor can be traced back to the Billion Trees Afforestation Project (BTAP), popularly known as Billion Tree Tsunami. Through BTAP, over a five-year period the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa restored 350,000 hectares of forestland employing a combination of natural regeneration and planned afforestation. As a result, the province’s forest cover increased by about five per cent and half a million green jobs were created. The initiative received global acclaim after a third-party audit by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) confirmed nearly 85% average survival of the plantations. It exceeded the province’s Bonn Challenge commitment and was hailed as a “true conservation success story” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Not only did the successful execution of BTAP make climate change a significant issue of public interest in Pakistan, it also served to put the country on the map in the global fight against climate change.
Since 2018, Pakistan’s fight against climate change has picked up further pace. There has been a discernible shift in the government’s priorities with the emergence of an overarching “Green Growth Agenda” that has informed several initiatives across the country. With an aim to replicate the success of BTAP on a national level, ...
#DiamerBhashaDam, world's tallest dam at 272 meters, will change #Pakistan's destiny by addressing its #energy & #water problems. Located in #GilgitBaltistan, it will store 6.4 million acre-feet of water, generate 4,500 MW of cheap #renewable #electricity https://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202007/20/WS5f14f269a31083481725a98f.html
Project, to be ready in 2028, expected to meet water, energy needs in Gilgit-Baltistan region
A new mega project in northern Pakistan is expected to meet both water and energy needs of the region, according to officials and experts.
Work on the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam near Chilas, a city in the Diamer district in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, has started.
"Diamer Bhasha Dam is set to change the destiny of Pakistan by addressing its energy and irrigation problems," Faisal Vawda, Pakistan's federal minister for water resources, said. "It's Pakistan's lifeline."
The dam's reservoir will be 272 meters in height, and it is said to be the tallest roller compact concrete dam in the world.
Roller compacted concrete is a special blend of concrete that has the same ingredients as conventional concrete but in different ratios, and with a partial substitution of fly ash for Portland cement. This reduces thermal loads on the dam and reduces chances of thermal cracking.
The dam has a proposed spillway with 14 gates and five outlets for flushing out silt. The diversion system comprises two tunnels and a diversion canal. It will also include the construction of powerhouses.
Asim Saleem Bajwa, chairman of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, said the dam will generate 4,500 megawatt of hydroelectric power.
It was a historic moment as Prime Minister Imran Khan kicked off the construction work on Diamer Bhasha Dam, he said. "Around 16,000 jobs will be created during the construction of the dam."
Imran Khan officially launched the construction work on Wednesday, with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff Qamar Bajwa by his side.
"Diamer Bhasha Dam will be the biggest dam in Pakistan's history," the prime minister said while addressing the public during the launch. "The dam will benefit the country both economically and environmentally, especially the people of Gilgit-Baltistan," he said.
The multibillion-dollar project is estimated to be completed in 2028. It is a multipurpose project that will be used for water storage, flood mitigation, irrigation and power generation.
"This is no ordinary project. There is a reason why both Pakistan's prime minister and the army chief were present at the site for the project launch. It will have an impact on Pakistan's economy, security and politics," said Ahmed Quraishi, a senior fellow at Project Pakistan 21, an independent research organization based in national capital Islamabad.
Feather in the cap
It is another feather in the cap for the Chinese engineers who are known for undertaking challenging international projects, he said.
The project is being jointly constructed by Power China and Pakistan's Frontier Works Organization.
The Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan approved the award of civil works for construction of the dam and the 21-MW Tangir Hydropower Project to the joint venture partners.
The two companies signed a contract in June with a local company for the construction of the diversion system, main dam and access bridge as well as the hydropower project.
"We are grateful to our all-weather friend China for its support in the construction of the mega project," said Faisal Vawda, the water resources minister.
Quraishi said the technical specifications of the project suggest it will be something that engineers worldwide will be studying due to the region's terrain. "China's experience in the dam construction is unparalleled," he said.
#Pakistan State Oil (PSO) starts Euro V #vehicle #fuel distribution. It reduces sulphur by 98% & benzene by 80%. This will help reduce environmental #pollution and improve public #health.
| The Express Tribune https://tribune.com.pk//story/2260143/euro-v-fuel-to-help-reduce-pollution-in-pakistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan is keen on addressing the challenges related to climate change and the introduction of Euro-V standard fuel in a short span of time shows the government’s commitment to reduce air pollution for a clean environment, said Petroleum Minister Omar Ayub Khan.
At an event organised by Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to mark the upgrading of Pakistan’s fuel standard to Euro-V, the minister termed it the need of the hour to adopt upgraded fuel standards that would reduce the negative impact on environment and help the country move towards a sustainable future.
“Improvement in fuel quality will ultimately benefit the consumer and help create a cleaner environment with reduced pollution,” he said.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, who was also present at the ceremony, stressed that Pakistan was heading in the right direction after having taken key steps to overcome the challenges posed by climate change.
“Upgrading fuel standards is a major step towards a cleaner and greener Pakistan,” he said. “We owe it to our future generations to bequeath to them a planet worth living in.”
Expressing his views, PSO CEO and Managing Director Syed Muhammad Taha said the new product range brought Pakistan’s fuel on a par with international standard fuels.
He added that the Euro-V standard fuels significantly reduced emissions and contributed to a healthy environment for future generations.
Euro-V standard fuels minimise the negative impact on environment owing to reduction in sulphur and benzene content by a staggering 98% and 80% respectively. This, in turn, reduces harmful vehicle emissions, resulting in health benefits and improvement in engine performance.
The reduction in benzene content will significantly improve the occupational health of industry workers, who are involved in product handling.
South Asia cities face $215bn-worth flood risks
As global attention focused on hurricanes Harvey and Irma, more than 41 million people across South Asia battled floods and displacement.
From Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east, floods could cost South Asia -- home to a fourth of the world’s people -- as much as $215 billion each year by 2030, according to the World Resources Institute’s global flood analyser launched in 2015.
“Companies with operations on coasts, next to large rivers, on low-lying flood plains and in urban areas with poor drainage and sanitation are at greatest risk,” said Tom Hill, executive director, crisis and security consulting, at Control Risks in New Delhi. "More rain and extreme weather will not only hit businesses in South Asia, but also global companies that source their products and raw materials from the region."
At least 1,200 died last month as water swamped cities like India’s financial capital Mumbai, its technology hub, Bengaluru, Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, Pakistan’s financial heart, Karachi, as well as swathes of Nepal and India’s eastern states of Bihar and Assam. In the coming decade, devastating floods are expected to increase as changing weather patterns worsen risks in the region, climate researchers say.
Already floods affect more than 9.5 million people in the region each year, with GDP worth $14.4 billion and $5.4 billion at risk in India and Bangladesh respectively, according to WRI.
In 2016 alone, Asia reported losses worth $87 billion from 320 natural disaster events, the world’s biggest reinsurer Munich Re reports. Of this, $77 billion were uninsured losses.
#Karachi a victim of poor planning, bad governance – and floods. "...the same story is repeated in varying degrees across all the cities of #SouthAsia – Rawalpindi, #Mumbai, #Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, #Dhaka and on and on."
#climatechange |The Third Pole https://www.thethirdpole.net/2020/08/31/poor-planning-poor-governance-poor-monitoring-flood-karachi/
It does not always rain in Karachi during the monsoon. When it does, it floods. It was worse this year, with three days of heavy rainfall in late August leading to least 47 deaths due to drowning, electrocution, as well as house and wall collapses. Twenty districts of Pakistan’s Sindh province – of which Karachi is the capital – have been declared “calamity affected”. Personnel from the armed forces have been called out to rescue stranded people, distribute food and medical aid.
Many parts of Karachi went without electricity for 50 hours, prompting Sindh’s Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ask, “What kind of service is this?” Internet and mobile phone networks were disrupted all over Pakistan’s largest city.
Women, children and the elderly waded through waist-deep sewage to reach rescue boats as rain continued to pelt down; the boats had to navigate around floating furniture, submerged cars, motorcycles and even shipping crates pushed around by the force of the floodwater.
The meteorological department totalled August rainfall in Karachi at 484 millimetres (19 inches), with the highest daily rainfall of 130 mm at PAF Faisal Base on August 28.
“Last year, through the three monsoon months, the PAF Faisal Base recorded a total of 345 mm of rains; this year in just two months, over 600 mm rain has been recorded there,” Sardar Sarfaraz, the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Karachi head told The Third Pole.
“The rains are unprecedented; and in all likelihood, this seems like an erratic event, with the last such intense rain recorded in 1931,” said Sarfaraz. “I cannot say with finality that this rainfall can definitively be attributed to climate change.”
Noman Ahmed, dean of the Architecture and Management Sciences department at Karachi’s NED University, said some encroachments happened in connivance with different government agencies, while some were “organic”.
“For example, the encroachments on Gujjar Nala were facilitated by the KMC functionaries by providing inappropriate leases [on its edges – in areas that were not supposed to be inhabited in the first place],” Ahmed said.
“The alignment of the nalas [drains] have clearly been demarcated in all land-use plans available with the different civic agencies,” said Ahmed, and therefore selling plots of land was nothing less than a “criminal act”.
He did not blame those who had bought the plots. Ahmed said people had started building on the dry bed of Gujjar Nala because for decades there was nothing more than a thin stream. “They occupied the land without knowing how vulnerable they were to sudden inundation, and this is what happened in recent rains.”
Architect and heritage consultant Marvi Mazhar also attributed “unplanned and unregulated growth, lack of monitoring and corruption” as major reasons for the havoc the rains wrought on the city of 16 million, which has been heavily “concretised, with not enough soft ground left for water to be absorbed”.
The problem has persisted despite court judgements, including an order from the country’s chief justice that all illegal construction be removed from Karachi – whether on or off the drains.
Describing the removal of encroachments as “a very tricky affair”, Ahmed said that very often debris left behind by a demolition crew causes more obstruction to water flow than the original buildings.
#Pakistan Pursues Big Action On #ClimateChange. Along with #trees planting, #PTI govt announced a new #ElectricVehicle policy this summer, and plans to get two-thirds of its #electricity from #renewable sources like #wind, #solar and #hydropower by 2030. https://www.npr.org/2020/09/29/916878679/with-glaciers-melting-and-temps-soaring-pakistan-pursues-big-action-on-climate-c?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social
On her first foray into tree planting, Laiba Atika forgot a key item — a shovel, which her mom later fetched.
But the 17-year-old is clear about why she is leading volunteers in the northern Pakistani city of Mardan to plant dozens of pine trees in a scrubby park.
"It's our duty as citizens," she says in formal English, "to implement actions that can make planet a better place to live in."
Atika's tree-planting drive is being replicated all over Pakistan, where the government aims to plant ten billion trees over five years with the help of local communities. The reforestation initiative is central to a wide-ranging plan the Pakistani government recently adopted to change practices and cut emissions that drive climate change.
Like most developing nations, Pakistan is not a big emitter of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But developing countries suffer harm disproportionate to their historically low emissions. Climate-fueled extreme weather events, from floods to droughts, could displace or kill tens of thousands of people, straining government resources and threatening political stability.
That urgency has prompted some nations, such as Pakistan, to craft ambitious plans to reduce emissions, even as the world's second largest emitter, the United States, shrugs off serious climate action.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan "knows the implications of climate change and is willing to take the lead in putting Pakistan on a green trajectory," says Malik Amin Aslam, a senior climate change advisor to Khan and the leading proponent of the new policies.
Alongside tree planting, the government announced a new electric vehicle policy this summer, and plans to get two-thirds of its electricity from wind, solar and hydropower by 2030. "That is a genuine step up in ambition for renewable energy," said Simon Nicholas, an energy finance analyst who follows Pakistan at the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
But the problems that have long hobbled Pakistan threaten its new climate goals, too, environmental activists say. Plans are undermined by corruption and lax implementation, according to Afia Salam, an activist in Karachi. Environmentalists point to other ambitious policies the government announced since it took power, like a ban on plastic bags in Islamabad, which has gone widely ignored.
Khan's own broad-tent party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, includes powerful business interests that have carved out loopholes for themselves from the climate policies.
"What Pakistan has done, despite resource constraint, is aspirational for many countries," Salam says. But, she adds, "there's so many conflicting interests within the party itself."
The world's fifth most populous country, Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable to global warming. Already, summer temperatures in its southern cities often surpass 120 degrees. Rainfall has grown more erratic, and in August, unprecedented monsoon rains drowned parts of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, turning roads into rivers and killing dozens of people across the country.
Northern glaciers nestled in mountains are the country's main water source, and they are melting faster than ever. Highland communities now face occasional water shortages and flash flooding that sweeps away their lands. If the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions continues on its present trajectory, the water supply for Pakistan's 220 million people will be imperiled within 50 years, scientists say.
#Pakistan: Work On Mega Dams Projects Going On A Fast Pace After 5 Decades. Total #water storage capacity of these dams is about 8.7 million-acre-feet (MAF). Diamer Bhasha #dam would add 35 years of life to Tarbela dam by cutting sedimentation- UrduPoint https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/work-on-mega-dams-projects-going-on-a-fast-pa-1070663.html
"We can save this water by increasing storage capacity and bring virgin land under cultivation, said Indus River System Authority Chairman Rao Irshad Ali Khan.� He was of the view that�construction of mega dams including Diamer Basha and Mohmand would enable Pakistan to streamline its off-set�water induced variations in water flow.
The Diamer Bhasha dam would add 35 years to the life of� Tarbela dam by reducing sedimentation, he said.� According to Chairman WAPDA Gen retired Muzammil Hussain both the dams would be with cumulative gross water storage capacity of 9.3 million acre feet (MAF) and electricity generation capacity of 5300 mega watts (MW).� He said that Diamer Bhasha Dam was a multi-purpose project aimed at water storage, flood mitigation and power generation.
The project would be constructed across River Indus about 40-kilometer downstream of Chillas town. The 272-meter high Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) Dam would have a gross water storage capacity of 8.1 million acre feet (MAF).
The project will generate 4500 MW of electricity with annual energy generation of more than 18 billion units of low-cost and environment friendly electricity.With construction of Diamer Basha Dam Project, the life of Tarbela Dam will be enhanced to another�35 years.
It will also have a positive impact on the annual energy generation of the projects in the downstream areas.
Regarding Mohmand Dam, the WAPDA chairman said that the work on the construction of the dam was going on fast track and would be completed by 2024.
�"The project is of immense importance and it will store 1.2 million acre feet (MAF) of�water�for irrigated agriculture, help mitigate floods in Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera and generate 800 mega watt (MW) of green and clean energy.
�The Spokesperson WAPDA told APP that Diamer Bhasha Dam Project would stimulate economic activities in the far-flung and� backward areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, providing as many as 16550 job opportunities to the� locals and Pakistani engineers, he added.
He said that construction of the dam would help bring as many as 1.23 million acres of� additional land under cultivation, following which annual agricultural benefits of the� project had been estimated at Rs. 279 billion.Meanwhile, the Federal government is also providing funds for construction of 60 small, medium,�large and delayed action/recharge dam projects in the country through the Federal Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) aimed at providing water for irrigation/ agriculture, and drinking purposes.
The accumulative live storage capacity of these dams is about 8,683,699 Acre-feet. As many as 17 dams projects are likely to be completed during the current fiscal year and they are small dams in Tehsil Dobandi, Gulistan Killa, Bhundaro storage dam, Dosi dam Pasni, Darah dam Khuzadar, Mangi dam Quetta, Mara Tangi dam Loralai, Tuk dam Tehsil Wadh, Anjeeri dam Nushko, Azdhakhoi dam, Baghi dam Naushki, delay actions dams in Siaro Hazar Ganji Nal, small dam at Sardari Goz Darkhalo, small dam Kunji Ferzabad, and Sukleji dam etc.
During last decade, WAPDA had completed Mangla Dam Raising(2.88 MAF), Gomal Zam Dam (0.892 MAF), Satpara Dam(0.053 MAF) and Darawat Dam (0.089 MAF) to store water.
WAPDA is also planning to construct Kurram Tangi Dam Stage-II (0.90 MAF), Chiniot Dam (0.85 MAF), Shyok Dam (5.0 MAF), Akhori Dam (6.0 MAF), Dudhnial Dam (1.00 MAF), Skardu Dam (3.20 MAF) and Sindh Barrage (2.00 MAF) to cope with the issues of water shortage in the country.
In #Pakistan, a 'Happy' solution to curb crop burning takes off. The #technology could reduce air #pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 78%. #Lahore #Punjab via @csmonitor https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2020/1208/In-Pakistan-a-Happy-solution-to-curb-crop-burning-takes-off?cmpid=shared-twitter
A new effort by the Punjab government to tackle air pollution caused by rice stubble burning is taking off as machines – called Happy Seeders – are given to farmers at a subsidized cost. The technology could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 78%.
Air pollution is a long-standing problem in Pakistan, but every October and November contaminates in the air in Punjab province shoot up as farmers burn rice stalks left behind after harvesting to clear their fields to plant wheat.
During these cooler months, the provincial capital Lahore, which is surrounded by rice-growing districts, is covered with thick smog.
“It is a health emergency – the air quality monitors in Lahore routinely show hazardous levels in November,” said Farah Rashid, a climate and energy program coordinator for green group WWF-Pakistan.
Now the Punjab government hopes to tackle the problem by providing 500 rice farmers around Lahore with a set of machines that together eliminate the need to burn crop stubble.
The machines include a shredder that breaks down rice stubble and mulches it into the ground and a seed drill – called the Happy Seeder – that follows to sow wheat through the mulch.
“It’s a useful technology,” said farmer Aaamer Hayat Bhandara, who has used both machines at a friend’s large farm, and has pushed the government to subsidize them.
“These machines used together could really make life much easier for us farmers,” said Mr. Bhandara, from Pakpattan in Punjab province.
Malik Amin Aslam, climate change advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan, called air pollution a “silent killer” and said Lahore’s smog had increased in intensity and frequency over the last five years.
He explained that rice farmers traditionally use combine harvesters to cut their rice in October, leaving behind about four inches of stubble.
With less than two weeks before they have to ready their fields to sow wheat, burning is the fastest way to clear the land, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In Pakistan, rice is grown on an area of about 2 million hectares, mainly in the Punjab and Sindh provinces. Many of the fields are cleared by burning every year.
In October and November, Lahore’s Air Quality Index level can jump to over 300, a number that the United States Environmental Protection Agency says corresponds to a “health warning of emergency conditions.”
Farmers say the new farm equipment can help combat smog, but note that crop burning produces only a small share of the province’s pollution.
“The stubble is burned only for a few weeks in the winter. It is a fact that the problem becomes worse during this short period,” Mr. Bhandara said.
“But farmers are not the only reason for this pollution,” he added.
A 2018 report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on the underlying causes of smog in Punjab noted that agriculture – mainly rice residue burning – accounts for 20% of total air pollutant emissions.
That puts it behind industry, which produces a quarter of the air pollution in the province, and transport, which contributes more than 40%.
Pakistan emerging as ‘global leader in tackling climate change’ | Pakistan – Gulf News
The British government has commended Pakistan’s ambitious 10 billion tree plantation project, describing it as one of the most successful green initiatives that the rest of the world can learn from and implement to tackle climate change.
“Pakistan’s 10 billion tree tsunami project is one of the most ambitious tree planting initiatives in the world and is a successful precedent for others to follow,” said UK Environment Minister, Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park. “I absolutely, enthusiastically, commend and celebrate Pakistan’s 10 billion tree tsunami initiative and the tens of thousands of jobs that have been created due to the project. It goes to show what is possible and what can be achieved,” said the UK minister.
#Pakistan to issue a $500 million green bonds to boost #hydropower. Engages JP Morgan to underwrite as part of #investment in #renewableenergy for #green #economic stimulus. It’s banning new #coal power plants and planting 10 billion #trees https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-18/pakistan-plans-first-green-bond-to-fund-hydropower-projects via @business
Pakistan’s government is planning to issue a $500 million green bond in the next few months to help boost its development of hydroelectric power.
The bond, denominated in euros, will be the government’s first to fund environmental goals, Malik Amin Aslam, an adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on climate change, said in an interview. It is set to be issued through the country’s state-owned Water & Power Development Authority, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. advising, he said.
“We’ve got a lot of hydro potential in Pakistan,” he said on Thursday. “The bonds are there to accelerate this.”
Khan’s government is investing in renewable energy to ramp up its economic stimulus in the wake of the pandemic. It’s also promised to ban new coal power plants and is looking to plant 10 billion trees. The nation’s cities rank among the worst globally for air pollution, according to IQAir.
The South Asian nation has a fragile economy that goes through regular boom and bust cycles. It received debt relief during the pandemic, restoring its $6 billion bailout program that it secured from the International Monetary Fund in 2019 to avoid bankruptcy.
Issuance of green bonds globally is seen surging to $375 billion in 2021 by Moody’s Investors Service, after record sales last year. While Europe has led the way, countries from Singapore to Brazil plan to sell their first to tap buoyant investor demand.
JPMorgan, the world’s top arranger of green debt, declined to comment.
Pakistan Nears Debt-for-Nature Swap Agreement With Creditors
By Greg Ritchie and Faseeh Mangi
May 24, 2021, 2:58 AM PDT Updated on May 24, 2021, 6:24 AM PDT
Pakistan is closing in on a deal with bilateral creditors that would tie debt relief to the achievement of biodiversity goals, government officials said.
The South Asian nation is working with lender countries on a debt-for-nature swap program, which would see debt relief in return for binding commitments to achieve conservation targets. An official letter of intent could be announced as soon as World Environment Day on June 5, which Pakistan is hosting this year.
“Four to five creditors will commit to an intent to engage for a debt-for-nature swap,” Malik Amin Aslam, climate change adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said in an interview.
The country is working with the U.K., Germany, Italy and Canada, though that’s yet to be finalized, according to Noor Ahmed, secretary at the government’s economic affairs division. Apart from Germany, those aren’t among Pakistan’s largest outstanding bilateral creditors, with that list topped by China, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, according to an International Monetary Fund report released last month.
Debt swaps have been around for decades, with the United Nations putting the value of debt-for-climate and nature agreements at over $2.6 billion from 1985 to 2015 -- though most of that was during the 1990s. There’s been a push to repopularize the structure as part of a broader campaign to realign finance with the protection of the natural world at the same time as reducing nations’ debt strain after the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, Pakistan said it was developing a so-called nature-performance bond, a new instrument that would tie the cost of repayments to quantified biodiversity targets. That’s part of a plethora of recently-created debt types aimed at tapping surging investor interest in environmental, social and governance assets.
#Pakistan to bring fresh air to cities with 10 billion trees planted using Japanese botanist #Miyawaki's technique. #Lahore urban #forest covers 12.5 acres with over 165,000 plants, expected to grow 10X faster than normal by planting them close together. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/pakistan-seeks-bring-fresh-air-polluted-cities-with-10-billion-trees-2021-08-09/
As Pakistan continues its massive drive to plant 10 billion trees to reduce smog, the country's prime minister urged his citizens to heed the dire warnings in a U.N. climate change report released on Monday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan made the remarks as he inaugurated what officials say is the largest urban Miyawaki forest project in the world. Using a technique pioneered by the late Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, the forest covers 12.5 acres and has more than 165,000 plants. Officials say the trees are expected to grow 10 times faster than normal due to the Miyawaki technique of planting them close together.
The forest is one of 53 such sites in Lahore that are expected to work as carbon sinks. The city of 10 million has grappled with smog in recent years that has forced schools to close and earned it a ranking among the world's most polluted cities.
"Humans have done such a disservice to God's blessings, to this world, that many things - rising sea levels for instance because of warming and emissions - cannot come back to how they were before," Khan said in the central city of Lahore. "All of us living in the world today, if we do all we can, maybe we can save the world from even worse harm to come."
The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said Monday that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Even the starkest measures to reduce emissions, it said, would not prevent a global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, and the extreme weather and rising sea levels resulting from that change. read more
Since the tree planting drive started in 2018, the country has 1 billion more trees and is planting another 500 million during the monsoon season.
"If you are concerned about your children and their future, the least you can do is plant one tree and take care of it," Khan said.
#Pakistan’s 10 billion #trees tsunami across the country. It was started in 2015 by #ImranKhan, now PM. Hundreds of thousands of people across Pakistan are working to nurture and plant 21 species, from the chir pine to the deodar — the national tree. #PTI https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/interactive/2021/pakistan-tree-billion-tsunami-photos/?tid=ss_tw
August marks the beginning of monsoon season in Pakistan, and with the rain comes another busy stretch for the country’s ambitious tree-planting program.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, residents of all stripes, from government officials to Boy Scouts, fan out along the hills. They bring with them chinar tree saplings — which can grow to nearly 100 feet tall — along with other varieties, and they begin digging.
It’s all part of an effort that started in 2015, when Imran Khan — then a provincial politician and now Pakistan’s prime minister — backed a program dubbed a “Billion Tree Tsunami.” The initiative reached its provincewide target in 2018 and was so successful that federal officials expanded the drive nationally in 2019 with a new goal of 10 billion trees — or, the “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami.”
“Everyone is waking up and starting to plant,” lawyer and environmentalist Hazrat Maaz told The Washington Post at the time.
The program addresses Pakistan’s history of deforestation as the country confronts the realities of climate change in the form of hotter temperatures, melting Himalayan glaciers and intensifying monsoon rains.
“It makes us very vulnerable,” Malik Amin Aslam, Pakistan’s federal minister for climate change, said in a recent phone call. He has overseen both the provincial and national planting campaigns. “The cheapest, most effective and quickest way to fight climate change is to plant trees,” he said.
Direct planting, Aslam explained, accounts for about 40 percent of the program’s new trees. Hundreds of thousands of people across Pakistan are working to nurture and plant 21 species, from the chir pine to the deodar — the national tree.
The other 60 percent come from assisted regeneration, in which community members are paid to protect existing forests so that trees can propagate and thrive. Protectors are known as “nighabaan,” and 11 individuals lost their lives fighting the “timber mafia” between 2016 and 2018, according to Aslam.
Whether planted or protected, trees capture and hold carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change — and combat erosion on steep landscapes in Pakistan that Aslam says are “almost like living on a slide.”
The latest tree “tsunami” appears to be on pace. The rate of new trees has gone up tenfold since the initiative began, Aslam said. He expects another 500 million trees by the end of this year, with a goal of around 3.2 billion by 2023. If the current ruling party — Movement for Justice — is reelected, the aim is to hit 10 billion trees by 2028.
Aslam says the initiative is engaging the next generation in the country’s battle against climate change.
“Young people get very excited when they hear about this,” he said. “It’s their future that we’re investing in.”
POWERCHINA Celebrates 10th Anniversary of CPEC: Committed to Bringing Pakistan Forward for Green and Sustainable Development
This year will see the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the 10th anniversary of the launch of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). As one of the key enterprises participating in the construction of the CPEC, POWERCHINA has been active in various fields such as energy, electricity, water management, and infrastructure investment in Pakistan since it entered the Pakistani market as early as 1987.
Over the past 36 years, POWERCHINA has completed the 103 projects in Pakistan, including the first roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam in Pakistan – the Gomal Zam Dam multipurpose project, and the first mainstream hydropower station on the Indus River – the Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project, the largest installed hydropower station – the Tarbela 4th & 5th Extension Hydropower Project, and the largest wind farm – the Tricon Boston 150 MW Wind Power Project.
In the past ten years, among the first 20 energy and infrastructure projects of the CPEC, POWERCHINA has participated in the investment and construction of 11 projects. POWERCHINA has consolidated the traditional power business, and continued to contribute to the development of new energy and other fields. Pakistan's largest hydropower hub project currently being constructed by POWERCHINA, the Diamer Basha Dam Project, will become the tallest and largest RCC dam in the world, and is expected to provide Pakistan with 18.1 billion KWh of clean electricity every year. As the project progresses, it is expected to provide more than 20,000 job opportunities, which is considered as one of the many positive effects of the project by Nadeem Ilyas, a Pakistani engineer of the project.
As one of the leading enterprises in China, POWERCHINA has carried out high-quality clean energy project construction and operation in accordance with international standards, and is committed to improving Pakistan's infrastructure conditions and alleviating local power shortages. It has not only made important contributions to the sustainable development of Pakistan, but also played a key role in the development of CPEC.
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