UN approves $36million to mitigate climate change effects in GB

GILGIT: The UN-led Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved US$36 million for the second phase of the glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) project to mitigate the climate change risks in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Talking to Dawn, Gilgit-Baltistan Environmental Protection Agency (GBEPA) project director Shahzad Shigri said on completion of the first phase of the GLOF project, GCF had approved US dollars 36 million for its second phase.

He said that GB was sensitive area for environmental impacts on livelihood, adding the people were vulnerable to climate change risks as the region had witnessed increased frequency in GLOF incidents.

GBEPA would take various steps for implementation and adoption of the GLOF project`s phase two, said Mr Shigri, adding training sessions would be organised to create awareness about impacts of climate change and GLOF on the people.

`An early warning system about glacial outbursts will be installed at various locations; safe heavens for residents living in low lying areas will be established; bridges and protective walls will be constructed along the banks of rivers and streams under the project,` he explained.

It is to mention here that the fouryear climate change adoption project titled `Reducing Risks and Vulnerabilities from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in northern Pakistan costing $3.7 million had been launched in Gilgit and Chitral in October 2015.

The project was aimed at developing human and technical capacity of public institutions to understand and address immediate GLOF risks for vulnerable communities.

Under the project the early warning system of GLOF had been installed in Bagrot valley of Gilgit.

Mr Shigri maintained that GB witnessed increase in average temperatures in recent years, saying as per the data collected from seven machines installed at dif ferent locations in the region, a .68 centigrade increase had been witnessed in temperature in GB from 1984 to 2013.

Meanwhile, GBLA Speaker Fida Nashad, Deputy Speaker Jaffarullah, minister Dr Iqbal and legislators from opposition and treasury benches visited GL OF project in Bagrot on Friday.

On the occasion, the lawmakers were briefed about climate change risks, importance of GLOF project and its benefits. Their input was sought in making the second phase of the project a success.

Courtesy: Dawn News