Pakistan PM sets up task force on climate change


Islamabad, May 17 : Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has constituted a task force to deal with the pressing issue of climate change in the country, his office said in a statement. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting amid the recent heat wave and direct consequences of climate change in Pakistan, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying. Currently, climate change has severely affected Pakistan, causing the ongoing intense heat wave across different parts of the country, wildfires in the northern areas, water and food shortages, and the melting of Shishper glacier in the Karakoram mountain range which recently resulted in a big accident. Sharif has directed the task force to develop a comprehensive strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change, avoid repeat of Shishper glacier incidents in the future and solve the water and food shortages in the country, the statement said. He said the strategy should also encompass steps for water conservation and protection of existing reservoirs and forests. The meeting was informed that climate change is the core reason behind the recent heat wave in Pakistan, the statement said, adding that the country is also facing a threat of water shortage which will have direct repercussions on the agriculture sector. The premier ordered the immediate launch of a public awareness campaign for water conservation and urgent measures to be taken for the storage of rainwater before the onset of the monsoon. He also requested that the ministry of education should guarantee that standard operating protocols for heat wave in public and private schools are followed, according to the statement. /IANS


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