Senate of Pakistan

Senator Mushahid Hussain calls for collective Asian strategy on climate change, says issue also has 'security implications'

December 16, 2013

Islamabad (December 16, 2013):  Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee, has called upon the government to 'immediately revive the Ministry of Climate Change given the importance of this issue, which has security implications as well'. He was addressing a conference on climate change organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) as Guest of Honour here this morning.  In his speech to the conference, which is being attended by parliamentarians from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan as well as representatives of India, Senator Mushahid Hussain said that climate change was an issue not only confined to Pakistan but this is an issue of South Asia as a whole as well as the entire Asia.

In this connection, Senator Mushahid Hussain referred to his recent role as Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA), which was the biggest parliamentary conference in the history of Pakistan with 30 countries participating, the Islamabad Declaration has also focused on the issue of climate change and environmental degradation through a collective responsibility of Asian Parliaments.  Senator Mushahid Hussain said that the Senate Defence Committee has already defined climate change as a  security issue since it has implications on our relations with India giving the emerging water dispute as well as the dislocation of a huge number of population caused periodically by floods and torrential rains in Pakistan. 

He said that during the last floods in Sindh province, over 20 million people were affected and there had been deforestation in Pakistan to the extent of 33%.  He said that those living on the coastline of South Asia were at risk because of global warming and rising temperature, so it was necessary that there should be a regional South Asian approach to this problem as well. Senator Mushahid Hussain referred to a recent conference organised by the Communist Party of China on 'Green Development & Building a Beautiful Asia' and said China's President Xi Jinping had also announced that 'ecological red lines must not be crossed'. At the same conference, held in the Chinese City of Xian, a Global Alliance of Political Parties on Climate Change was announced to promote awareness and focus on this all-important issue.

Senator Mushahid Hussain announced that in cooperation with the SDPI, the APA would hold a workshop on climate change for Asian Parliamentarians in 2014, and in this regard, he also requested the SDPI to prepare a special Asia vision policy document on climate change which the Senate of Pakistan as host of the APA would circulate among all member parliaments so that a collective Asian strategy on climate change can be formulated and implemented.


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