Pakistan's Climate Change Efforts

Pakistan has made only a small contribution to climate change through carbon emissions.  And yet, it counts among the dozen or so nations considered among the 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:

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.

Renewable Energy:

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.

Summary:

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.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

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

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#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.
Riaz Haq said…
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.
Riaz Haq said…
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?

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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.
Riaz Haq said…
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.
Riaz Haq said…
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.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's plan for tackling deforestation: Plant a billion trees. #ClimateChange

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/18/pakistans-plan-for-tackling-deforestation-a-billion-trees/


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.
Riaz Haq said…
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.

http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017-03/10/content_28502786.htm
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Unheralded Fight Against Climate Change
BY MICHAEL KUGELMAN

https://thewire.in/115683/pakistans-fight-against-climate-change/

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.


Riaz Haq said…
Poor #Farmers -- Unlike Rich -- Face Uphill Battle With #Pakistan's Climate Extremes. #ClimateChange #Agriculture

http://www.voanews.com/a/poor-farmers-uphill-battle-pakistan-climate-extremes/3784698.html

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.

Agricultural studies

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.

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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.
Riaz Haq said…
#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.
Riaz Haq said…
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

https://swarajyamag.com/insta/china-pakistan-plan-for-construction-of-two-mega-dams-in-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.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to quadruple #carbon emissions in 15 years despite feeling pain of #climatechange - The Ecologist #energy

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2989149/pakistan_to_quadruple_carbon_emissions_despite_feeling_pain_of_climate_change.html

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.
Riaz Haq said…
Green #Pakistan Program. #Pakistan to plant 100 million saplings in monsoon season. #climatechange - Vatican Radio

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/07/24/green_pakistan_programme_%E2%80%8E/1326830

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.
Riaz Haq said…
#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.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s new #climate strategy hailed as a game changer. #climatechange #CCFF

http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pakistan-s-new-climate-strategy-hailed-as-a-game-changer-1.2107965

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.
Riaz Haq said…
Work on Tarbela 5th extension adding 1,410MW to national grid to begin this year

https://dailytimes.com.pk/261826/work-on-tarbela-5th-extension-adding-1410mw-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.
Riaz Haq said…
Record hydro generation for WAPDA

http://www.waterpowermagazine.com/news/newsrecord-hydro-generation-for-wapda-6758864

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.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Council Of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) Installs 562 Micro-hydel Power Plants To Electrify 80,000 Houses

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/pakistan-council-of-renewable-energy-technolo-515947.html


Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), which is working under Ministry of Science and Technology, has installed 562 micro-hydel power plants with total capacity of 9.7 MW during the last five years, electrifying more than 80,000 houses.

An official source from Ministry of Science and Technology told APP that the ministry and its research and development organizations are mandated to develop technologies for socio-economic development of the country.

Technologies have been developed in different sectors like water, renewable energy, electronics, health, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), industry, agriculture etc to directly and indirectly benefit a common man.

Listing different technologies developed during the last five years, the official source informed that PCRET has installed 155 small wind turbines in Sindh and Balochistan electrifying 1560 houses and installed 4016 biogas plants.

The council has established 20 KW hybrid system including solar, MHP and wind in collaboration with China for research and training purposes.

PCRET has also designed and stimulated Wind Turbine and solar products including Solar Cooker, Solar Dryer, Solar Water Heater and Solar Desalination.

During the last five years, Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) which is also an important department of the ministry has developed Coal Water Slurry Fuel and Reinforced Derived Fuel and solar driven one inch and two inches water pumps. PCSIR has also designed the Solar Powered Reverse Osmosis Plant, the source said.

While National Institute of Electronics (NIE) has developed LED lights, Solar Charge Controller, Automatic Voltage Stabilizer and cascaded multilevel inverter based transformer-less Unified Power Flow Controller, it added.
Riaz Haq said…
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.
Riaz Haq said…
#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.
Riaz Haq said…
"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
https://bit.ly/32DZOLu?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=social-share-article

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.
Riaz Haq said…
#Climatechange triggers #Pakistan mass #migration. 700,000 migrating to big cities from villages annually. People in Thatta, Badin and Sajawal in Sindh province compelled to migrate to the nearby districts or the port city of #Karachi in last few decades http://v.aa.com.tr/1667231

Extreme weather patterns, shrinking agriculture, sea erosion, and lingering dry spells have caused widespread migration within Pakistan in the past decade, according to officials and local experts.

More than two million people were displaced by floods that inundated one-fifth of the country in 2010, triggering mass migration to cities from rural Pakistan.

Of that figure, almost 70% did not go back to their hometowns and permanently settled in big cities to make a living because of the destruction to their homes and farmlands, Ministry of Climate Change spokesman Muhanmad Saleem told Anadolu Agency.

He said seasonal, long-term and permanent migrations mainly due to drought and floods, had taken place in southern, southwestern, and northeastern Pakistan in the last 10 years.

About 700,000 people migrate to big cities from rural Pakistan annually on long-term, and permanent basis, he said, citing international surveys.

Pakistan recently has been placed fifth on the list of countries vulnerable to climate change by the Global Climate Risk Index for 2020.

Pakistan lost 9,989 lives, suffered economic losses worth $3.8 billion and witnessed 152 extreme weather events from 1999 to 2018, according to the Global Climate Risk Index.

The data also indicates the government, as well as the world, is not taking enough measures to cope with challenges and risks climate change poses to Pakistan.

Increasing vulnerable

Pakistan is annually losing more than $4 billion due to climate change disasters.

According to a report from the Climate Change Ministry, the country lost $80 billion from 1996 to 2016 because of climate change calamities.

The alarming fact is that climate migration is taking place in all four provinces -- Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhaw (KP), and Balochistan -- and the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region.

“Almost 50% of Pakistan’s population is increasingly becoming vulnerable to climate change, which may trigger another wave of mass migration”, Saleem, who has specialization in climate change communications, observed.

The ministry has no official statistics but Saleem believed 15% to 20% of the country’s total 210 million population had moved to big cities from rural areas from the four provinces since 2010 floods.

“[The] last nine years have been the worst period for Pakistan in terms of natural disasters like floods, drought, decline in rains and heat wave. Over the years, these disasters have destroyed or damaged hospitals, schools, roads, sources of livelihoods in different parts of the country speeding up influx from rural to urban centers,” Saleem said. "A few years back, rural-urban population ratio was 40-60. Now it is fast becoming otherwise."

In Islamabad alone, he added, the city’s population increased to more than 2.2 million from around 500,000 in 2010.

Amar Guriro, a Karachi-based analyst who regularly writes on climate change and environment, supported the view putting the numbers of climate migrants at 30 million in the last 10 years.

A lingering dry spell, he said, had gradually shrunk the agriculture and herding in southern Thar desert and several districts of southern Punjab and southwestern Balochistan provinces, propelling a mass migration to the big cities in recent years.

“The three regions are more vulnerable because they totally depend on agriculture and herding, which depend on weather, and weather is marred by climate change,” Guriro told Anadolu Agency. “Prolonged summers, drought, decline in rainfall, extreme weather patterns and frequent heat waves, have become a new normal in several parts of the country damaging the local economy and demography”, he opined.
Riaz Haq said…
#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".
Riaz Haq said…
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.

https://youtu.be/1iwT30Vd88E
Riaz Haq said…
#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.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan finally gives green light to controversial Indus dam in Kashmir

http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/pakistan-finally-gives-green-light-controversial-i/

A Chinese-Pakistani joint venture has been awarded a project to build a dam on the River Indus in the disputed Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.
When completed in 2028, the Diamer Bhasha dam, China’s first major civil engineering scheme in Kashmir, will have a 272-metre-high barrage, making it the tallest roller-compacted concrete dam in the world.

The project will be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), itself part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
It will have a generating capacity variously given as 4.8GW and 6GW, and will be situated in the Pakistan-administered region of Gilgit-Baltistan, about 320km from the Chinese border.

As well as power, the dam will create a 200 sq km reservoir, greatly increasing Pakistan’s water security.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the first phase of the dam, worth $2.8bn, has been awarded to a team made up of China’s Power Construction Corporation and the Pakistan Army’s Frontier Works Organisation, with 70% going to the Chinese company.

Muzammil Hussain, chairman of Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), announced the project at a press conference at the end of last week. He said the Pakistan government would provide 30% funding and “the rest will be arranged by the Wapda” – understood to be a reference to loans from China. Hussein put the total cost of the project at US$8.8bn, but he has previously given a figure of $14bn.

Previous attempts to build the dam on the Indus site have stumbled over the funding issue. In 2011, the US considered a loan of $12bn for the scheme, but withdrew. The Asian Development Bank approved a loan for the scheme but then withdrew its funding in 2016, and a later plan to crowdfund it failed to raise sufficient capital.

In 2016, the project was named as one of the projects in the China-Pakistan Economic corridor. However, in 2017, Pakistan backed out when the Chinese demanded 100% ownership of the completed asset.

India has raised objections to the project, partly on political and partly on engineering grounds.

The political protest is over India’s claim that the project legitimises Gilgit-Baltistan as part of Pakistan’s sovereign territory.

The engineering objection is based on the safety of such a tall roller-compacted dam in an earthquake zone.

Suleman Najib Khan, the convenor of the Water Resource Development Council, notes: “In the history of the world, no roller-compacted dam has ever been built of comparable height in such unforgiving conditions.

“In the event that the dam bursts at its proposed height of 272m during a routine seismic movement, 10 cubic kilometres of water, with the destructive power of a hydrogen bomb, will wipe out everything on the Indus all the way down to Sukkur.”

Roller-compacted dams use a blend of concrete in which fly ash is substituted for Portland cement, reducing the risk of thermal cracking during construction. The highest dam built so far using the method is the Gilgel Gibe III Dam in Ethiopia, at 250m.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to get $188 million from #WorldBank for disaster resilience, #ecosystem restoration. To restore at least 30% of degraded forest, 5% of degraded cropland, 6% of degraded grassland (rangeland) and 10% of degraded wetlands by 2030. #ClimateCrisis https://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/547626-Pakistan,-World-Bank-to-sign-US$-188-mln-disaster-resilience,-ecosystem-#.XtVY3XGWdqA.twitter


The first component has been further divided in the four sub-components, namely, Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building, Modernization of the Observation Infrastructure; Data Management, and Forecasting Systems; Enhancing the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s (PMD) Service Delivery and Building Partnerships with the Private Sector; and the last is the Project Management, Systems Integration and Monitoring and Implementation Support of PMD.

The second component ‘Disaster Risk Management’ has been divided into three sub-components, namely: Legal Policy and Institutional Strengthening; Infrastructure for Resilience and the Project Management, Monitoring, and Implementation Support of NDMA, he added.

The climate change official remarked that Pakistan has gained credible and proven experience by undertaking a much wider eco-system restoration Initiative by successfully implementing a world-acclaimed five-year Billion Tree Tsunami project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and now through the implementation of the upscale initiative ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme’ as a part of the present government’s green and clean Pakistan political manifesto and which aims to restore Pakistan’s green cover and protect wildlife, their habitats and conserve biodiversity ecosystems and rapidly depleting natural resources such as land and water.

However, the new ambitious project ‘Pakistan Hydromet and Ecosystem Restoration Services’ to be implemented from this year in partnership with the World Bank and various government entities is actually a plan of actions, which builds on evidence and experience of the eco-system restoration gained as a part of the UN Decade for Eco-System Restoration (2020-2030) programme.

Besides, the project is set to act as an effective vehicle to manage risks of environmental degradation and climate change while simultaneously driving economic growth, livelihoods and poverty eradication, Saleem said.

Elucidating upon foremost objectives of the project, the climate change official said facilitating transition towards environmentally resilient Pakistan by main streaming adaptation and mitigation through afforestation, biodiversity conservation, enabling and enhancing policy environment consistent with the objectives outlined in Pakistan’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) also called national carbon reduction roadmap.

It would also help enhance resilience within and across forestry, agriculture, oceans and food systems, including through biodiversity conservation, leveraging supply chains and technology.

Attaining Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by restoring at least 30% of degraded forest, 5% of degraded cropland, 6% of degraded grassland (rangeland) and 10% of degraded wetlands in Pakistan by 2030 are among the key objectives of the World Bank-funded US$ 188 million project.

Highlighting the importance of the project in terms of boosting country’s climate resilience and ecosystem restoration by stemming biodiversity loss, the climate change media focal person Muhammad Saleem highlighted that Pakistan was ranked among top-ten country by the Germanwatch Climate Risk Index 2019 because of negative socio-economic impacts of climate change-caused disasters and its climate-vulnerability.

“Thus, investing in climate resilience initiatives for protecting socio-economic sectors, particularly water, energy and agriculture from fallouts of the climate change is vital for mitigating the country’s overall climate-vulnerability and protecting lives and livelihoods of the people,” he emphasised.
Riaz Haq said…
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

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.

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One of world's rarest dolphins rebounding in Pakistan
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.”

Riaz Haq said…
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.”


Riaz Haq said…
#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.

The biggest

"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.
Riaz Haq 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.
Riaz Haq said…
#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/


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.


“These drains can actually be added into beautification plans with plantations on either side, and run across the city like in Amsterdam,” said Mazhar. Instead, she said, they are seen and treated as an eyesore with garbage thrown alongside them, which invariably slips into the drain thereby choking it. She held both residents and the government responsible for the indifference shown towards Karachi’s garbage.

Now Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he wants a “permanent solution” to problems associated with drains, the sewage system and water supply.
Riaz Haq said…
South Asia cities face $215bn-worth flood risks

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/special-reports/1323591/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.

Riaz Haq said…
#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.
Riaz Haq said…
Dirty air: how #India became the most polluted country on earth. World's 10 dirtiest cities are all in India. #pollution #disease #China #Pakistan #Asia https://ig.ft.com/india-pollution/

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1319724406747246592?s=20

The problem is most acute in India but it is not alone. The Financial Times collated Nasa satellite data of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) — a measure of air quality — and mapped it against population density data from the European Commission to develop a global overview of the number of people affected by this type of dangerous pollution.

The results are alarming: not just the number of people breathing in polluted air, but those breathing air contaminated with particulates that are multiple times over the level deemed safe — 10 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic metre — by the World Health Organisation.

The data show that more than 4.2bn people in Asia are breathing air many times dirtier than the WHO safe limit. It only takes into account areas that are populated to avoid skewing the numbers for countries such as China and Russia that have vast unpopulated regions.

Historically China has grabbed most headlines for poor air quality. But as the time-lapse video of PM2.5 pollution between 1998 and 2016 shows, India is now in a far worse state than its larger neighbour ever was.


The 2016 data, the latest available, show that, although both countries have a similar number of people breathing air above the safe limit, India has far more people living in heavily polluted areas. At least 140m people in India are breathing air 10 times or more over the WHO safe limit.

A study published in The Lancet has estimated that in 2017 air pollution killed 1.24m Indians — half of them younger than 70, which lowers the country’s average life expectancy by 1.7 years. The 10 most polluted cities in the world are all in northern India.

Top officials in prime minister Narendra Modi’s government have suggested New Delhi’s air is little dirtier than that in other major capitals such as London.

Harsh Vardhan, India’s environment minister and a doctor, has played down the health consequences of dirty air, insisting it is mainly a concern for those with pre-existing lung conditions. But that appears to fly in the face of international studies that show that air pollution has a wide-ranging impact, including an elevated risk for heart attacks and strokes, increased risk of asthma, reduced foetal growth, stunted development of children’s lungs, and cognitive impairment.

Dr Vardhan has claimed India needed its own research to determine whether dirty air is really harmful to otherwise healthy people — an argument the government also made in the Supreme Court.

Dr Kumar believes New Delhi’s unwillingness to acknowledge the severity of its pollution crisis stems from its reluctance to take strong measures tackle large polluters. Such a crackdown would inevitably upset powerful vested interests in the automotive sector, highly polluting small and medium-sized industries, power plants, construction companies and farmers. And it could hit economic growth ahead of elections next year.

“They are not unaware but, despite being aware, they deny,” says Dr Kumar, “The corrective measures that would be needed are unpleasant, and might make them lose votes rather than gain votes.”

But environmentalist Sunita Narain, director-general of New Delhi’s Centre for Science and Environment, says official attitudes have shifted since last winter’s catastrophic air emergency, when record pollution levels forced schools to close for several days.

“That was a turning point,” says Ms Narain, who has battled India’s air pollution for decades. “There is outrage now against pollution — it is also now much more of a middle-class issue and government is acting because it understands the public health emergency.”
Riaz Haq said…
#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.

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