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Volume 2 Issue 13, October & November, 2013, Editor Zulfiqar Ali, Associate Editor Madeeha Manzoor, Editor Photography Usman Hanif, Publisher: Zulfiqar ALi G-6/4, Islamabad, Pakistan.
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2nd International Workshop on Dairy Science Park will be held next year

The 2nd International Workshop on Dairy Science Park will be held on November 18-20, 2013 at Agricultural University, Peshawar. This workshop is the second one in continuation to DSP-2011 which was held with the cooperation of the provincial and federal government organizations, the civil society and business organizations from within the country and abroad. The workshop was inaugurated by the Honorable Minister for Agriculture, Arbab Muhammad Ayub Jan and concluded by Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Minister for Livestock. A development project worth Rs.200 million was submitted to the provincial government, focusing at developing the private livestock and poultry farms and converting them to viable enterprises capable of producing clean food for local and international markets and providing slef-employment to the youth.

Theme of the DSP-2013 will be developing enterprising capacity of livestock and poultry farmers of Pak-Afghan Region through partnership of academia, government, entrepreneurs, exporters & civil society with special focus on meat production targeted at International Halal Food Market. The workshop will continue for three days and will cover areas such as Meat and Dairy Technology, Poultry Science, Dairy Science, Animal Health, Feeding and nutrition, Reproduction and Genetics, Entrepreneur development, Halal Certification & Financing, Quality control and Hzard Analysis and Critical Control Point. The workshop is expected to provide guidelines, a road-map and an engine for growth of the local sheep/goats/poultry production farms into viable enterprises; capable of producing clean food for local market and export and generating self employment for the youth especially the graduates in animal and social sciences, agriculture and business administration. The outgoing graduates in animal sciences, agriculture and business administration would be enabled to erect their own business enterprises and contribute more effectively in the national development process. Individuals and organizations from inland those from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh and Australia, etc are expected to participate.

Pakistan facing climate change risks

Pakistan is facing existence of five major risks related to climate change including rise in sea level, glacial retreats, floods, higher average temperature and higher frequency of droughts.
In addition, being a predominantly agricultural economy, climate change is estimated to decrease crop yields in Pakistan not only as a result of flooding, but also as a result of changing temperatures, which in turn will affect livelihoods and food production.
Deterioration of climate is irreversibly harming Pakistan, as the glacier melt in the Himalayas is projected to increase flooding and affect water resources within the next two to three decades.
This will be followed by decreased river flows over time as glaciers recede. The glacial melt will affect fresh water flows with dramatic adverse effects on biodiversity and livelihood with possible long-term implications on regional food security.
Scientific studies showed that average global temperature has risen by about 1 degree Centigrade during the past century.
This increase was mostly due to fossil fuel burning and deforestation. Global temperatures are projected to increase further between 1.4 degree Centigrade and 5.8 degree Centigrade by 2100 and to continue to rise long after.
“Climate change is a global issue which is of concern for the entire international community”, an official of Ministry of Science and Technology told APP.
The global warming is an unequivocal fact which is causing widespread issues such as faster glacier melting, sea level rise, shortage of fresh water, increased droughts and floods, more frequent and intense forest fires, more intense storms, more extreme heat episodes, agricultural disruption, the spread of infectious diseases and biodiversity loss, he said.
Official said these vulnerabilities due to changing climate are already severe in many countries and will increase day by day.
“A collective responsibility to combat this global warming and climate change is necessary and in line with sustainable development for our better future”.
He said although it is well recognized that the developing countries are the least responsible for climate change contributing only 10 percent of annual global carbon dioxide emissions, they are the ones that are the most vulnerable to the environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change mainly due to their geographical location and socio-economic fragility.
It has the least contribution to global warming and the contribution to total greenhouse gas emissions is as low as 0.43 percent which is 135th of the world average of carbon dioxide emissions.
“Yet, it is faced with severe climate changes and according to Germanwatch report 2011, Pakistan has been ranked 3rd most vulnerable country to climate change”.
Official said the coastal areas of Pakistan including the Indus Delta are most vulnerable to climate change with rising sea surface temperature and atmospheric water vapors causing an increase in cyclone intensity and rainfall.
The climate change effect, on one hand may reduce the flow of freshwater into the delta and on the other, it will accelerate the already occurring sea intrusion in the deltaic area.
Pakistan has to take a lot of efforts and financial compromises to deal with the impact of climate change.
“It has become extremely important for the government to invest in sustainable agriculture and small scale farmers, promoting the use of drought resistant varieties, alternate farming practices and reduced cultivation of water intensive crops in the circumstances of water scarcity; and building dams and reservoirs for water storage and mitigating the chances of devastating floods we have experience during recent years”.

Australia to assist Pakistan in agriculture, dairy sector

Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan Peter Heward has said that his country is keen to assist Pakistan in unleashing huge agricultural and dairy potential.
In an interview with Radio Pakistan, he said Pakistan not only meet its own requirements of food grain and dairy products but could also generate huge surplus for export if modern techniques were adopted.
He particularly referred to value addition in dairy sector and said Australia could help the country bring about a white revolution.
The Australian High Commissioner said Pakistan has legitimate concerns about post-2014 withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan as it is already hosting a huge number of Afghan refugees.
He said Australia and other countries would continue to help Afghanistan and Pakistan in meeting challenges during that phase.
He said Australia would also continue to extend cooperation to Pakistan in addressing the challenge of extremism and terrorism as the issue is directly linked to the peace and stability of peace, the region and beyond.
He said Government and people of Australia acknowledge sacrifices offered by Pakistan in the war against terror and the need for continued support of the country in future.

Pakistan and weather disasters

Pakistan faces a range of threatening climate change impacts: sea water intrusion into the Indus Delta, valley glaciers melting in high mountain areas, the water scarcity/food security challenge and flooding caused by changing monsoon patterns. Things are getting so bad that for the past couple of years, Pakistan has been topping the list of the Global Climate Risk Index produced by Germanwatch, an NGO that works on global equity issues. In 2010, Pakistan was listed as the number one country in the world affected by climate related disasters (due to the massive 2010 floods); in 2011, it was ranked as number three. This year’s report, released during the UN Climate Change talks currently being held in Warsaw, listed Haiti, the Philippines and Pakistan as hardest hit by weather disasters in 2012.
The Global Climate Risk Index is compiled from figures supplied by the giant reinsurance company Munich Re. Haiti topped the list in this year’s Index because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that left 200,000 people homeless. The Philippines came second due to the large number of typhoons that are now battering its islands (it will be number one in next year’s list because of super-typhoon Haiyan). Pakistan came third because of its increasing vulnerability to floods and droughts.
The major issue at the conference in Warsaw, given the current Philippine disaster, is how to finance the ‘loss and damage’ caused by an increasingly unstable climate. Christoph Bals, policy director of Germanwatch, said: “The report illustrates that the self-help capacity of countries is being overwhelmed by the scale of the climate disasters they are facing. These are the countries that have contributed least to climate change because they have tiny emissions. Yet, they are the countries that are suffering most from it. Developed countries that have caused the problem have a moral responsibility to help.”
Muhammad Irfan Tariq, director general of the Climate Change Division of the Pakistan government, who helped launch the report in Warsaw, told the Climate News Network: “The report makes it clear that my country is already adversely affected by climate change. Loss of glaciers, floods and droughts are causing suffering and loss of life, not to mention the economic losses in a mainly agricultural economy … We are suffering so many other problems that it is not a priority for us.”
In Pakistan, bomb blasts usually make it to the front pages of most newspapers while stories on climate change are occasionally on the back pages. While the country continues to suffer from devastating floods and droughts, experts point out that the term ‘climate change’ is neither widely recognised nor understood in Pakistan. Climate change is still viewed as a global phenomenon and members of the public, academia, media and government find it difficult to translate global scenarios into local impacts. The country’s new National Climate Change Policy, launched earlier this year in February, has also been shelved now that the government has changed. The Ministry of Climate Change has been demoted to the status of a division.
The BBC’s Media Action group has been interviewing experts on climate change in Pakistan and found that only a handful “suggested clear, actionable responses to the impacts of climate change. Those suggestions included: early warning systems through mobile text messaging services and radio announcements for farmers and fishermen; introducing water storage techniques specifically aimed at collecting, purifying and using rain or floodwater; and introducing disaster response training among vulnerable communities”. Other countries in the South Asian region, such as Bangladesh and Nepal, are already taking action to address climate change — we in Pakistan need to get our act together.