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Climate Resilience and Strategic Preparedness: Safeguarding Pakistan’s Security Interests

Islamabad, March 08, 2024, The Europe Today: Climate Resilience & Strategic Preparedness: Safeguarding Pakistan’s Security Interests The Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS), Lahore, hosted a seminar titled ‘Climate Resilience & Strategic Preparedness: Safeguarding Pakistan’s Security Interests’. The event discussed the challenges that Pakistan faces in the wake of global climate change, which can potentially threaten state security and social cohesion.

The seminar commenced with opening remarks by Mr Ameer Abdullah Khan, Senior Researcher at CASS, Lahore, who spoke about the different aspects in which climate change is interrelated with the national security of Pakistan. This was followed by a keynote address by Mr Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, member Loss & Damage Fund Board and World Bank Consultant, who spoke about strategic preparedness in the face of ecological uncertainty while outlining policies and priorities from global to domestic levels. Mr Ahmed Rafay Alam, an environmental lawyer, shed light on governance-related challenges, which augment climate-induced threats to Pakistan’s security. The last speaker, Ms Sarah Hayat, Climate Law and Policy Expert, discussed the need for climate adaptation and mitigation as a way forward to a secure future for Pakistan.

In his concluding remarks, Air Marshal Asim Suleiman (Retd), President, CASS Lahore, said that despite contributing minimally to global greenhouse gas emissions, Pakistan has endured the harsh realities of climate change. He highlighted that the crisis does not stop at natural disasters, rather it extends to straining the economy, political stability, and social fabric of Pakistan, besides intensifying regional tensions. The President acknowledged Pakistan’s initiatives to combat climate change, however, he stressed the need for international cooperation, considering this to be a shared endeavour.

The seminar highlighted various key points. The speakers pointed out how certain lapses in management in the past have contributed to the escalating severity of climate change threats. They also emphasised the need for inclusive climate-resilient strategies at the federal, provincial and local levels. They further suggested to bridge the knowledge-policy gap pertaining to climate change. They also stressed the urgency of boosting efforts to enhance international climate finance inflows. The seminar concluded with a unanimous call for proactive decisions to safeguard Pakistan’s national security interests.