PESHAWAR: In an attempt to minimize the effects of climate change and to fight against the challenges associated with it, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has formally approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Climate Change policy 2022 alongside the requisite action plan that encompasses the necessary steps required to rise up against the challenge.
As per a statement, 129 factors have been identified in different sectors that affect our climate and environment negatively. Accordingly, the action plan includes possible steps and measures to minimize these factors along with adaptation of 172 environment friendly practices.
The chief minister has termed the policy a pressing priority, adding the province was witnessing the negative effects of climate change as in other parts of the country. He added that these effects had become more evident over the past a couple of years including forest fires due to severe heatwave that destroyed much of the forest cover in the province.
Similarly, monsoon rains have caused severe floods which are going to continue if the necessary steps aren’t taken in time. He reiterated that the effects of climate change had also become evident in the northern areas of the province.
Mahmood Khan clarified that the climate change policy had been divided into various categories keeping in view the priorities. It encompasses immediate measures, short term action plan, medium term measures and long term steps/action plans. He said the policy will have tremendous impact on our environment and if adopted entirely, we can stand up to the negative effects of climate change in a short span of time.
The chief minister said initial work on the policy started back in 2017. However, due to the merger of erstwhile FATA in the province, the forest and wildlife department felt the need of framing a new policy that takes into account the entire geography and caters to the needs of the entire province.
Locusts attacks in southern districts, forest fires and environmental zoning have been taken into account in the new policy and changes have been made accordingly. Furthermore, the necessary steps to be taken by various government departments for effective implementation of the policy have also been elucidated.