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31 Aug 2018 | Indus Basin Initiative

Best Practices to Counter Climate Change Shared in Gilgit-Baltistan

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A policy roundtable, Building Climate Resiliency in Gilgit-Baltistan, held at the Karakorum International University on 26 June 2018, emphasized the effectiveness of innovations in water use and management systems. Community-based flood early warning systems (CBFEWS), bioengineering, high value agricultural systems, and use of renewable energy systems and income generating activities were discussed during the event.

These innovative practices are among those piloted by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) under its Indus Basin Initiative and implemented through a consortium of partners with the support of the Australian government’s Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Speakers outlined how the SDIP project has demonstrated best practices to counter the effects of altered cultivation seasons, which is an impact of climate change. Government and other development partners highlighted the potential to increase water efficiencies through a “more yield per drop” approach, optimizing farm irrigation technologies piloted in mountain regions. Participants deliberated on opportunities to leverage project learnings to improve livelihoods and build resilience, and on scaling up and scaling out interventions through policies and partnerships.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for example, has granted USD 0.5 million to scale out agricultural water management activities in seven other districts in Pakistan. The CBFEWS based in Sherqilla prevented loss of over 1,200 lives in August 2017. The Government of Gilgit-Baltistan has committed funds to scale them up in other vulnerable communities in the area.

Sixty-two individuals participated in the roundtable. They appreciated the project’s interventions, calling them practicable, innovative, and scalable. Dignitaries present at the roundtable included the Chief Minister, Gilgit-Baltistan; the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly; the Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan; the Minister of Public Work, Gilgit-Baltistan; and the Federal Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Community representatives and heads of governmental and development partners were also present.

 

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