SIDRA SAIF ISB: Poor governance is making Pakistans vulnerability to climate change and the degradation of its natural resources, jeopardizing the food security, health and livelihoods of its poorest citizens, climate change experts claim.

“Poverty is a crucial factor in assessing vulnerability to climate change and extreme events,” said Adil Najam, the Dean of Boston Universitys Pardee School of Global Studies, during a recent meeting on implications for Pakistan of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes Fifth Assessment Report.

According to him, Pakistan is paying a high price as it is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. That is in part because “not only forests but also land and water resources are degraded,” he said.

He was of the strong view that addressing of climate change remains a low priority for the Pakistani government and a lack of understanding about the countrys growing vulnerability, combined with inaction and poor policymaking, is likely to create problems for its people and its economy.

“Unpredictability is the biggest challenge of climate change, and the poor are at the core of the impacts,” he added. Poor people “want to or should adapt to climate change” but many lack the capacity, he said.

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